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Eagles News: Two things that make DeVonta Smith different

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 5/3/21.

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2021 NFL Draft Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

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Justin Fields, Trey Lance, Aaron Rodgers and Inside the Biggest Stories on Draft Night - MMQB
1) Bama tried to put weight on Smith during his four years in Tuscaloosa, and by his second year on campus, it became clear to those there that Nick Saban had made peace with the fact that it wasn’t going to happen the same way it routinely would with other players. “He’s gonna be 165 pounds, no matter what,” Saban said in meetings going back to Smith’s sophomore year. The focus from there, for Saban and the strength staff, was in helping Smith get faster and stronger, not necessarily bigger. 2) At his size, it’s worth mentioning that toughness was never a concern for the Tide staff. And one piece of proof on that: Saban moved Smith over to defense for a short period of time in 2018. It was for only a few practices, but Bama caught the injury bug at corner and needed reinforcements. With a historically deep receiver corps (as the 2020 and ’21 drafts would show), the coaches felt comfortable looking for an athlete there to fill in. That led them to Smith, because of his long arms, and willingness, as displayed on special teams, to deliver and receive contact. I’m told, over that short period, Smith showed potential as a press corner and didn’t look even a little out of place. On the first point, Smith is different. On the second point, Smith is different. And his production is different, too—otherwise, he wouldn’t have become the first Heisman-winning receiver in 29 years. That’s good. Because he’ll have to keep being different to make it.

Eagles’ DeVonta Smith tries to tune out the small talk, but ‘it eats him up inside’ - NJ.com
“I don’t care too much about what people say about my weight,” DeVonta Smith said Thursday. “I understand reporters have a job. It’s their job to make a story. I just let them do their job. I can’t get mad at them for doing their job.” Those close to him tell NJ Advance Media that the naysayers are only fueling his competitive fire. Robby Green has been DeVonta Smith’s trainer since the wideout was a high school sophomore, and he says Smith’s drop in the draft — he was the third wide receiver taken overall — and the constant harping on his frame will motivate him to be great. “To him, that’s a slap in the face,” Green said. “I know him and his personality, and I know how it eats him up inside.”

Brian Baldinger on the Eagles’ draft: Landon Dickerson is good enough to beat out Jason Kelce - Inquirer
“I know people have some questions about Smith’s weight and frame. But he played 54 straight games at Alabama. You see him get lit up by people. I showed a picture Saturday night of [Eagles sixth-round pick] JaCoby Stevens lighting him up this season. He just bounced up off the turf like it was nothing. I’ve seen all types of people lay him out and it doesn’t seem to bother him. “He’s just so silky smooth. A tremendous route runner. Those route runners, those are the guys that are getting a lot of catches in this league. Whether you’re Davante Adams or Keenan Allen, guys that know how to run routes and separate and make things easy for the quarterback are the guys getting 80, 90, 100 catches. That’s what this kid can do. I don’t know exactly what he tested at. But he’s as fast as he needs to be and jumps as high as he needs to jump. He’s one of those guys that, when the ball’s thrown to the sidelines, he can just make his legs go dead and extend the field by 2 yards. He’s an advanced student at that position. Great, great pickup.”

One-on-One: DeVonta Smith | May 2, 2021 - PE.com
Get to know first-round pick DeVonta Smith in this exclusive interview with Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro.

10 Eagles takeaways from the 2021 NFL Draft - BGN
The Eagles did the right thing on Day 1. It’s something I harped on during the entire lead-up to the draft: don’t overthink it. Don’t go full galaxy brain. Don’t try to be the smartest person in the world. Don’t zig for the sake of zigging. Just draft the guy who freaking balls out. Howie Roseman did just that when he made a small trade to move up and select reigning Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. The former Alabama wideout is the rare high-floor, high-ceiling player who should be an immediate contributor from Week 1 on and who can be among the best receivers in the league by the end of his rookie contract. I came into the draft nauseous with pessimistic anxiety, but the Eagles delivered me one hell of a Thursday night when they brought Smith to Philly. Eagles fans deserve this.

Grading the Eagles’ 2021 NFL Draft class - BGN Radio
Brandon Lee Gowton and Jimmy Kempski analyze all nine Eagles draft picks and hand out some grades. Plus: The guys talk about Tom Donahoe, Philly’s UDFA signings, Zach Ertz’s future, and much more!

On Drama In Green Bay, The 49er Fakeout And The ’21 NFL Draft - FMIA
Philadelphia, in a dogs-love-cats move, traded with its NFC East bestie Dallas, moving up to pick Alabama wideout Devonta Smith at 10.

UDFA Roundup: Two Deacons find homes - Blogger So Dear
While I joke about a QB factory being built in Philly, it’s honestly a good spot for Jamie Newman to land and make a roster. Right now the Eagles only have 2 QBs on the roster and I don’t foresee them making a move to add another. While there aren’t a lot of things that are certain as an UDFA, this spot seems perfect for him to grow and grab snaps as QB3 behind Jalen Hurts and Joe Flacco. It also doesn’t hurt that the Eagles are in rebuilding mode, so youth of any sort is going to be welcomed there.

Did the Detroit Lions screw up the Philadelphia Eagles’ draft? - Pride Of Detroit
They could have been mad about the 71st pick. Cornerback Aaron Robinson went to the New York Giants, their rival. The Eagles had a pressing need at corner, and they ended up taking Zech McPhearson in the fourth round. McPhearson is a similarly-built corner that brings a lot of the inside-outside versatility that Robinson possesses. Additionally, it’s worth pointing out that while McNeill and Williams are both defensive tackles, they are not at all built the same way. McNeill is a 317-pound nose tackle with pass rushing upside while Milton Williams is a 284-pound three-tech. But given that the Lions had the pick right before Philadelphia, one has to wonder if they were the true sources of the Eagles’ frustrations on Friday night.

NFL Draft grades: New York Giants earn high marks - Big Blue View
NFL Draft grades are really meaningless, since the selected players haven’t even practiced yet. Still, when your team draws praise for its work that becomes a feel-good moment. The New York Giants are drawing praise — a lot of it — for what the did the past three days.

Cowboys 2021 Draft: What anonymous scouts had to say about five Cowboys draft picks - Blogging The Boys
The comments from these scouts can be effusive in their praise for a prospect but can also be damning indictments of various aspects of a prospect’s game, personality, or traits. Taken by themselves, they likely provide a distorted picture of a prospect, but taken together, they begin to form a picture of what the scouting community may have thought about a given prospect. With the draft now in the rear-view mirror, we revisit what McGinn and various anonymous scouts had to say about the players the Cowboys drafted. In addition to the quotes from the anonymous scouts McGinn features in his ranking articles, he also offers up a few factoids for each prospects.

Why I like the decision to draft Sam Cosmi as Washington’s future left tackle - Hogs Haven
As we learned from Mark Tyler’s post earlier this week, Samuel Cosmi is a big man; he stands 6’6” and 314 pounds. For 34 consecutive games, he lined up at right or left tackle for the University of Texas Longhorns and competed, usually dominating the competition across the line of scrimmage, relying on his physical skills. Washington drafted him in the second round of the 2021 draft. In Relative Athletic Score (RAS) testing, Cosmi scored a 9.99 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 2nd out of 1,119 offensive tackles tested from 1987 to 2021. This is the highest RAS for an OT ever recorded using official testing numbers. In short, Cosmi is an athletic freak for a big lineman.

NFL Daily Kickoff, Monday - The 2021 NFL Draft is in the rearview mirror! - The SB Nation NFL Show
The 2021 NFL Draft is officially behind us, but there is a lot to discuss in the aftermath of it all. Are the Chicago Bears going to trust Justin Fields soon? Is Tim Tebow really going to come back? What is going to happen with Aaron Rodgers? Oh, and what about those fifth-year options? We get you caught up on the latest Daily Kickoff.

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