DeVonta Smith is Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded wide receiver

DeVonta Smith #6, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
DeVonta Smith #6, Philadelphia Eagles (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

By the looks of things, even though this is a roster flooded with young talent, you’re not going to get the Philadelphia Eagles to sign on for ‘moral victories’ or ‘good losses’. As head coach  Nick Sirianni stated in his post-game presser following a crushing loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, “a loss is a loss is a loss”, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a few silver linings in a dark cloud. Credit DeVonta Smith for giving us one.

The most recent Heisman Trophy winner had his best day catching the ball in Week 9, hauling in five of six targets as he almost eclipsed his highest receiving total of the season (122 yards) with a 116-yard outing versus L.A.

His touchdown reception with just over six minutes remaining gave the Birds a chance. As mentioned, they’d fall in the end, but people can’t stop talking about his performance. Now, it appears that he’s gotten the attention of the stat gurus over at Pro Football Focus.

DeVonta Smith is PFF’s highest-graded wide receiver ahead of Week 10’s game.

Round 9 didn’t quite go according to plan, but DeVonta Smith put on what might be his best performance of the season. As a result, he’s Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded receiver after Week 9 with a grade of 92.3. A premium account is required for viewing, but we’ll just use the eyeball test.

The drops were eliminated. He looked more comfortable.

His football IQ has never been questioned, but he appeared to be even more understanding of what his role was, what the defense was allowing, and how he’d be able to exploit them as a result. The lone target that he wasn’t able to haul in was more of the result of a bad throw by Jalen Hurts, but Smith, always the good teammate, chose to put the responsibility on himself by saying he “stumbled” and he would have been where he needed to be had he not done so.

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We knew, with the Chargers having both of their starting cornerbacks out of the lineup, that Philly’s young wide receivers would have some opportunities. DeVonta Smith made the most of the ones that he was afforded, and despite the fact that the Eagles have posted six losses in nine weeks, the future appears to be bright for the tenth-overall selection of the 2021 NFL Draft.