Well that definitely should give Joe Douglas something to think about, right?
There are a lot of reasons to talk yourself away from considering DeVonta Smith as the second pick in the draft. Conventional wisdom says that you don’t choose wide receivers of this height. Conventional wisdom says that if you choose that height, it is best to take a primary position – midfielder, edge accelerator, left tackle – to make sure you don’t pick that height again.
Conventional wisdom says: If you can trade this option against a pool of assets, make the call and make the deal.
Funny thing, though: conventional wisdom doesn’t take into account what we’ve all seen Smith do on Monday night, when he looted the Ohio State Buckeyes for 12 huntings, 215 yards and three first half landings, Ignite the Crimson Tide on their way to crush 52-24 Which won the sixth Bama championship during the reign of Nick Saban.
Conventional wisdom does not explain how Smith – who only won the Heisman Cup last week, and who was only the only dominant force in all college football this year – is somehow lashing out against Ohio State. They might not have had a story about the Heisman Prize winner in Columbus Dispatch last week.
Or maybe Smith is just that good.
If you’ve watched Smith this year, if you’ve seen him score 20 lows (34 over the past two years), if you’ve seen the way he’s always running the game, keep his defenses good, have coaches hold their breath when the kick-off or penalty kick is heading in his direction, you know How good it is.
Heisman voters knew, and awarded him the big trophy even in a year Trevor Lawrence was the young fair-haired in sports, turning in a season worthy of an award. And it wasn’t particularly close, as Smith had twice as many first place votes as Lawrence and came out in his polls from 1,856 to 1,187.
So what should Douglas do?
There are a lot of years when Season 2-14 could have been a fast way to first pick. But the jaguars were completely uncooperative, going 1-15, so they would recruit Lawrence. If the choice is Lawrence vs. Smith, then there is no choice: You go with the midfielder of the generation.
Number 2 is a different animal. For 10 days, the Earth seemed to have turned towards Columbus, thanks to the eternal game published by Justin Fields, the Ohio State midfielder, against Clemson in which he completely outmaneuvered Lawrence. There was a feeling that people who felt this way might have been talking about themselves in it, and the fields weren’t overwhelming against Alabama on Monday night. He can still be an excellent pro. But in second place?
Zach Wilson of the University of British Columbia is another attractive midfielder. Is it worthy of the privilege in second place? Oregonian Benny Sewell could team up with Mekhi Becton for a phenomenal pair of tackles (although the presence of Becton means Sewell is likely to play the right role, yet another position conventional wisdom will argue for second place). There is no edge rushing to alter the franchise.
Would it be like wandering away from circumstance to pick the best footballer – or at least the best unnamed Trevor Lawrence – in second place? Because based on his career, based on this season, based on the epic first half who defended his night work after he dislocated a finger on his first goal in the second half, it looks like this definitely is DeVonta Smith.
And another thing?
The Dolphins are behind the Jets, in third, and own Team Houston in the first round. It is certainly not inconceivable that they would wish to reunite Smith with college quarterback, Toa Tagafailua. And then Jets will have fun accessing it Face Smith twice a year for the foreseeable future.
Look, choosing Douglas wouldn’t be easy. He’s been open to the same criticisms of Dave Gitleman three years ago when Saccon took Barkley as second, with conventional wisdom screaming that you could find a pretty cool dip in the draft, often outside the first round, as a superstar.
But in this case, the idea was that the Giants were missing out on a golden opportunity to pick a midfield player. They chose to wait a year to try to fill this need, as none of the candidates guided them (maybe they were right in the case of Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen, less so when it came to Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson).
If there is a midfielder who captures Douglas’ whimsy and is 100% sure, that’s one thing. If a team offers a bunch of selections, this is something to consider.
But if it is April 29th and flying they are thinking who is the best player on the board? We saw it on Monday night. He wore number 6 in red. He might look really good wearing your old Mark Sanchez green number.