2015 NFL Draft Profile: Devin Smith, WR Ohio State


Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith is a speedster.  When you watch him on tape, the first thing you notice is his ability to gain separation from defenders using only his blistering speed and explosiveness.  Teams looking for a big play pass catcher will have an eye on Smith as a player to stretch the field and open up the running game.

However, once he uses that speed to get open, he can lose track of the ball or struggle to haul in good, accurate passes.  Devin Smith also struggles against more physical corners and becomes frustrated when pushed around by stronger defenders.  He also seems to really be hesitant in run blocking, which could also be a product of his lack of strength as well.

In the end, the team that drafts Devin Smith will be getting a player that they can use to stretch the field on offense and look for plays that pick up big yardage.  But they can’t rely on him for much else without coaching him up or getting him stronger.  There’s nothing wrong with being a one trick pony in the NFL if you can do that one trick really, really well.  Sadly, I don’t think Smith is a consistent enough catcher to be a reliably consistent deep threat.

Sep 13, 2014; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Devin Smith (9) evades Kent State Golden Flashes safety Nate Holley (18) on the way to a long touchdown reception at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Combine Measurables:

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 196 pounds
  • Arm Length: 31″
  • Hand Size: 9″
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.42 seconds
  • Bench Press: 10 reps
  • Vertical Jump: 39″
  • Broad Jump: 122 “
  • 3 Cone Drill: N/A
  • 20 Yard Shuttle: 4.15 seconds

Draft Projection

Devin Smith is currently seen as the #56 overall prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft according to CBS Sports and is their #9 wide receiver available in the draft class.  He is projected to be a second round selection.

NFL Player Comparison

  • NFL.com: DeSean Jackson, Washington Redskins
  • CBSSports.com: N/A

Fit For The Vikings

Minnesota filled the need for a deep threat wide receiver when they traded for former Miami Dolphins and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Mike Wallace.  They also have plenty of other speedsters with better hands than Smith to plug in if needed.

My Take

Deep threats on offense are one thing, but when you can’t count on them to catch the ball after they get open, it’s pretty useless.  Minnesota had that situation back when they drafted a guy named Troy Williamson with the #7 overall pick back in 2005.  And because a field stretching wide receiver isn’t near the top of the team needs, they should avoid Devin Smith at all costs unless he slides REALLY far in the draft.  Like 4th to 5th round late.

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