The Eagles started Thursday night with the No. 12 overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft — after trading back with the Dolphins from the No. 6 spot weeks ago —, but Howie Roseman decided to pull off yet another first round swap. The Eagles traded UP two spots to No. 10 overall with the Dallas Cowboys to take Alabama WR Devonta Smith, giving up one of their two third rounds picks for the move.
Smith’s stock supposedly dropped since his pro day measurements came up smaller than most thought, but this was an obvious pick for the Eagles. Smith will reunite with former teammate Jalen Hurts, and is so damn talented he’ll be an instant impact guy for the Philadelphia offense — and probably on special teams.
Here are some instant reactions from media members, analysts, and fans.
DEVONTAAAAAAAA— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 30, 2021
DeVonta Smith led the NCAA in receptions (117), receiving yards (1,856) and receiving TDS (23) en route to a Heisman Trophy. Concerns about his weight, but Marvin Harrison-like upside.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) April 30, 2021
The pick absolutely, 100% should have been Justin Fields— Benjamin Solak (@BenjaminSolak) April 30, 2021
Eagles haven't had a 1,000-yard WR since 2014 with Jeremy Maclin. Can DeVonta Smith be the next? He will reunite with Jalen Hurts after #Eagles moved up to 10 for him.— Ed Kracz (@kracze) April 30, 2021
Text message from outside NFL exec after the DeVonta Smith pick: "Great player. Should be a good fit for them." #Eagles— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) April 30, 2021
The Eagles waited a year too late to trade up for a WR imo— Tyler Jackson (@TjackRH) April 30, 2021
For those who wondered if the move from 6 to 12 in the first round would rob the #Eagles of a chance to get an elite player, well, Devonta Smith is oh, so elite. Really interesting and positive the way it all worked out ...#FlyEaglesFly— Dave Spadaro (@EaglesInsider) April 30, 2021
Had to be analytics taking WR Devonte Smith trading up to take 10.— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) April 30, 2021
Thrilled with the Eagles taking WR DeVonta Smith. He was my favorite college player last season. Has a chance to be a great NFL player.— Tommy Lawlor (@lawlornfl) April 30, 2021
What I wrote about Devonta Smith a couple weeks ago:— Sheil Kapadia (@SheilKapadia) April 30, 2021
He was ridiculously productive (3,965 yards and 46 TDs) in the best conference in football, and his instincts and feel are off the charts. Smith can get open, catches everything and dazzles with his sideline acrobatics.
This is the first time in Eagles history they have taken receivers in the first round in back-to-back drafts.— Dave Zangaro (@DZangaroNBCS) April 30, 2021
“DeVonta won’t last in the NFL!”— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) April 30, 2021
He’s never had issues with durability.
“DeVonta can’t get off press coverage!”
He ranked top 5 in yards per route run against press in 2019 and 2020, per @PFF.https://t.co/wTdIRelZ4g
Nice job by Howie getting the right guy, & navigating a draft that wasn't going their way initially, for a reasonable price. They got a player who was worthy of the 6th pick, IMO, all while picking up a 2022 first-round pick, and only losing a 3rd round pick to move back up.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) April 30, 2021
Remember: Nothing is Stopping DeVonta Smith https://t.co/TT0IsPhhEL— ben natan (@TheBenNatan) April 30, 2021
This comparison makes complete sense pic.twitter.com/0TnTt1WQAn— SB Nation (@SBNation) April 30, 2021
Eagles have now taken a pass-catcher in the first two rounds for the fourth consecutive year. But they couldn't focus on the current depth chart or their previous draft investments when making this pick. They needed a blue-chip player. That's what Smith can become in Philly.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) April 30, 2021
Its obvious with #Eagles pick of WR DeVonta Smith they are trying to give all the help they can to QB Jalen Hurts.— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) April 30, 2021
In the end, Eagles' move out from 6 to 12 cost them the chance to draft one of the corners or Waddle, not Pitts or Chase as originally thought. They added a future first-round pick, gave up a third to move up and grab Smith.— Tim McManus (@Tim_McManus) April 30, 2021
Time will tell, but looks like a pretty good outcome.
Howie Roseman has begun his last two coaching marriages by drafting a player who plays the same position the new coach used to.— Bo Wulf (@Bo_Wulf) April 30, 2021
1️⃣ New Eagles WR DeVonta Smith College Rankings Last year at Alabama— Jeff Skversky (@JeffSkversky) April 30, 2021
#1 receiving yards
Won 2020 Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Award, Biletnikoff Award
Only WR in SEC history with multiple games with 4+ TDs pic.twitter.com/coHki1XlS7
Some of his new teammates weighed in on the pick, as well.
Run It Back Thennnn My Boy! You Deserve It All Brotha , Congrats !! Let’s Get To It ‼️@DeVontaSmith_6— Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) April 30, 2021
Welcome my guy @DeVontaSmith_6 it go time... me an u everyday✊— Darius Slay (@bigplay24slay) April 30, 2021
Yessir!— Greg Ward, Jr. (@G_Ward1) April 30, 2021
As if the move needed to be any better, it really messed with the Giants plan at No. 11. (Haha Gettleman.)
Giants immediately traded out of the 11th pick, an indicator they'd have taken Smith if he were still there.— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) April 30, 2021
The Eagles swooped the Giants for DeVonta Smith. As if Giants fans needed anymore reason to hate the Eagles.— Zack Rosenblatt (@ZackBlatt) April 30, 2021