DeVonta Smith will be facing a much tougher test of cornerbacks in the NFL than at Alabama, and Darius Slay is getting the Philadelphia Eagles first-round draft pick ready for the challenge. Smith is going up against Slay in Eagles minicamp as the three-time Pro Bowl cornerback is lending him a helping hand toward NFL success.
"I'm one of the premier corners in this game (and) been for a long time. I'm just giving him some tips because I want him to be the best he can possibly be," Slay said in a conference call at Eagles minicamp Wednesday. "Anything he wants to ask me, I'll never hide any information from him. My goal is to get them (the wide receivers) better and their goal is to get me better.
"He got a lot of upside, man. I'm very excited. he can do some dangerous things."
Smith already has experiences working with great young cornerbacks at Alabama. None have the reputation of Slay, who has the most passes defended in the NFL since 2013 (110) and he's just one of 14 players with 20 interceptions since entering the league that season. Slay led the Eagles with 10 passes defensed last season -- but opposing quarterbacks had a passer rating of 111.9 when targeting him.
Slay has earned the right to the nickname "Big Play" Slay, but the opponent's passer rating and lack of interceptions (one) in his first year with the Eagles raises some concerns -- specifically since he's 30 years old. The Eagles will be playing fewer man concepts and more zone in 2021, which isn't a problem for Slay.
"I'm pretty versatile, try to do it all," Slay said. "I mean, asking me to play man, zone -- whatever needs to be done, I can get it done."