NFL draft betting: DeVonta Smith was electric in college, but his draft spot is hard to project

Frank Schwab
·4-min read

DeVonta Smith was listed by Alabama at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds. 

He refused to be measured or weighed at the Senior Bowl. He said later he weighs 170 pounds.  

Those are the facts. What to make of them is crucial to where the Heisman Trophy winner will be drafted next week. 

Smith said he laughs at anyone who questions his size, and he's not wrong. He dominated in the SEC, becoming the first receiver to win a Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991. However, the NFL is a different game, and it's rare to see a receiver as lanky as Smith go in the top half of the first round. 

The debate makes Smith's draft prop at BetMGM one of the most interesting on the board. 

Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith will hear his name called in the first round of next week's draft. (Photo by Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via Getty Images)
Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith will hear his name called in the first round of next week's draft. (Photo by Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via Getty Images)

How high will DeVonta Smith go? 

The over/under for Smith's draft position at BetMGM is set at 11.5. 

Those who watched Smith become the best player in college football at Alabama could be tempted by the under. NFL teams might, too. The standards on ideal size for players at all positions are changing. Receiver Marquise Brown was a first-round pick in 2019 after weighing 166 pounds at the NFL scouting combine, though he was picked 25th, not in the top 11. If a team figures it can get anywhere near the impact from Smith that he gave to Alabama, he'll be worth a premium pick. 

For many whose focus is the NFL, a 170-pound receiver going 11th or better seems odd. There will be NFL teams that agree with that sentiment. Durability and Smith's ability to get off the line will be questioned, fair or not. 

If Smith was 215 pounds, he'd smash a draft prop of 11.5. He might be the first non-quarterback off the board. There's simply no question about his ability. Either the team that drafts Smith will laugh along with Smith over concerns about his size as he becomes one of the NFL's best playmakers, or teams will use Smith as a cautionary tale for years to come. 

Which team will pick Smith? 

The other interesting draft prop at BetMGM involving Smith is the team-by-team odds on who will select him. 

(BetMGM screen shot)
(BetMGM screen shot)

Yahoo Sports NFL draft expert Eric Edholm will share his thoughts on the NFL draft props at BetMGM

Edholm: "Smith might be one of the harder players to place in this class. It's possible he's the third receiver taken, behind Ja'Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle, and yet the team-by-team odds list three of the four most likely landing spots to teams picking 11th or under. I thought a lot about the Miami Dolphins signaling that they might be willing to slide back a few spots from No. 6 overall, and it made me think they're worried about their preferred pass catcher going ahead of them — perhaps their two highest choices. Let's say Atlanta goes Kyle Pitts at 4 and Cincinnati takes Chase at 5. Would Miami take Smith at 6, or perhaps a few spots lower? It wouldn't stun me. But if Miami passes on Smith, I could see him slide to, say, New England (No. 15) or Arizona (No. 16). I really don't think Detroit would take him at 7, and even the Giants at 11 don't make perfect sense to me. I'd take a small flier on the under, but maybe hedge by betting Arizona (+5000) or New England (+800) for his landing spot."

There are some interesting options among the odds on which team will land Smith. The Dolphins have been linked to him for a while, and +600 is palatable. There could be value on a team further down the odds, though it's tough to pinpoint which one will grab Smith. 

Smith will be one of the more debated players in the draft. His tape from Alabama is undeniably great. It's still a risky pick due to his size, even though some will blow off that concern. That's why Smith's draft props are some of the most interesting on the board. 

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