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Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith did not anticipate landing with the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2021 NFL draft, but he did see a potential path to the New York Giants.
It was no secret that the Giants coveted Smith at No. 11 overall and had he fallen, general manager Dave Gettleman likely would have run his card in. But that’s not how things panned out.
Instead, the Dallas Cowboys and Eagles pulled off a rare in-division trade that allowed Philadelphia to leap-frog the Giants and snag Smith. The Heisman Trophy winner’s reaction was less than excited.
Smith’s blank stare was likely one of surprise more than disappointment. He had long figured he’d end up in the NFC South or with the Giants — he didn’t see many other potential outcomes.
“I thought Carolina was going to draft me,” Smith said during the “Green Light Podcast” with Chris Long. “That’s who I thought. I knew of course the Giants, but it was all about, You have to get to 11. I knew if I was there at 11, I was for sure going to the Giants.”
Instead, Smith landed with the Eagles while the Giants traded back, secured multiple 2022 NFL draft picks and eventually selected Florida wide receiver Kadarius Toney.
Now, instead of wearing the blue, Smith has to line up across from James Bradberry, Adoree’ Jackson, Jabrill Peppers and the Giants’ secondary for years to come.