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Rams Hall of Fame receiver Isaac Bruce was asked about height and weight concerns for the team’s first round selection DeVonta Smith, and his answer was eye opening. He compared Smith to Hall of Fame wideout Marvin Harrison and himself, both of whom played at around six-foot, 179 pounds.
That’s bold, but he actually makes a solid point. Even Fox Sports 1’s Shannon Sharpe agrees:
Will Heisman winner DeVonta Smith become a perennial Pro Bowler?— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 6, 2021
“The cause for concern is his slight build, but a couple of guys he reminds me of is Marvin Harrison & Isaac Bruce. I think he can be very good especially if he goes to a team with a good QB.” — @ShannonSharpe pic.twitter.com/JJiY32bTUd
“[Smith] isn’t the most vocal guy, you can start there, which is something I like,” Bruce said to ESPN. “He has a tremendous confidence when he does open his mouth, and you can see it in his play. He’s very similar to Marvin [Harrison]. I can see a lot of it as far as separation is concerned, and how he catches the ball well, strong hands, and his ability to run after the catch, very similar to the way Marvin played.”
No one’s more qualified to speak on this matter than Isaac Bruce since he understands what it takes to perform, and he was never the cookie-cutter size for a receiver.
“My new teammates were kind of shocked just how small I was, or how I like to say, how big I was,” Bruce said. “I think the important thing is how DeVonta sees himself. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a six-foot-five 215-pound player. And I think he sees himself that way as well. His game proves that, because he plays big.”
Smith finished his career at Alabama with 235 catches for 3,965 yards and 46 touchdowns. The kid was a beast. He won the Heisman and ultimately became 10th-overall in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Devonta Smith has the potential to dominate the NFL, just as he did in college. The NFL’s history shows players of all shapes and sizes have the capability to play much bigger than what a couple NFL combine nerds claim. They did the same thing to Chiefs’ free safety Tyrann Mathieu when they insisted he was too small to play physical in the open field the way he did in college. That turned out to big hogwash. Mathieu went on to make it onto three All-Pro teams and to the Pro Bowl twice.
There’s no reason DeVonta Smith can’t silence the haters in that same way and be an all-time player.
Jalen Hurts needs Smith to play big immediately because that receiving corps was cheeks last season. From injuries to failing personnel, the Heisman trophy winner is needed in a big way come Year One. We’ll see if he’s up to the challenge.