A year ago, 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow passed on participating in drills at the 2020 NFL combine and the decision didn’t hurt his draft stock one bit, the LSU star going first to the Cincinnati Bengals.
DeVonta Smith, the 2020 Heisman winner, is following in his footsteps and announced today he will not participate in Alabama’s Pro Day activities on Tuesday (March 23), foregoing workouts and will focus on virtual interviews with NFL teams. (The traditional 2021 NFL combine was scrapped this year due to Covid protocols).
Smith said he plans to officially weigh in Tuesday, but that will be the extent of his Pro Day participation. He said he’s comfortable letting his collegiate body of work speak for itself. And, of course, it speaks volumes.
Speaking to media Monday, Smith commented on whether he thinks his relative small stature would affect his draft status. Spoiler alert: he’s not concerned.
“I feel like it’s not going to be any different than college. I have played in the SEC. I feel like it’s the toughest conference there is,” said Smith, who told reporters today he currently weighs 170 pounds. “I know a lot of people that are bigger than me that have more problems than me so I’m not worried about it at all.”
Like snowflakes, no two NFL mock drafts are alike, but wherever you look, Smith is a coveted prospect.
In this The Athletic mock draft from the start of March, Smith is pegged with the third pick to Miami. In another one from The Athletic, Smith still goes to the Dolphins, albeit in the eighth slot after a trade. In fact, ESPN’s Todd McShay makes the same prediction in this mock draft.
At CBSSports.com, two recently updated mock drafts have Smith going seventh to Detroit and 11th to the New York Giants, respectively. Bleacher Report also has Smith to Detroit in their mock draft out today. The Fort-Worth Star Telegram has Smith headed to Indianapolis at 21. He’s headed to New England in this one.
For reference, the last Heisman wide receiver to be drafted, Desmond Howard, was taken fourth overall by Washington in the 1992 NFL Draft. Tim Brown went sixth to the Los Angeles Raiders in the 1988 NFL Draft.
Johnny Rodgers was selected 25th in the 1973 NFL Draft first round by the San Diego Chargers, but opted to play in the CFL to start his career, becoming a star with the Montreal Alouettes.
Smith is among 323 players officially invited to participate in NFL combine virtual activities this year that includes 50 wide receivers. All workouts are on university campuses.