Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith made big news with his diminutive bodyweight on Monday when multiple reports claimed the future first-round pick currently weighed in at 170 pounds.
Smith’s slight frame has been seen as a potential detriment at the next level, despite his history of consistent success with the Crimson Tide. Smith apparently feels he has nothing to prove as well, as multiple reports indicate he will only weigh in at Alabama’s pro day on Tuesday. He won’t participate in any on-field position drills.
That’s likely to raise a few eyebrows among would-be scouts and armchair quarterbacks who wonder whether Smith has something to hide by not participating. But former NFL punter Pat McAfee — who himself went through a pro day while at West Virginia — perfectly explained Monday why Smith shouldn’t bother.
Warning: strong language used.
“I’m not saying there isn’t a reason for all these workouts and drills and anything like that,” McAfee said. “There’s a lot of guys that people get to learn about that maybe their tape isn’t as good as they could be in the NFL because they didn’t get a chance maybe to really showcase their athletic abilities in the offense or defense that they were in.
“If you are a player already and everybody knows you’re a player, everybody can tell, (the pro day) is a waste. You might as well work on what gets you better.”
McAfee’s explanation is perfectly on the mark. Smith, who has shown everything scouts need to see on the field, can’t gain much more from some pointless “underwear Olympics.” It’s in the same vein as North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance declining to run a 40-yard dash: He was already clocked in-game as running 21.45 mph; what good would running a straight line without pads do?
Likewise, Smith has shown more than enough to prove he’s one of the top receivers available in the 2021 NFL Draft class. For his career, he has a combined 235 receptions for 3,965 yards and 46 touchdowns. Likewise, he has demonstrated excellent acceleration, lateral quickness, route-running and hands. He showcased all of those traits in 2020, a season in which he won the Heisman Trophy, was a unanimous first-team All-America selection, won the Sporting News Player of the Year and myriad more awards.
Smith’s not the fastest or the biggest receiver, but it didn’t seem to matter much to the defensive backs he routinely beat in college. It only makes sense, then, that he thinks it shouldn’t matter in the scouting process.