Devonta Smith took the NCAA by storm in 2020 with a monstrous season including 117 receptions for 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns in his final season with Alabama. His 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the 2021 College Football Championship versus Ohio State helped the team secure yet another national title, and the accolades don’t stop there.
To cap off a historic season with the Crimson Tide, Smith also walked away with the 2021 Heisman Trophy — the fourth wide receiver in history to win the coveted award, and the first wideout to do so since 1991.
As part of the pre-draft process, Smith has opted out of his Pro Day workout at Alabama. We take a look at why he bypassed the workout and why he chose to weigh in.
DeVonta Smith weighs in but declines Pro Day workouts
It’s not difficult to understand why Smith would opt out of his pro day workouts — I’m not sure there’s much left for him to showcase to the NFL teams in attendance. He’s laid out all he has on the field, and there’s not much left to gain in terms of draft stock. He did, however, give us a weigh in at 170 pounds. His height of 6’1” puts his BMI at 22.4, on the low end for a wide receiver prospect. Should fantasy football managers be concerned?
Smith’s value for dynasty fantasy football leagues
Despite being the top receiver in the 2020 college football season, Smith is often ranking in as the WR2 in dynasty rookie mock drafts for this class. Undoubtedly, sharing the stage with 2019 LSU star and 2020 opt-out Ja’Marr Chase has something to do with it, but I’d be remiss if we didn’t note his size as one of his biggest knocks as a fantasy football prospect.
Since 2010, there has been just one wide receiver to weigh between 170-175 pounds to score more than 175 fantasy points (half-PPR scoring formats) in a single season — Desean Jackson. Jackson broke the threshold twice in 2010 and 2013, where he scored 175.5 and 228.4 fantasy points respectively, both seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite the concern for size, Smith has given us more than enough reason to believe that he’ll overcome his smaller stature. Even if we neglect his historical stat line, there are plenty of advanced metrics that point to his potential as a stud receiver for fantasy football.
Smith has an elite history of production at Alabama, as Player Profiler lists him with a 51.3% dominator rating, ranking in the 96th percentile among wideouts. Specifically, this means that in his time at Alabama, Smith accounted for 51.3% of the team’s yardage and touchdown production. The more production we see within a prospect's perspective offense, the more indicative it is that they can produce as a team’s No. 1 WR at the NFL level.
Smith led all wide receivers in the FBS with at least 50 targets at 4.39 yards per route run in the 2020 season. In his junior season in 2019, he ranked sixth among wideouts in this metric, notably just behind two stud wideouts from the 2020 NFL Draft class — CeeDee Lamb and Tee Higgins. Pro Football Focus has long-hailed this signature stat as having a strong predictive correlation to fantasy football point production.
Smith has the ultimate ceiling and could end up being a major value in dynasty fantasy football leagues — especially if your league-mates are hung up on his 170 lb. frame.