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DeVonta Smith: 20 things to know about the Eagles’ first-round draft pick

Here is everything from his college TDs broken down by quarterback to how he fared in the classroom. Plus, an insane video clip of one of the great catches of the year.

Devonta Smith won two national championships and a Heisman Trophy in his four years at Alabama. He even caught a couple of touchdowns from current Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Devonta Smith won two national championships and a Heisman Trophy in his four years at Alabama. He even caught a couple of touchdowns from current Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts.Read moreChris O'Meara / AP File

If his college career is any indicator, the Eagles got a winner in DeVonta Smith. Of course, he was surrounded by the best players in the game, but Smith — diminutive frame and all — won the Heisman Trophy and was as clutch as any receiver in the last 25 years.

Even better, he was strong in the classroom. We don’t know if the trade up with the Cowboys means the Eagles got a star by selecting Smith. But we do know these 20 things about him:

1. Hails from Amite City, a town of about 4,000 in eastern Louisiana. The Daily Star of Hammond, La., called Smith’s winning of the 2020 Heisman Trophy “the biggest moment in Tangipahoa Parish sports history.”

2. His hometown is about 40 miles from LSU’s campus, but Alabama won him over.

3. Jan. 5, the night he won the Heisman Trophy, was declared “DeVonta Smith Day” in perpetuity by the local school board.

» READ MORE: DeVonta Smith reacts to being selected by the Eagles

4. Was the fourth wide receiver to win the Heisman (Desmond Howard, 1991; Tim Brown, 1987; Johnny Rodgers, 1972) and the third player from Alabama (Mark Ingram, 2009; Derrick Henry, 2015).

5. Obliterated the SEC record for career touchdown catches with 46. The previous mark of 31 was shared by the Tide’s Amari Cooper and Florida’s Chris Doering.

6. His 46 TD receptions came from quarterbacks: Mac Jones 24, Tua Tagovailoa 18, Jalen Hurts 2, Taulia Tagovailoa 1, and Bryce Young 1. Smith is the only receiver to catch a touchdown from both Tagovailoa brothers.

7. Had a punt return for a TD, giving him 47 touchdowns in 54 career games. Alabama won two national titles and lost only four games when Smith was in the lineup. The Eagles lost 11 games last season.

8. Holds the conference’s career mark for receiving yards (3,965). That record had been held by Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, an Eagles second-round pick in 2014.

»YouTube video: This DeVonta Smith catch left Gary Danielson nearly speechless

9. Was named to the SEC’s academic honor roll in February, one of 47 Alabama football players to make the list that requires at least a 3.0 grade-point average.

10. Was 140 pounds when he went to Alabama but told that Butler Town Park in Amite City toughened him up.

» READ MORE: EJ Smith: We shoulda saw this coming last week

11. “I believe it prepared me mentally because when I was at the park, me being the smallest person, they tried to bully me,” he said. “I could never let that get to me. I have the edge I have now. ... I like contact. I get that from the park. It was tough out there.”

12. The Eagles hadn’t selected a player from Alabama — in any round — in 19 years. Wide receiver Freddie Milons, a fifth-rounder in 2002, was the last. Milons never played an NFL game.

13. Five best players selected with the 10th overall pick: Marcus Allen (1982), Herb Adderley (1961), Rod Woodson (1987), Jerome Bettis (1993), and Alex Karras (1958).

14. Seventh wide receiver drafted by the Eagles in the first round in the last 50 years. Mike Quick (1982), Kenny Jackson (1984), Freddie Mitchell (2001), Jeremy Maclin (2009), Nelson Agholor (2015), and Jalen Reagor (2020) are the others.

15. The only other time in the last 50 years the Eagles picked top players from the same position in back-to-back drafts was in 2005-06 when they selected defensive tackles Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley.

»ESPN: DeVonta Smith’s special bond with his barber

16. Smith’s numbers in Alabama’s three postseason games last season: 15 catches, 184 yards, 2 touchdowns vs. Florida in the SEC Championship; 7-130-3 vs. Notre Dame in the playoff semifinal; 12-215-3 in the rout of Ohio State in the national championship. Heisman voting was done before those final two games.

17. The last five players picked No. 10 before Smith: Jedrick Willis Jr. (T, Browns), Devin Bush Jr. (LB, Steelers), Josh Rosen (QB, Cardinals), Patrick Mahomes (QB, Chiefs), and Eli Apple (CB, Giants).

18. As a freshman, Smith caught a 41-yard pass in overtime to win the national championship. Tua Tagovailoa, who replaced an ineffective Jalen Hurts, had been sacked for a 16-yard loss on the previous play. Hence, the extra distance.

19. Has been compared to Hall of Famer and Roman Catholic product Marvin Harrison, who was 6-feet, 185 pounds. Smith is 6-0, 166 pounds.

20. “To all the young kids out there that are not the biggest, not the strongest — just keep pushing — because I’m not the biggest,” Smith said when he won the Heisman. “I’ve been doubted a lot just because of my size. Really, it just comes down to if you put your mind to it, you can do it. No job is too big. If you put your mind to it, you can do it. Just keep believing in God, and you’ll get where you want to be.”