Live from Cleveland, Ohio, Eagles first-round draft pick DeVonta Smith spoke with Philly reporters shortly after the team traded up for him. He talked about his meetings with the team, his relationship with Jalen Hurts, and which route is his favorite (Spoiler: “Any route”).
Smith didn’t hesitate to say that he could make an impact for the team on Day 1, and thinks if the team puts in the work, they can be a dynamic group this season. He seemed confident that everyone in the building was focused on putting in the work and turning things around.
Let’s fly, @DeVontaSmith_6!#EaglesDraft | #FlyEaglesFly pic.twitter.com/kgGSbF4e29— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 30, 2021
Smith said that he always felt the Eagles were interested in him based on their conversations and their Zoom meeting. He noted that they spoke a lot about football and asked a lot about him as a person. He admitted that he was “shocked that they had traded up for me,” but that the move signaled that they see something they like.
The receiver was asked about all the noise the past few weeks about his size, but he wasn’t concerned with what people were saying. Smith acknowledged reporters have a job to do, and he understands that they need to come up with storylines. He later talked about his flexibility and boasted, “I can play everything,” including inside, outside, on special teams, and even in the backfield. “Anything,” he emphasized.
Smith was also asked about his route running. He explained that it’s something you have to do as a receiver because that’s the only way you’re going to win consistently, you can’t always just bully your way into space. Which route is his favorite? “Any route.”
As far as his relationship with Jalen Hurts, Smith remembers the QB trying to recruit him to Alabama so they go way back and are very close — and the two had already talked shortly after the Eagles made their pick. Smith talked a little about working with Hurts at Alabama, and he noted that the QB taught everyone more about the game. He called Hurts a student of the game, so when they work with him, the quarterback would teach them about coverages and help everyone on the field be better.
- Smith didn’t seem phased that his teammate Jaylen Waddle was drafted four spots higher at No. 6 and is just happy for his brother after everything he overcame at Alabama. He was “happy as hell” that Waddle was picked and isn’t worried about who was picked first.
- BLG asked about jersey numbers, especially now that the NFL relaxed the rules this offseason, and Smith said he would love to wear No. 6 if he gets the chance. (Khalil Tate currently owns that number.)
- As a former basketball player, Smith said that having to be scrappy is something that carried over to football. He also noted that going for rebounds is attacking the ball at its highest point, which is also a skill he brought to the football field.