Skip to main content
Larry Brown Sports Tagline. Brown Bag it, Baby.
#pounditSunday, November 28, 2021

Articles tagged: DeVonta Smith

DeVonta Smith livid at end of Eagles loss

Devonta Smith warming up

DeVonta Smith was livid at the end of the Philadelphia Eagles’ loss to the New York Giants on Sunday, and it’s easy to see why.

Smith has been Philly’s No. 1 receiver this season, posting 46 catches for 664 yards entering Sunday’s game. But he was hardly a factor as his Eagles sputtered in the 13-7 defeat.

Smith had just 2 catches for 22 yards on four targets. He had three touchdown catches in his team’s previous three games and at least four catches in each of those three games.

Not only was Smith hardly targeted against the Giants, but Jalen Hurts locked in on Jalen Reagor instead. He kept looking to Reagor on the team’s final drive and never targeted Smith. Hurts also looked to Kenneth Gainwell.

Smith was so frustrated he threw his helmet on the sideline after the final drive.

The Eagles’ passing game was a mess as Hurts went just 14/31 for 129 yards and three interceptions. Reagor’s drops did not help, but Philly just couldn’t get anything going.

The Eagles might have to reverse course following the recent report about their stance on Hurts.

Photo: Nov 7, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith warms up before action against the Los Angeles Chargers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles’ DeVonta Smith reveals funny go-to pregame meal

Devonta Smith warming up

DeVonta Smith is giving new meaning to the term “breakfast of champions.”

The Philadelphia Eagles rookie receiver starred this week in a GQ feature. As part of the feature, Smith revealed his funny go-to pregame meal. When he is able to do so, Smith goes straight for the golden arches.

“If it’s a home game, for breakfast, I’m going to McDonald’s,” said Smith. “I’m not even going to lie to you. I have to get a McGriddle, two hash browns and an orange juice. If it’s a home game, I have to have it.

“If it’s a road game, I’ll just eat in the hotel,” Smith went on. “It’ll be some scrambled eggs, fruit, orange juice and that would be it. I really don’t eat a lot before the game. Right before the game, I’ll probably have some fruit and leave it at that.”

The 23-year-old Smith is proving that professional athletes are a lot more like us than you might think. Whomst among us doesn’t love kicking off our Sunday morning with a delicious discount breakfast from Mickey D’s?

Smith is clearly not alone in his preferences either. McDonald’s is even a pretty popular choice among more veteran NFL players too.

Photo: Nov 7, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeVonta Smith warms up before action against the Los Angeles Chargers at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

5 NFL rookies facing the most pressure during 2021 season

Trevor Lawrence

There is not a single draft pick who doesn’t face enormous pressure as a rookie, but there’s no denying that some are more scrutinized than others.

Some rookies enter the league with expectations of becoming stars. Some players are tasked with altering the trajectory of an organization entirely. Following the 2021 NFL Draft, there were more than a handful of players who had high expectations.

Here is a look at five rookies facing the most pressure in 2021.

5. DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

After Ja’Marr Chase, Smith was arguably the most sought-after wide receiver in April’s draft. The Giants were very open about their desire to nab him, which is what prompted the Eagles to jump their NFC East rivals to select him. In doing so, they made a deal with the devil by trading a third-round pick to their other rival, the Dallas Cowboys, to move up three spots. It was a strange and unexpected move, but a necessary one to land the Heisman Trophy winner. Smith now tops Philly’s depth chart at receiver and will be their go-to guy in 2021 and beyond. Can he shed the concerns about his size? Can he reach the ceiling the Eagles expect? And can he make that in-division trade worth it as he now battles the Giants and Cowboys a combined four times per season? Those are all questions waiting to be answered.

4. Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants

After missing out on DeVonta Smith, the Giants traded back in the 2021 NFL Draft and eventually selected Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney — a move many felt was a reach. Although Toney fits New York’s system and was selected based on that projected fit, it’s not why he’s included on this list. Toney’s presence here stems from the bizarre start to his NFL career. He missed time during rookie minicamp with a cleat issue, then skipped some practices due to an unsigned contract, left mandatory minicamp due to a death in his family but still managed to release a new rap single, landed on the COVID-19 list, and is now sidelined over what the team calls “situations.” The entire situation is very strange and has led to the pressure mounting.

3. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

In the minds of many, the value of a first-round running back has dipped substantially over the past decade. Part of the reason for that is their average shelf life, which remains lower than all other positions. Some who stake their reputation on analytics and advanced data would even argue that no running back should be taken in Round 1. The Steelers ignored that memo and selected Harris 24th overall this past April. Right out of the gate, that means he’s up against it to prove his bosses right and the rest of the league wrong. Beyond that, Harris will be tasked with having to carry the load from Day 1. Not only will he start for Pittsburgh, he he will also be their featured bell-cow back. That’s a tall order for a 23-year-old rookie.

2. Zach Wilson, QB, New York Jets

First-round quarterbacks are always under a ton of pressure, but there’s a reason why Wilson is named here while others are not. And it should be easy to guess why. The Jets have had a revolving door at quarterback for years. The Sam Darnold failure has left a sour taste in their mouth. They have to hit on their pick of Wilson. That’s just all there is to it. That may or may not be fair to Wilson, but that’s the nature of business in the NFL. The fans are not going to give him much time (see: Daniel Jones across town and Darnold before him). And if New York fans turn on you, things can get ugly in a hurry. Wilson has to start strong and stay strong.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

Could there have been a more obvious pick than Lawrence to top this list? He may represent the most obvious choice, but that comes with being the No. 1 overall pick. There’s no way around that. The hype for Lawrence entering the 2021 NFL Draft was through the roof, and expectations are sky high. Can he turn the Jaguars into a winning football team? Is he capable of being the face of a struggling franchise? Will his college success transfer to the NFL? He’ll face that pressure and those questions on a weekly basis. Any sort of hiccup will be dissected under every single microscope across the country whether it’s fair or not. He will also regularly be compared to every other first-round quarterback that was selected after him. There is a lot resting on Lawrence’s shoulders.

Eagles’ DeVonta Smith trade made this division rival ‘livid’

DeVonta Smith

The Philadelphia Eagles’ decision to trade up for wide receiver DeVonta Smith in the NFL Draft apparently set off some angst within their division.

The Eagles moved up from No. 12 to No. 10, trading with the Dallas Cowboys in order to draft Smith. In doing so, they jumped ahead of the New York Giants, who held the 11th pick and apparently were waiting eagerly for Smith to fall to them.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg spoke to a number of college coaches about the draft, and one SEC defensive coordinator revealed that the Eagles trade made the Giants furious.

“The Giants wanted DeVonta bad,” the coordinator said. “They were pretty livid when Philly moved in front of them.”

It no doubt made the Giants even angrier that the Eagles made the swap with another NFC East rival in the Cowboys. With Smith off the board, the Giants traded down, enabling the Bears to move up for quarterback Justin Fields.

The Giants were already pretty unhappy with the Eagles at the end of the season as well. Those two games should be fun in 2021 as a result of all this.

Devonta Smith has strong response to concerns about his weight

DeVonta Smith

Devonta Smith last season became the first wide receiver to win a Heisman Trophy in nearly 30 years, but the former Alabama star may not even be the first or second receiver taken in the draft this week. That has everything to do with his size, which is not something Smith envisions holding him back.

Smith reportedly weighed in at 166 pounds at his medical checkup in Indianapolis earlier this month. That, obviously, is quite undersized for an NFL player. Smith was asked about the size concerns during a Tuesday appearance on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football,” and he said it is “irrelevant.”

“We play football. We’re in a football business. We’re not weightlifting. We’re not bodybuilders,” Smith said. “It’s football. That’s what we’re here for. All the other stuff is irrelevant.”

It goes without saying that strength is important in the NFL. Teams have concerns about Smith being pushed around by defensive backs, though that didn’t seem to impact him in college. Smith had 1,856 yards receiving and 23 touchdowns last season. He put up 215 yards and scored three touchdowns in the national championship game against Ohio State.

Smith said he believes he has an advantage over some of his peers because he is more than just a big-play receiver.

“I can do everything — inside, outside, you can put me on special teams,” he said. “There is nothing I can’t do. No job is too big. Wherever you want to plug me in at I can do that. So, that just gives me an advantage.”

To his credit, Smith has had some great responses when asked about his weight ahead of the draft. It’s not often that an NFL team can draft a Heisman Trophy winner in the middle of the first round, but that may be where Smith goes. If he can overcome the size concerns, he could turn out to be the biggest steal in the draft.

DeVonta Smith shares how he responds to questions about his weight

DeVonta Smith

DeVonta Smith was the runaway Heisman Trophy winner thanks to the monster season he had for Alabama.

Smith caught 68 passes for 1,256 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior. Then he exploded as a senior with 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. He saw more action last season in part because of Jaylen Waddle’s injury, and also because of the quarterback change to Mac Jones.

There is little doubt about what a weapon Smith was for Alabama. There are high expectations for him entering the NFL. The one question that does come up when people discuss Smith as a prospect is his weight.

Smith is listed at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds. He appears to be skinny on the field and looks nothing like, say, this guy.

Smith believes he has proven himself on the field and doesn’t focus on the weight talk as much anymore.

“In high school, I used to feel some type of way when people tell me that, but now I really don’t care. I mean, somebody say that, I’m just gonna look at ’em and laugh. But, I mean, it is what it is. At the end of the day, I know that when I get on the field and I line up, I’m gonna do what I gotta do,” Smith told Bleacher Report’s Master Tesfatsion.

Smith also believes that his non-imposing figures works to his advantage. He speculates that some defenders have low expectations of him due to his size, and they end up getting burned.

There could be something to that, because Smith does not look intimidating, even though his numbers definitely are. As we have been taught before, sometimes looks don’t mean a whole lot.

DeVonta Smith had interesting answer when asked about favorite Alabama QB

DeVonta Smith

DeVonta Smith had ample experience playing with a pair of future NFL quarterbacks at Alabama, and he appears to have weighed in on which of them he prefers.

According to Albert Breer of The MMQB, Smith was asked by one team at the Senior Bowl which quarterback he preferred: Mac Jones or Tua Tagovailoa. Smith said he preferred Jones, and was “bold and definitive about it.”

Considering all the hype Tagovailoa came to the NFL with, this answer might count as a bit of a surprise. That’s especially true when you remember that Jones has flown under the radar for most of his college career, as well as throughout the draft process.

Teams appear to be buying into Jones ahead of the draft. Smith’s opinion may end up being shared by some NFL teams by April at this rate.

Great tweet on Tom Brady, Devonta Smith goes viral

DeVonta Smith

Devonta Smith recently became the first wide receiver to win the Heisman Trophy in nearly 30 years, and those who have seen him without pads on would likely be surprised at the extent to which he is capable of dominating opposing defenses. In that sense, the Alabama star is kind of like Tom Brady.

To help illustrate that, Twitter account NFL Memes shared a hilarious side-by-side of Brady and Smith. The photo of Brady is the infamous one from the 2000 NFL Combine, while Smith is shown standing on the sideline looking a bit lanky.

Smith is listed 6-foot-1, 174 pounds. Top NFL wide receivers like Julio Jones, Davante Adams and DeAndre Hopkins weigh in at somewhere around 210-220 pounds. LSU star Ja’Marr Chase, whom many expect to be drafted before Smith, is listed at 207 pounds.

While Smith could probably afford to gain some weight, it’s hard to make a valid argument against his 117 catches, 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. He’s not quite scrawny enough for his teammates to create T-shirts about his physique like the Bucs did with Brady, but Smith certainly isn’t the best physical wide receiver prospect NFL teams have ever seen.

Look: DeVonta Smith suffers dislocated finger against Ohio State

DeVonta Smith finger

The only thing that could slow down DeVonta Smith in the College Football Playoff National Championship was a finger injury.

Smith suffered a dislocated finger in the third quarter of the game and left the field for the medical tent.

Trainers were seen on the sideline trying to pop Smith’s finger back into place.

Smith was later taken into the locker room.

Smith had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half of the game, leaving Twitter users in shock.

Twitter went nuts over DeVonta Smith’s incredible first half

DeVonta Smith

DeVonta Smith went wild in the first half of the College Football Playoff National Championship on Monday night, and users on Twitter went wild in response.

Smith had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns as Alabama went out to a 35-17 lead over Ohio State.

Smith achieved season-highs of 15 catches against Florida, 231 yards against LSU, and four touchdowns against Mississippi State. He nearly eclipsed all of those numbers against Ohio State … in one half.

He showed exactly why he won the Heisman Trophy.