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Two-round 2021 NFL mock draft: Who will your team take?
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Two-round 2021 NFL mock draft: Who will your team take?

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Everyone who watched Alabama's Heisman winner DeVonta Smith torch Ohio State for 215 yards and three touchdowns in the first half of the national championship game came away with the same conclusion: Smith is really good.

In fact, most would expect the talented, record-breaking Smith to be the first wide receiver's name they hear called in the first round of April's NFL draft. Indeed, it may be, but it's not a forgone conclusion despite his ridiculous 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns.

There once was another record-breaking receiver who set the SEC on fire on his way to playing a significant role on a historically-good national champion. His name was Ja'Marr Chase and the ink had barely dried on his conference records before Smith broke out the Wite-Out. Chase had 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2019 before opting out of his junior season due to COVID-19. Remember Justin Jefferson was Robin to Chase's Batman at LSU.

There's also Smith's teammate Jaylen Waddle, the hobbled receiver who raced back from a broken leg to participate in the title game against the Buckeyes (and the career advice of most who watched). Waddle was limping all over the place, but still looked faster than the competition. He's the most dynamic of the three when he's 100 percent.

Personally, I see shades of Marvin Harrison and ... dare I say ... Jerry Rice (the highest compliment I can pay) in Smith's game.

He glides across the field like Fred Astaire on wet pavement, but Chase and Waddle are equally impressive in different ways and the draft process has a way of nitpicking world-class athletes until you forget why they were great in the first place.

You're going to hear Smith's explosiveness questioned — he wouldn't beat Waddle in a foot race.

You're going to hear his strength and size questioned — he's 175 pounds soaking wet with five-pound dumbbells in each pocket.

His slenderness will inevitability lead to questioning his durability.

None of this changes what will be an obvious conclusion come April: Smith is really good, and he's going to be drafted in the first round of the NFL draft, regardless if he's the first wide receiver taken or not.

FIRST ROUND:

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