Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith Skip First Pro Day

Published 03/30/2021, 2:25 PM EDT
Jan 5, 2021; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith is announced the winner of the 2020 Heisman Trophy. Mandatory Credit: Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via USA TODAY Sports


DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are two of the hottest college football prospects this year to enter the NFL. The Alabama duo have garnered widespread acclaim for their excellent play last season.

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Smith went on to win the coveted Heisman Trophy last year and is expected to be one of the most sought-after stars in this year’s draft. But teams will have to wait to see the duo in action, even in a pro-day.

Both DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle missed their first pro-day. The duo was dealing with niggling injuries ahead of the big showcase.

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Waddle did not train at all, whereas DeVonta Smith was angling to go a few rounds, while dealing with a finger injury. Despite their absence, they will be considered top picks in this year’s NFL Draft.

Jan 11, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) scores a touchdown during the second quarter against Ohio State Buckeyes safety Marcus Hooker (23) in the 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jaylen Waddle was one of the best wide receivers in the collegiate football scene last year. Despite struggling with an ankle injury during the season, Waddle made his triumphant return in the championship game against Ohio State.

Waddle was one of the biggest factors in Alabama’s championship win against Ohio State last year.

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DeVonta Smith dominated the game

On the other hand, DeVonta Smith was one of the best players in the entire collegiate football campaign last year. Smith put up excellent numbers as he helped lead Alabama to the national championship.

For his efforts, Smith was named the 2020 Heisman trophy winner and was the offensive MVP in the national championship game against Ohio State.

Many expect Alabama to have several of their key players drafted in the 1st round this year. DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, and quarterback Mac Jones were highly scouted.

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Several teams are eyeing the players in the 1st round of the draft. Mac Jones being a quarterback could go earlier than the others. But DeVonta being the Heisman winner this year will certainly be chased by a number of teams.

Jan 5, 2021; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver DeVonta Smith poses for a photo after being announced the winner of the 2020 Heisman Trophy. Mandatory Credit: Kent Gidley/Heisman Trophy Trust via USA TODAY Sports

Where will DeVonta Smith go in the draft? Several teams will be eyeing the wide-receiver. However, given the lack of quarterback options, many expect the draft to be dominated by quarterback selection. But no one will be surprised if one of the top pick teams chooses to use their pick for DeVonta Smith.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1183 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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