ARIZONA CARDINALS

Brooks’ NFL mock has Alabama’s DeVonta Smith falling to Cardinals

Feb 1, 2021, 1:13 PM
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith scores a touchdown past Ohio State safety Josh Proctor during t...

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith scores a touchdown past Ohio State safety Josh Proctor during the first half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Alabama’s two first-round picks from last year, receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs, didn’t lead the Crimson Tide in receiving yards two seasons ago.

Receiver Jaylen Waddle, who could be the first Alabama player off the board in the 2021 NFL Draft, dealt with an ankle injury this past year and didn’t lead his team, either.

Heisman winner DeVonta Smith was the top ‘Bama receiver in each of the past two years.

Now it’s on to the pros, and his draft range varies depending on which person is mocking it.

While ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. has Smith going second overall to the New York Jets, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks’ first mock draft of the year has the Alabama product falling all the way to the Arizona Cardinals at 16.

Larry Fitzgerald has not made any announcement of his plans for 2021 as of this writing. However, with the 37-year-old either at or near the end of his illustrious career, the Cards decide to grab a polished pass catcher to play opposite DeAndre Hopkins in this scenario.

By and large, Smith is viewed as one of the top three receivers in the draft class, but there are differing opinions about which of Smith, Waddle and LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase should be the first wideout off the board.

Smith has production on his side. He posted 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide en route to a national title this season.

In 2019, Smith led Alabama with 1,256 yards and 14 scores, bettering Jeudy (1,163 yards, 10 TDs) and Ruggs (746 yards, 7 TDs).

Ruggs went 12th in the 2019 draft to the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Denver Broncos selected Jeudy 15th last year.

The Cardinals in 2020 went linebacker and selected Isaiah Simmons with the No. 8 pick. They didn’t select a receiver to join a young group that includes Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson.

With Fitzgerald’s potential retirement and the lack of proven players in the wide receiver room after Hopkins and Christian Kirk, Brooks won’t be the last person to mock Arizona drafting a receiver with their first-round choice.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the sec...
Arizona Sports

Report: Oklahoma to target Cardinals’ Kingsbury for head coaching job

The Arizona Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury ahead of the 2019 season after he was the head coach at Texas Tech.
17 hours ago
Anquan Boldin #81 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers durin...
Sam Graveline

Former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin named semifinalist for HOF Class of 2022

Among the 26 players who were named semifinalists for the Hall of Fame's class of 2022, former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin made the cut.
17 hours ago
Colt McCoy #12 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the secon...
Arizona Sports

Colt McCoy’s pair of wins starting for Arizona Cardinals: By the numbers

There are a handful of notable numbers to take away from Colt McCoy's two wins as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals.
6 days ago
Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after his tackle against the Seattle Seahawks du...
Tyler Drake

By the numbers: The Arizona Cardinals’ dominance during their 9-2 run

There's no doubting the Cardinals' success so far in 2021. A closer look at Arizona's impressive play through 11 games.
5 days ago
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JULY 30: JJ Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals talks to Chandler Jones #55 durin...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt pays for funeral costs of Waukesha parade victims

Cardinals' J.J. Watt paid honor to the people of the Waukesha parade tragedy in Wisconsin by covering the funeral costs for all six victims.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals players celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 at Lumen Field on No...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ 2021 road success vs. NFC West rivals that of teams past

The Arizona Cardinals haven't left anything up to chance when it comes to playing on the road in 2021, especially against the NFC West.
3 days ago
Brooks’ NFL mock has Alabama’s DeVonta Smith falling to Cardinals