PHILADELPHIA (CBS)- The biggest concern throughout the draft process about new Eagles receiver DeVonta Smith was his size. Smith checked in at Alabama’s Pro Day at 6’0″ and 166 pounds and his weight prompted questions about potential durability issue or inability to get off the press at the line of scrimmage. His new teammate, corner Darius Slay, doesn’t share those concerns after speaking with Smith during OTAs.
“What’s my take on Smith’s size? I ain’t worried. Worked with him the other day a little bit, talking to him about a little ball. He’s heading in the right direction. He knows what he’s talking about, he knows how to win 1-on-1 matchups, and that’s what we need from our receiving corps right now,” Slay said during a Twitch stream of Call of Duty Warzone. “I think he’ll win a lot of 1-on-1 matchups. I’m not going to be shocked about it. Y’all might be shocked about it.”READ MORE: More Than 40 Restaurants Dishing Up Delicious Deals During Burlington County Restaurant Week
If Big play Slay is not worried about smitty size then neither should any eagles fan!
Already speaking an working with him 🙌🏾 Vet getting the rookie right pic.twitter.com/xUZ6zrqOZU
— びⓅ✯Ⓛ✯Ⓜ₃び (@MyAmbition_3) May 20, 2021
Winning one-one-one matchups has been a missing piece for the Eagles on offense the last couple of years and Slay seems confident that the rookie can bring that dimension to the team. He’s not the only NFL defensive player that has recently praised Smith either. Indianapolis Colts linebacker Darius Leonard said during his media session earlier this week that he worked out with Smith this offseason and was impressed by his mindset.READ MORE: 'An Unbelievable Friend': Football Coach Remembers 12-Year-Old Tyler Norton, Killed In Pottstown House Fire
“We had DeVonta Smith come in a couple times and he had that same mentality, that he wanted to work,” Leonard said. “Just for having the Heisman Trophy winner in there … I know I wasn’t the Heisman Trophy winner, but you have that mindset. He has that winner mindset and it was good to see some young talent come in there and push me. ‘OK, this is the young talent coming in.’ He has everything. He has the speed, he has the work mentality and for him to go in there, it just pushed me to say, ‘OK, I’m gonna have to outwork him, I have to show him the way.’”
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Darius Leonard and Devonta Smith share a trainer, Yo Murphy, in Tampa. He says Smith is like him and likes to get in the gym early. The two have really pushed each other this offseason. Leonard said he really respects how Smith works.
Darius is usually in the gym by 5 am.
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) May 18, 2021
Smith will have the opportunity to continue to impress as the team works its way through the offseason schedule in preparation for their opening game on September 12 in Atlanta, against the Falcons.