Alabama WR DeVonta Smith crushed the 2021 season with 117 catches for 1,856 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. However, there are still plenty of questions regarding the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner’s size — particularly his weight — heading into the NFL Draft.
Smith was listed at 6’1” and 175 pounds in his senior season at Alabama, though at the school’s first pro day, he came in a bit smaller at 170 pounds. Now, nearly another month removed from the college football season, Smith weighed in at 166 pounds during the medical combine in Indianapolis, per Albert Breer.
After sustaining an injury in the College Football National Championship game against Ohio State, Smith has had just limited participation in pre-draft workouts. It’s not as though he has much to prove in terms of performance, anyway. It’s really just the weight that folks are honing in on as a concern.
What’s the big deal with Smith’s low weight? Despite his Heisman-winning performance in the 2020 season, a low playing weight leaves scouts, NFL teams and dynasty fantasy football players alike with a question — can he perform at the same level facing opponents who have a good 20 or more pounds on him while maintaining just as much speed?
If we’re looking at the historical performance of NFL wide receivers, we’d assume the answer is no. The sample of NFL wide receivers playing at less than 170 pounds is small, and largely, this population hasn’t established any pattern of dominance in the pros. Bills WR Cole Beasley has been one of the more successful undersized receivers in recent history at 174 pounds. However, over his nine-year career, he has yet to finish a season with more than 1,000 receiving yards or six touchdowns.
Time will tell if DeVonta Smith’s weight will have any impact on his draft stock, but as Bleacher Report’s Ian Kenyon points out, he does have the length to build out his frame as he progresses in his NFL career.
I've come around to Devonta Smith's size because of how long he is. He's 6'0 with a 6'6" wingspan. He's not a small person, he's just light. He hasn't struggled yet due to his size and if he needs to add 10 lbs in the NFL, he clearly has the frame to do it.— Ian Kenyon (@IanKenyonNFL) April 21, 2021