ESPN’s Todd McShay slots Heisman winner DeVonta Smith to Lions in latest mock draft

Detroit News

Justin Rogers
 
| The Detroit News

The Detroit Lions have holes all over the roster, but none bigger than at receiver, where Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones, Danny Amendola and Jamal Agnew are all scheduled to be unrestricted free agents next month. 

And while the Lions might find a way to keep Golladay in the fold, whether via a long-term extension or utilizing the franchise tag, the team is certainly going to need to add more talent to the corps at some point this offseason. 

The most obvious solution would be the upcoming draft, where the Lions hold the No. 7 pick and there’s a trio of top talents who could be there for the taking. 

That’s exactly what ESPN analyst Todd McShay sees Detroit doing at that spot. He has them taking Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, the 2020 Heisman winner.

“If Philly is on the clock and both (LSU receiver Ja’Marr) Chase and Smith are still available, you’ll see some smiles from new coach Dan Campbell and new QB Jared Goff,” McShay writes. “It would mean one of the talented pass-catchers would be there for them. 

“…the most productive wide receiver on the roster returning right now is Quintez Cephus, a fifth-round rookie who had 349 yards in 2020,” McShay continued. “It’s a problem, but not one that the Heisman winner can’t help solve. Smith is explosive, piling on 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior year.”

Smith was sensational for the Crimson Tide last year, topping the 100-yard mark nine times, including 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the National Championship game. 

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He’s viewed as an elite route runner who is difficult to bring down in the open field. The biggest concerns is his size. He’s listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds and declined to weigh in at the Senior Bowl last month. 

Smith’s game has drawn comparisons to several top-tier receivers, including Marvin Harrison. 

“I did see some glimpses of Marvin Harrison while studying Smith,” NFL Network analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah wrote. “I hate comparing college kids to Hall of Famers, but Smith and Harrison have several things in common: lean builds, crisp route-running, excellent hands and toughness. I think Harrison was more sudden and explosive, but Smith’s playing style is quite similar. I will give Smith the nod in one area: I believe he’s more physical than Harrison.”

jdrogers@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @Justin_Rogers

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