DeVonta Smith receives high praise from Eagles coach after first practice
DeVonta Smith appears to be off to a good start in Philadelphia Eagles mini camp.
Eagles coach Nick Sirianni had high praise for Smith after the team’s first camp session.
“DeVonta is kind of a lead by example (guy),” Sirianni told reporters. “He’s just out there and he just seems determined at all times, and he just really can’t wait for the information to get to him and can’t wait to get better. And I know that’s contagious, the way he works and he’s gone about the meetings. … And Landon, I know he works, too, and they’ve got different personalities.
“And that’s what’s cool about football. You can lead in so many different ways, but the common denominator of both of them — they both love football and they both work really hard. They’re both ultra-competitive and they’ve both got a lot of talent, and those are important parts of leading, as well. It’s been nice to get around them and kind of see how they lead because, yeah, they have that special quality of being able to lead.”
As a Heisman Trophy-winning receiver on the College Football Playoff national champions, Smith entered the draft with an impressive resume from his highlight-heavy 2020 season (and the rest of his career). Sirianni said some things Smith does look even better in person than they did on tape.
“He catches everything,” Sirianni said. “Like that ball touches his hands, he catches it. He’s really long, he’s got long arms and he’s got a big catch radius. You’ve got a really good idea of what you have, and then when you get him on the field, then you just be like, man, we can do this and we could do that, maybe he can do this that maybe we didn’t think he could do.
“It just showed his length. He showed his unbelievable hands, and he showed excellent, excellent ability to change directions at the top of the route. Even better than what I saw on tape, to be 100 percent honest with you. So again, a lot of things that I expected, because we spent a lot of time watching him, all his catches the last couple years, but it was great to see him in person. He’s got a lot of talent to him, and look forward to working with him.”
The Eagles certainly sound thrilled that they were able to get Smith at No. 10 in the 2021 NFL Draft.