Chargers third-round pick: DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama
If you’re sensing an offensive theme here that’s because most of the Chargers’ primary needs are on that side of the ball. The Chargers are missing Tyrell Williams right now. They desperately need a third receiver that can stretch the field vertically and take the pressure off their other weapons.
Smith makes his living as a precise and smooth route runner, so he might be more Keenan Allen than Williams. Smith is a junior so this is assuming he declares for the draft. If he does he could provide an instant upgrade over the team’s current wide receiver depth situation.
The Crimson Tide have a loaded receiving corps but Smith is still able to get his. He currently has 50 catches for 934 yards (18 yards per catch), and a whopping 11 touchdowns in nine games. The draft analysis here is eerily similar to that of Allen when he was coming out of Cal:
“Technically-refined route runner. Love his route tempo and how he sets up his breaks. Nuanced footwork to manipulate corners, bend his stems and create leverage. Dude knows how to get open. Experienced running routes with multiple breaks. Does a great job executing vertical cuts. Excellent body control and ball tracking skills, particularly over the shoulder. Finds the ball in the air and adjusts. Isn’t the biggest receiver but that doesn’t mean he can’t elevate and high point the football.” – Joe Marino, The Draft Network
He might not physically be what the Chargers are used to as their third wide receiver but a trio of Allen, Smith and Mike Williams would give opposing defenses fits all year long. As an added bonus, the young Alabama receiver would have the opportunity to even further his route running ability by learning from the best route runner in the business in Allen.
DeVonta Smith – 15 yard curl route – gets Derek Stingley in chase mode and stops on a dime. pic.twitter.com/iR5wHVeUGt
— Brad Kelly (@BradKelly17) November 9, 2019
Should the Chargers elect to go receiver here, they will have plenty of options. Justin Jefferson of LSU, Denzel Mims at Baylor, and Brandon Aiyuk of Arizona State were all available along with Smith.
Should they want to continue to beef up the offensive line, this is a good range to snag an interior offensive lineman. Trey Smith from Tennessee, Netane Muti from Fresno State, and Solomon Kindley from Georgia were all available here.
The potential of going with one of the receivers could be too much for the Chargers to pass up and Smith is probably the best of the bunch that could be available in the third round. Imagine the route running clinics that Allen and Smith could put out there on a weekly basis.