Philadelphia's decision to trade up to No. 10 overall and select Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith is paying immediate dividends. On the first offensive series of the Eagles' opener against the Atlanta Falcons, quarterback Jalen Hurts found Smith for an 18-yard touchdown. It was Smith's first NFL catch as well as Philadelphia's first touchdown of the season.
The scoring opportunity was set up by three receptions for 23 yards from wide receiver Quez Watkins.
In April's NFL Draft, general manager Howie Roseman traded up from No. 12 overall to leapfrog the rival New York Giants, who were reportedly prepared to select Smith. After Philadelphia completed the deal with Dallas, New York traded back with the Chicago Bears. There they took Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney.
In his final season with the Crimson Tide, Smith accumulated 117 receptions for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns en route to the Heisman Trophy. He was the third receiver taken in the 2021 NFL Draft behind Ja'Marr Chase and Jaylen Waddle.
Philadelphia struggled to field a healthy wide receiver room last season. Wide receivers accounted for 14 of the team's 22 receiving touchdown. Travis Fulgham, who is on the team's practice squad, led the team with six receiving touchdowns. The Eagles had also used a first-round pick on wide receiver Jalen Reagor the prior year. They finished the 2020 campaign with a 4-11-1 record. Management decided to part ways with head coach Doug Pederson and hire Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni.
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