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So you drafted Ohio State's Devin Smith?

Devin Smith was Ohio State's deep threat for years, and now he looks to make a splash in the NFL. What expectations should we have for him?

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio native, Devin Smith will live long in Ohio State folklore with his ability to seemingly never be overthrown, catching deep passes amid heavy traffic and the fact that the Buckeyes were 22-0 when Devin Smith caught a touchdown pass. This electric wide receiver could make an impact immediately for whatever NFL team lands him, and several teams have already reached out to the rookie to host individual work-outs and interviews.

Games Receptions Yards TDs Long rec/g avg/c avg/g
2011 13 14 294 4 40 1.1 21 22.6
2012 12 30 618 6 72 2.5 20.6 51.5
2013 14 44 660 8 90 3.1 15 47.1
2014 15 33 931 12 80 2.2 28.2 62.1
TOTAL 54 121 2503 30 90 2.2 20.7 46.4

Smith improved each of his seasons as a Buckeye; while his senior season started with rumored drama regarding the number of touches he would get among a thriving receiving corp, he led the team with 931 total yards for a Big Ten-best 12 touchdowns. As a two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference performer, he caught a pass in 28 of 29 games his last two seasons at Ohio State.


  • Speed: He's not just football fast, he's track runner fast, and while his 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine was a Top 10 performance at 4.42, it still wasn't an accurate reflection of his quick-burst ability. In 2012, he qualified for the NCAA outdoor championships with the Ohio State 4x100-meter relay team.
  • Vertical: He may only be 6'0 but Smith can jump, as evidenced by most of his receptions; his ability to pluck the ball out of the air makes a lot sense when you learn he tied for second place at the 2014 Big Ten outdoor track & field championships in the high jump. This means a quarterback doesn't have to be perfectly accurate, as long as it's thrown in his range, he'll be able to snag the pass.
  • Big play ability: Throughout his career as a Buckeye he amassed 121 receptions for 2,503 yards, 30 touchdowns and had an incredible average of 37.9 yards per score. If that wasn't enough, he had 21 career touchdowns of at least 30 yards, and seven touchdowns of at least 50 yards. He set a school record in 2013 for a 90-yard touchdown reception against Cal.


  • Size: At only 6'0 and 196 pounds Smith can quickly be overpowered by a strong and fast secondary, something he wasn't used to seeing much at the college level. NFL backfields are a lot harder to get away from, despite Smith's bursting speed, he might have more trouble securing the long ball down field. With a stature similar to DeSean Jackson, Smith also fits into the same kind of scheme, and would likely be used more for his long play ability over his speed in crowded coverage situations.

NFL impact

Projected to go in the first two rounds of the NFL draft, Smith is expected to make an impact almost immediately in the League. Several teams made off-season trades and are looking a little meek in the wide receiver department (cough Miami cough). The Carolina Panthers are one team that brought Smith in for a work-out, which would reunite him with fellow Buckeye receiver Corey "Philly" Brown.

The Dallas Cowboys are another team in the mix, as owner Jerry Jones mentioned the team wouldn't be doing any draft-day trades for veterans and are instead looking to fill their roster with young talent. Needless to say, there are a lot of NFL teams right now that could benefit from the deep threat that comes with Devin Smith. Some mock drafts have him slipping to the second round, but should he fall any lower, he will be a steal for whoever lands the big-play maker.