The former Heisman-winning wide receiver caught six passes for 71 yards during his NFL debut against the Atlanta Falcons, including a touchdown that looked eerily similar to an iconic play he made during college.
There’s still plenty of football left to be played this year — no point making a grand conclusion on Smith’s ability quite yet. However, early returns are unquestionably promising for the Eagles. In addition to his on-field production, Smith’s off-the-field mentality is beginning to turn heads in Philly — in a good way.
DeVonta Smith played Xbox after his impressive NFL debut
Smith was the talk of the town in Philadelphia following his productive Week 1 performance. Most Eagles fans have been desperate for a player with true WR1 ability for quite some time now. Seeing Smith flash such potential definitely had people excited.
Typically speaking, someone in Smith’s shoes would be out celebrating following such a successful debut.
However, Smith had no such intentions. The first-round pick went home after the game and played some Xbox. NBA 2K, to be exact.
This is the exact mindset the Eagles need from their WR1
As previously stated, most Eagles fans have been begging for a proper, elite WR1 for quite some time now. Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor were nice pieces during the team’s 2017 Super Bowl run, but neither were really good enough to stake claims as a WR1 in the NFL.
A few years prior, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin were the most notable pass-catchers on the roster. Jackson is one of the best deep threats in NFL history, and Maclin had elite pass-catching skills. However, neither were polished enough in all aspects of their game to be mentioned alongside the best of the best. Jackson, for example, was undersized. He wasn’t a terribly effective option down in the red zone or on contested catches.
It’s early, but Smith is quickly showing signs of excelling in all areas of the game. His lone TD came on a red zone fade, he caught multiple passes on short-to-intermediate routes, and we all know about his deep speed from his days at Alabama.
Even further, Smith’s desire to stay at home and play some 2K after big games is even better news for the Eagles. It’s not uncommon for NFL WRs to have a bit of an ego or problematic personality. Smith, on the contrary, seems incredibly grounded and down to earth.
DeVonta Smith will be a focal point of the Eagles offense
This pretty much goes without saying, but Smith will continue to be a focal point to the Eagles’ offense for the rest of the year. Philadelphia actually traded up two spots from pick No. 12 to pick No. 10 to land him during the draft, and quarterback Jalen Hurts already has a strong connection with him.
The Eagles added Smith with a specific intent and purpose in mind. Expect many more receptions from the rookie wideout moving forward this season.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.