The Packers have brought in former 2nd round draft pick Devin Smith for a workout as cut down day looms large for NFL rosters. Smith, who was drafted by the Jets in 2015 and has flashed talent over the last few years but has been dealing with devastating injuries, most likely will be contending against the bottom of the WR depth chart to land a spot in Matt LaFleur’s offense.
So who is Devin Smith and what kind of value would he bring to the team?
As previously mentioned, Devin Smith got his first NFL shot in 2015 when he was drafted out of Ohio State (fresh off a National Championship) by the New York Jets in the 2nd round. He had a promising rookie year (15 receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown) but has also been dogged by injuries since joining the league. Most recently, he played for the Cowboys and had a great game against the Washington Football Team but dropped off the radar as the season progressed once Michael Gallup returned from injury.
What does he bring to the table? Speed, size, and downfield ability.
Looking through Smith’s tape last year, it’s clear that he is going to be best suited running routes either vertically or across the field in a straight line. He doesn’t have the fastest feet or most fluid hips, but he can stack corners with his vertical speed and has shown a good catch radius. While he can be a good matchup against a nickel corner, safety, or linebacker due to his speed I believe that his skill set is best utilized as both an outside and vertical threat.
He’s very similar to MVS in terms of strengths and should be viewed played either as an X or Z, doing his best work outside the numbers or reading the field across the middle against the zone. Considering Aaron Rodgers tends to break down a lot of plays outside of schedule, Smith is going to have to improve on his deceleration and working back to the QB if he’s going to stand a chance of moving up the depth chart as there is an opportunity for receptions considering how much attention Davante Adams is going to inspire this year.
——————Joe Kelley is a lifelong Packer fan born in Wisconsin and currently living surrounded by Patriots fans in New England- please send messages of support to @Jkelleylol on Twitter or @j.k.lolz on Instagram.