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DeVonta Smith presents Jets with NFL Draft dilemma

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January 12, 2021 | 12: 15am | Updated January 12, 2021 | 1: 35am

Well, this absolutely ought to give Joe Douglas one thing to consider, no?

There are lots of explanation why you’ll be able to discuss your self out of contemplating DeVonta Smith with the second choose within the draft. Conventional knowledge says you don’t choose large receivers that prime. Conventional knowledge says that in case you choose that prime, you’d higher take a cornerstone place — quarterback, edge rusher, left deal with — to ensure you don’t choose that prime once more.

Conventional knowledge says: in case you can commerce that choose for a haul of belongings, make the decision, and make the deal.

Funny factor, although: standard knowledge doesn’t account for what all of us noticed Smith do Monday night time, when he ransacked the Ohio State Buckeyes for 12 catches and 215 yards and three touchdowns within the first half, igniting the Crimson Tide on their option to a 52-24 thrashing that clinched the sixth Bama championship within the Nick Saban period.

Conventional knowledge doesn’t clarify how Smith — who solely received the Heisman Trophy final week, who was solely the single-dominant pressure in all of faculty soccer this 12 months — in some way working wild in opposition to Ohio State. Maybe they didn’t have a narrative on the Heisman winner within the Columbus Dispatch final week.

Or perhaps Smith is simply that good.

If you’ve watched Smith this 12 months, in case you noticed him rating 20 touchdowns (34 throughout the previous two years), in case you’ve seen the way in which he all the time manages to make a play, make good defenses wince, make coaches maintain their breath every time a kickoff or a punt is headed in his path, you know the way good he’s.

The Heisman voters knew, giving him the large trophy even in a 12 months when Trevor Lawrence was the game’s fair-haired younger man, and turned in a season worthy of the award. And it wasn’t particularly shut, Smith getting twice as many first-place votes as Lawrence and out-polling him 1,856-1,187.

So what ought to Douglas do?

There are lots of years when a 2-14 season would’ve been a fast-lane path to the No. 1 choose. But the Jaguars had been totally uncooperative, went 1-15, and they also will draft Lawrence. If the selection is Lawrence vs. Smith then there isn’t a selection: you go together with the generational quarterback.

DeVonta Smith
DeVonta Smith
Getty Images

No. 2 is a unique animal. For 10 days, it appeared the earth had shifted towards Columbus, because of the ceaselessly sport that Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields posted in opposition to Clemson through which he fully outplayed Lawrence. There was a way that people who felt that approach could be speaking themselves into that, and Fields wasn’t overwhelming in opposition to Alabama Monday night time. He may nonetheless be a superb professional. But at No. 2?

Zach Wilson of BYU is the opposite buzzworthy quarterback; is he a franchise-worthy choose at No. 2? Oregon’s Penei Sewell may group with Mekhi Becton for a formidable pair of tackles (though Becton’s presence means Sewell would possible play proper deal with, one other place standard knowledge would argue in opposition to at No. 2). There is not any franchise-altering edge rusher.

So wouldn’t it actually be wandering that far exterior the envelope to easily choose the perfect soccer participant – or a minimum of the perfect one not named Trevor Lawrence – at No. 2? Because based mostly on his profession, based mostly on this season, based mostly on an epic first half that stood for his night time’s work after he dislocated a finger on his first goal of the second half, that might certain appear to be DeVonta Smith.

And one thing else?

Picking behind the Jets, at No. 3, are the Dolphins, Miami proudly owning Houston’s first-round choose. It’s definitely not unthinkable that they could need to reunite Smith together with his faculty quarterback, Tua Tagavailoa. And then the Jets would have the distinct pleasure of attending to face Smith twice a 12 months for the foreseeable future.

Look, it wouldn’t be a simple choose for Douglas to make. He’d open himself to a lot the identical criticism Dave Gettleman did three years in the past when he took Saquon Barkley at No. 2, standard knowledge screaming that you will discover an amazing working again decrease within the draft, usually out of the primary spherical, identical as a star wideout.

But in that case, the notion was that the Giants had been forfeiting a golden likelihood at choosing a franchise quarterback. They opted to attend a 12 months to attempt to fill that want, since not one of the candidates bowled them over (they had been most likely proper within the case of Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, much less so in relation to Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson).

If there’s a quarterback that captures Douglas’ fancy, and he’s one hundred pc sure, that’s one factor. If a group affords a bounty of picks, by all means, that’s one thing to think about.

But if it’s April 29 and the Jets are pondering who the perfect participant on the board is? We noticed him Monday night time. He wore No. 6 in purple. He would possibly look awfully good carrying Mark Sanchez’ previous quantity in inexperienced.