It sure sounded like the Philadelphia Eagles had been listening to a lot of sports talk radio by the way they defended trading up for DeVonta Smith. Maybe it’s the right move, a lot of people were happy about it, including Jalen Reagor.
Last year’s first-round pick could suffer the most from Smith’s arrival. There are only so many footballs to go around in Nick Sirianni’s offense and the incoming rookie will definitely eat up some of Reagor’s snaps. However, it’s hard to argue that adding more weapons for Jalen Hurts is ever a bad thing. And Reagor jumped on Twitter on Thursday night to welcome his new teammate with open arms.
Reagor wasn’t the only one, either. Hurts, who played with Smith at Alabama, had been pretty vocal in the weeks leading up to the draft about how much he admires Smith. He called him a “smooth criminal” back in early March and that opinion hasn’t changed much almost two months later.
There wasn’t much comment from the other talented young Eagles receivers, guys like J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Quez Watkins, John Hightower. They all stand to lose playing time with Smith landing in the nest, although the upgraded Philly offense could be disgustingly lethal. Smith gives them a speedy, polished route-runner to add to a stable of outright track stars.
Eagles slot receiver Greg Ward Jr. also welcomed Smith to town. And Travis Fulgham did positively re-tweet the Eagles’ official announcement. Remember, Fulgham indicated how good the Philly offense could be back in February.
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Eagles GM Explains Decision to Trade Up for Smith
It was a bold move to trade up two spots with a divisional rival — the hated Dallas Cowboys of all teams — to secure Smith at pick No. 10. The New York Giants reportedly wanted the Alabama receiver at pick No. 11, so they surrendered a third-rounder to make it happen. No regrets. Smith was a guy who Eagles general manager Howie Roseman had valued high on his draft board from the outset.
“We make sure we do our board and we have 12 players that we really like DeVonta was standing out on our board, his grade, the type of player he is, the type of person he is, so we just wanted to make sure he got him,” Roseman told reporters on Thursday night. “Just really think he can be a difference-maker on and off the field for our football team.”
Sirianni was equally impressed with Smith’s physical traits on the field. He plans to use the 6-foot-1, 175-pounder all over the formation.
“What I saw in DeVonta was just a guy who can consistently win one-on-one,” Sirianni said. “It’s a little different with how he does it. He does it with speed, quickness. He does it at the top of the route, beginning of the route, off the line of scrimmage.”
Team Heads Into Day 2 with Nine Picks
The Eagles entered the 2021 NFL Draft with 11 total picks at their disposal. They’ll head into Day 2 on Friday night with nine slots left after trading a third-rounder to Dallas and using their first-rounder on Smith. Here is the breakdown of what they have left:
Round 2: No. 37
Round 3: No. 70
Round 4: No. 123 (from Miami)
Round 5: No. 150
Round 6: No. 189
Round 6: No. 224 (compensatory selection)
Round 6: No. 225 (compensatory selection)
Round 7: No. 234
Round 7: No. 240 (from San Francisco)