PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- Thursday night saw a bold move made by Eagles general manager Howie Roseman as he traded with the Dallas Cowboys to move up two spots and select Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith with the No. 10 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The move surprised Eagles fans and Smith himself who admitted as much afterward in his press conference.
“I was shocked that they had traded up for me. I was like, ‘They traded up for me. They saw something they liked,’” Smith said.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 30, 2021
The shock was followed by that feeling of happiness that the team saw enough in him to make the move up to draft him. He was asked later in the press conference about his potential usage with the team and Smith said that he’s happy to do whatever the team needs to win.
“I can do everything,” Smith said. “I can play inside, outside, special teams, you can put me in the backfield; you can do whatever with me.”
Smith showed that versatility in college at Alabama, returning 11 punts for 237 yards and one touchdown in his senior season in 2020. On his way to winning the Heisman Trophy, he snagged 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns working from everywhere on the field in Steve Sarkisian’s offense.
He arrives in Philadelphia with intimate knowledge of his new quarterback too, having played with Jalen Hurts his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa. Smith had nothing but praise for Hurts saying that he played a big role in teaching the Tide various aspects of the game.
“Jalen taught everybody the game,” Smith said. “He was just one of those guys that was a student of the game and taught everybody the game. When you got reps with him, he was always telling you about coverages and rotations. The connection is there, and the chemistry is there. Overall, he’s just always helped everybody else be better on the field.”
Hurts, for his part, was plenty excited when the team made the selection tweeting out “Run it back thennnn my boy!” He also called Smith and the wide receiver said the quarterback was “happy” and “screaming” during the call.