We made it, folks! Welcome to 2021 NFL Draft Week. After months and months of waiting, looking up mock drafts, and hearing about speculation, we finally get too hear hundreds of names called this week. With the draft coming up, it's always great to hear from ESPN's Todd McShay to get all of his thoughts on what he expects to happen at the podium on Thursday night. There is no question who is going to be No. 1, but a lot of chatter is around who is going to get the Heisman Trophy winner, DeVonta Smith. What makes him such a great player? McShay tells a fun story about the Alabama WR:
Mr. Cat: I do love that you are at a lot of these games, because I do think there is something you can pick up from being at a game, especially being on a sideline, that you can't pick up on film. Who's the guy that you have seen on the sideline and how they interact with their teammates or how locked in they are, or he's just that dude who maybe not doesn't show it on the film? But, you know, that's a guy who, like, will translate to the NFL.
Todd McShay: I mean, I see it on the film, but DeVonta Smith has been the most fun guy to watch the last two years in college football. Anyone who loves football, I could bring them down on the field and have them stand six feet away from from DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle and then the year before, Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. And to listen to those four, there's an offensive bench, right? The offensive linemen sit on thee bench, the quarterbacks, they're around, and then some of the other position guys pull up chairs and kind of circle around. The coordinator comes in, the offensive line coach comes in and they're always sitting on this back bench and they come off the field and they chirp at each other. I mean, they get in each other's face and then they go over to Steve Sarkisian, who was the offensive coordinator at Alabama, and start yelling at him like...
Todd McShay: "Hey, they're showing Cover 2, but it turns into Quarters coverage!" Their football intelligence, and their competitiveness, I've never seen, and I've been doing this for, I don't know, nine years, being on the field and just listening to coaches and players and all of that, I have never seen anything like it. And I talked to Sark about DeVonta specifically, because he's what, 17p pounds? He's so lean, he doesn't look the part. And I see what I see on tape. He's silky smooth and he knows how to separate and all that. But I asked Sark, "What do you see from him in practice and in games that you can't actually see on tape?" And the thing that he said was, "I've never had a receiver in all of my years of coaching..." And you think about where he's been, NFL, USC, etc., "I've never had a receiver come over on the sideline and give me as much or more information that I got from the quarterback in terms of the recall of what he saw, what they're trying to do, how we can leverage it, and so on and so forth. So, that's what makes him special.
Mr. Cat: Yeah, that's a great answer. And he's one of those guys that if you watch the game, you're like, "How is he not going to be a top 10 pick?? And then, the size thing dings him and everyone's like, "Well, 166 pounds." But I saw this is like the lightest WR class I think of all-time. All these guys are kind of smaller and I think that's probably more where the NFL is going in terms of not being able to hit guys the same way.
Now that is some Football IQ right there. It's still crazy to think of the wide receiver depth that Alabama has had over the last few years. DeVonta Smith, fresh off his Heisman Trophy win, is going to make one NFL fan base very happy on Thursday night.
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