CFB week 5 notes: DeVonta Smith is really good

September 28th, 2019 | Written by Rob Staton

Alabama’s DeVonta Smith is exceptionally talented

Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs get all the attention at Alabama. Rightly so too, they’re both terrific players. Jeudy is lean and glides as a runner. He makes contested catches, gets downfield and he has YAC value. Ruggs is reportedly destined to run a 4.2 at the combine and does an excellent job extending to catch the football away from his body.

DeVonta Smith is the third wheel but he too warrants high praise.

Every time I’ve watched Alabama this season he’s stood out. He’s extremely dynamic and sudden and he’s practically unstoppable on slants. He’s an excellent hands-catcher. He has a burst of acceleration to separate and when he has the ball in his hands he can round corners and explode away from potential tacklers.

Against Ole Miss he set school records with eleven catches for 274 yards and FIVE touchdowns. Amari Cooper previously held the single-game yardage mark with 224 set twice (vs Tennessee & Auburn in 2014). The five scores were also a school record on a day Tua Tagovailoa also topped the mark for overall career touchdowns for Alabama.

Smith took a slant 74-yards for a score. He had TD’s on a crossing route with some YAC and a pass into the flat. His fourth touchdown was a deep post. His final score was a great sideline grab running towards the end zone. He basically showed he can score in every way possible in one single game.

At SPARQ he ran a 4.13 short shuttle and jumped a 35-inch vertical. He’s competitive, quick and catches well. If he turns pro after this season, keep an eye on him for the Seahawks. He looks like their type of receiver. Henry Ruggs left the game with a serious looking injury so fingers crossed he’s OK.

On the defensive side of the ball for Alabama, Trevon Diggs is the kind of defensive back the Seahawks could use. He’s tremendously athletic, physical and he tracks the ball well. He’s Stefon Diggs’ brother. He’s also a really good kick returner and had a 36-yard return in the 59-31 hammering of Ole Miss.

Elsewhere…

— On the subject of wide outs, CeeDee Lamb had seven catches for 185 yards and three touchdowns as Oklahoma beat Texas Tech 55-16. Lamb, Jeudy, Ruggs and Smith are just four of a great looking set of receivers for the 2020 draft. The Seahawks seem to have struck gold with D.K. Metcalf and hopefully John Ursua will eventually work his way into a role. Given the talent available at the position in the 2020 class, it’d be a surprise if the Seahawks didn’t tap into the group.

— One other player they could take a long look at is Washington tight end Hunter Bryant. The Huskies are developing a reputation for producing quality tight ends. Very few people talked about Will Dissly and Drew Sample during their final seasons at Washington but both significantly boosted their stock during the off-season and went in the fourth and second round respectively. The Seahawks will certainly need to add at least one tight end for next season. Bryant had a fantastic run and catch for yet another explosive play against USC. He finished with 49 yards on four receptions. He did have a fumble on a botched pitch. He’d be an excellent compliment to Dissly as a move-tight end capable of attacking the seam and creating mismatches. He catches the ball extremely well with strong hands and he’s very athletic. It’d be a surprise if the Seahawks didn’t have their eye on him.

— Jonathan Taylor had 119 yards on 26 carries plus a touchdown as Wisconsin beat Northwestern 24-15. He also had three catches for 15 yards. He can be a featured back and although he lacks top-level explosive athleticism or acceleration — he’s decently good at everything. He can cut, he can run with authority to get the hard yards, he’s not a slouch in the open-field. He has a very good chance to go in the top-50. It’s surprising that Wisconsin don’t feature tight end Jake Ferguson more in the passing game. He had a really good SPARQ score and is a terrific athlete capable of being more than a mere blocker. Some thought he could boost his stock into the early rounds this year.

— Clemson had a real battle against an energised North Carolina team today (and won by a point). Trevor Lawrence was rattled. He still managed to find Tee Higgins for a vital fourth quarter touchdown. Higgins finished with 129 yards on six receptions and a score. Add Higgins’ name to the long list of excellent receiver prospects. Isaiah Simmons had a big sack for a loss of 11-yards. He blitzed from the second level and blew up the attempted block by the running back for the sack. He also had multiple TFL’s. Is he a safety or a linebacker? He might be better at linebacker. Travis Etienne ran for 67 yards on 14 carries.

— I’ve never understood the first round talk surrounding Iowa pass rusher A.J. Epenesa. Where did it come from? He was spelled constantly last year and even in his better games there wasn’t that much to get excited about. This year he has one sack in four games. He had two tackles and a deflected pass only in a 48-3 win over Middle Tennessee today.

— Jeffery Okudah (CB, Ohio State) is showing why he’s the top cornerback in this class. He has great size, outstanding athleticism (he was a top SPARQ prospect) and he does everything. Against Nebraska he’s making jarring open-field tackles and jumped a route to make an interception. His second pick came after he slipped to the turf and showed great reflexes to catch a tipped pass while lying on his back. The Seahawks would surely love to have a player like Okudah. It’s a shame he’ll go in the top-10. Shaun Wade is another talented Ohio State cornerback. He’s a former five-star recruit and can play nickel or outside corner. Like Okudah he has size and is a willing tackler. He’s eligible for the 2020 draft but might stick around as a redshirt sophomore.

I’ll update this post with the later games shortly.

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124 Responses to “CFB week 5 notes: DeVonta Smith is really good”

  1. Sea Mode says:

    Seems like someone else is seeing the same thing…

    Jim Nagy
    @JimNagy_SB

    Seems like everyone takes it as a fact that Jerry Jeudy is the best WR on the
    @AlabamaFTBL roster. Seen them play three games live this season. Not so sure.

    1:19 AM 路 Sep 29, 2019

    • Volume12 says:

      People are enamored with his route running. He’s a pure slot receiver at the next level IMO. That’s fine, but he’s not gonna carry a team’s passing attack.

    • Volume12 says:

      It’s an embarrassment of riches at ‘Bama with these wideouts. Was Jeudy, then Ruggs, Smith now. Jaylen Waddle next?

      • Awsi Dooger says:

        Alabama has been recruiting South Florida annually for wide outs. It began with Amari Cooper and includes Jeudy plus several others. They have already received a commitment for 2020 from a star receiver at Miami Carol City High.

    • Barry says:

      The first thing I ever noticed about Jeurdy is his field awareness. He was pointing and calling blitzes and hot routes for his highly touted QB.

  2. cha says:

    Mone back on the team, signed to the PS. Nkansah waived off the PS to make room.

  3. Rik says:

    Okudah with his 2nd pick in the first quarter!

  4. Kenny Sloth says:

    Sounding like day 2 will have a few nice OL options

    • Troy says:

      I wonder, if his medicals check out, if Adams is worthy of one of our 2nd round pick. I know thats a homer thing in a way since he is a Husky but Ive seen him talked about as a 1st rounder previously. I figure the injury issues may drop him to the 2nd round.

      Knowing our need at tackle long term, I wonder if we are heavily scouting him.

      • Rob Staton says:

        The problem here is — if the medicals check out, I’m convinced Adams will be a top-15 pick. He’s too good, too talented and too physically ideal not to be if teams are happy with the medicals. So the only way he falls into range is if there’s a big question mark over his health. And in that instance, how much are you willing to roll the dice for a player who might have a very short career?

  5. Rob Staton says:

    #1 Alabama
    #2 Ohio State
    #3 Clemson
    #4 Georgia
    #5 Oklahoma
    #6 LSU

    Then a big gap.

  6. cha says:

    Rob, Hunter Bryant is very similar in size to Evan Engram. But I’m guessing Engram is more athletic? But that’s the sort of NFL comp I think of with him. Not a classic TE blocker, but a move TE who is bigger than a nickel CB and faster than a LB so he creates coverage problems from a slot-type spot.

    Am I on track or way off? Or somewhere in the middle?

  7. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Wow Garrett Wilson FR WR for Ohio St

    That was money!

  8. Volume12 says:

    Kentucky’s Calvin Taylor is a grown a** man. This is a 6’8, slim 300 pound edge rusher.

    I think NFL defensive minded HC’s are gonna want to get their hands on him.

  9. Eli says:

    I like Utah QB Tyler Huntley. Doesn’t have the strongest arm but its good enough, he’s accurate and has nice mechanics, mobile enough to allow RPO’s into the offense he’s running, team captain. Could be a nice option as a Day 3 developmental type.

    • Volume12 says:

      Sometimes I think Utah CB Jaylon Johnson looks like one of the better zone scheme corners in CFB, other times he completely disappears.

  10. Awsi Dooger says:

    Ohio State is an astonishingly athletic team. Ideal frames at every position. Explosive and aggressive.

    I’m sure the Buckeyes have some weaknesses that can be exploited by the proper opponent. They also tend to play one inexplicably poor game per season on the road. But that catastrophic decision to start JT Barrett for three seasons really skewed the national perspective toward who occupies the ultra elite top tier of college football. Watson, Tua and Lawrence were boosting Clemson and Alabama somewhat above their baseline, while Barrett was sinking Ohio State markedly below its true level.

    Trevor Lawrence reminds me of a football version of Rory McIlroy. Golf fans will know what I mean. McIlroy can look like the best player in the world, or he can look overrated and error prone. Following him in person it is incredible how many little weaknesses he has.

    But it all depends on whether or not the driver is dictating. Same with Lawrence. The deep line drives to talented receivers with huge catch radius are Lawrence’s driver. Those plays showed up frequently in the playoffs last year, leading fans to envision that as the norm…now and forever. Nobody wanted to acknowledge Lawrence’s problems with processing quickly, and other flaws that continue to hold Lawrence’s YPA a full 3 yards below Tua’s.

    • McZ says:

      Their problem is having just a single reliable deep target. And for most of the evening, UNC held Higgings in check. Etienne showed, that he

      But still, having that is the difference vs UNC, and Clemson won, despite – in Swinneys words – being outplayed and outcoached.

      People looking for T talent should watch Charlie Heck, LT of UNC. His opponents were mostly on the backpedal. Good lateral movement, clean hands, and at 6’8″ good wingspan.

      Must rewatch the game, the UNC #21 also had heck of a game.

  11. Henry Taylor says:

    Has a team ever had 3 wideouts picked in the first round? What an insanely talented group.

    Tua is running away with the first overall pick and probably the Heisman as well. Maybe he’ll stick around another year to try and avoid Miami.

    • Volume12 says:

      I might be wrong, but I dont think so. The last time I remember a team having multiple 1st round picks at receiver was LSU in ’07 with Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis.

  12. John_s says:

    Check out the block by the RT Alabama鈥檚 Jedrick Willis.

    http://twitter.com/geoffschwartz/status/1178042476210331649

  13. Eli says:

    Missouri OT Yasir Durant. 6’7 330 lbs., wears his weight well. Incredibly strong anchor, doesn’t allow himself to get overwhelmed by the bull rush, surprisingly nimble as evidenced by Missouri using him on downblocks and pushing him into the second level quite often. Allowed the fewest number of pressures in the SEC last year.

  14. Sea Mode says:

    Big boy guard to check out:

    Jim Nagy
    @JimNagy_SB

    Gap scheme teams looking for big-bodied interior OL will be studying @unlvfootball OG Justin Polu (@jaayypolu). Rebels staff recommended him over the summer and he flashes good in-line power as a POA run blocker on tape. Has twitch for a 340-lber. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE

    5:30 AM 路 Sep 29, 2019

    https://twitter.com/JimNagy_SB/status/1178150035785228288

  15. Volume12 says:

    After all these years the Giants continue to play Eli Manning *checks notes* I mean Daniel Jones

  16. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Taco Charlton just had a nice sack on Phil Rivers. Beat the RT off the snap and ran right around him to get to Rivers.

    Hope to see some of that from Clowney, Ansah and QJeff today.

  17. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Congratulations to Frank Gore on becoming the 4th RB in NFL history to run for at least 15,000 career rushing yards!

  18. Justin Mullikin says:

    J. Coleman is having a heck of a game for the Lions.

  19. Sea Mode says:

    People were wondering what badass looks like? This guy is badass… 馃槈

    https://twitter.com/SethGalina/status/1178369323687124992

  20. Sea Mode says:

    Colbert and Blair inactive on D.

    Penny, Ursua, and Jennings inactive on O.

  21. cha says:

    Penny, Pocic, Jennings, Ursua, Thorpe, Blair, Colbert inactive today.

  22. Sea Mode says:

    Leave it to us dumb Americans to dig up the most useless stats out there… 馃槀

    Kay Adams
    @heykayadams

    Seahawks @ Cardinals is the first matchup between quarterbacks who are under 6 feet tall since 1970. #shawty

    4:37 PM 路 Sep 29, 2019

  23. Sea Mode says:

    From last week, but gotta appreciate this effort from my/our 2017 draft crush!

    https://twitter.com/thecheckdown/status/1175868417426853888

  24. Sea Mode says:

    Can we just eject this guy from the League already? 馃槨

    https://twitter.com/PFF_Sam/status/1178370077634285568

  25. Sea Mode says:

    Did I miss something? I Hill hurt too?

    Bob Condotta
    @bcondotta

    Tedric Thompson appears to be warming up as the starter at free safety with McDougald at strong safety.

    9:30 PM 路 Sep 29, 2019

  26. Sea Mode says:

    Let’s go. I see you, Shaq. (good thing the throw was high, though…)

    And I’ll take the gift FG miss.

  27. Chawk Talker Eric says:

    Sick spin move by Carson!

  28. Volume12 says:

    馃ぁney!

  29. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    SEND IN THE CLOWNEY!!!!!

  30. Sea Mode says:

    Send in the Clown!!!!!!!!!

  31. charlietheunicorn says:

    All I can say

    Wow Clowney.

  32. Volume12 says:

    Will the Thrill!

  33. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    I’m going to double down on my assertion that Will Dissly is a legit pro bowl TE and the best Seahawks TE since Zach Miller

  34. Sea Mode says:

    Too easy.

    Don’t want to speak too early, but pass pro has been really good so far.

  35. Sea Mode says:

    BTW that throw by Russ to Lockett inches over the top of the jumping defender was a thing of beauty. Really looked like it was going to get picked as it hung in the air.

  36. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Been saying for the last couple of games that Rasheem Green is starting to show up in games. Especially in the second half when OL get tired.

  37. Volume12 says:

    That sack by Rasheem Green will get overlooked, but it shouldn’t. The ability to break that down in pursuit and maintain his balance was beautiful.

  38. Sea Mode says:

    Gregg Bell
    @gbellseattle

    DL coach Clint Hurtt said this week how much #Seahawks are stressing hands up, disrupting throws, that there’s more to impact game than sacks vs quick-passing game. That’s exactly what we’re seeing from D-line so far today vs Kyler Murray. 2 sacks, 2 passes batted, Clowney INT

    11:01 PM 路 Sep 29, 2019

  39. Sea Mode says:

    Nooiice…

    Gregg Bell
    @gbellseattle

    And in Los Angeles: Tampa Bay 20, Rams 0, 2Q.

    #Seahawks host Rams Thursday night

    11:02 PM 路 Sep 29, 2019

  40. Volume12 says:

    Fake punt here Pete

  41. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    I believe that’s LJ Collier’s first NFL tackle

  42. Chawk Talker Eric says:

    Rasheem Griffin?

  43. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Excellent defensive series for SEA

  44. Volume12 says:

    Get Carson going for his confidence.

  45. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Reports of Carson’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

    • Sea Mode says:

      Agreed. I mean, literally all he needed to correct was to wrap up with both arms instead of using one arm to break his fall and expose the ball for a well-timed punch.

    • Volume12 says:

      A guy like Gurley’s aren’t however. That knee is done.

      • CHawk Talker Eric says:

        Fo sho. Sad to see really. I mean, for him. He was one of the best when healthy.

        Rams are driving again knocking on the end zone door. This will be a 1 score game at half.

        • Volume12 says:

          It is. He can still be a factor for them because he’s such a complete back, but his days as that 3 down, workhorse are numbered.

  46. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Credit to ARI defense keeping SEA to 2 red zone FGs. Coming into today’s game, SEA were tops in the League for red zone TD percentage.

  47. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Excellent half of football for SEA. Lots to be happy about

  48. Sea Mode says:

    Wow, that’s quite the stat. Too bad we’re hardly ever up at halftime usually…

    Gregg Bell
    @gbellseattle

    #Seahawks have won 52 consecutive games while leading by four or more points at halftime. They are up 17 at this break.

    11:26 PM 路 Sep 29, 2019

  49. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    馃憖

  50. Sea Mode says:

    I say we march down the field for a TD to open the 3rd quarter, then start mixing in our young guys for some snaps to keep everyone fresh for the short week Thurs. game.

  51. Volume12 says:

    Kendricks has been lights out today.

  52. Sea Mode says:

    Kyler looking like he wants no part of tonight’s affair.

  53. Sea Mode says:

    BBK gonna get drilled in the locker room if that ends up being our only penalty of the game…

  54. Sea Mode says:

    Poor Larry Fitzgerald with that face right before the break. “Come on, young bloods…”

  55. Murphy says:

    I鈥檓 pretty sure Carson, Kendricks, and Green read this blog. They鈥檙e out there imposing they鈥檙e will. I know the Cardinals aren鈥檛 the toughest opponent and this team doesn鈥檛 have any sure fire BAMFs, but the growth from some of the young guys is good to see.

  56. Volume12 says:

    Did the refs create a penalty on Flowers?

  57. Sea Mode says:

    Please tell me we’re not going to let this be a game now…

  58. Volume12 says:

    Mrs. Schottenheimer shoulda kept calling the plays.

  59. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Carson doing his best Lynch impression!

    Apropos of nothing, and to the Cougs fans on the Blog, Minshew looks like the real deal. Having a nice game vs DEN today

  60. Volume12 says:

    Carson is a bad dude.

  61. CHawk Talker Eric says:

    Fournette just ripped off a tremendous run for JAX. If there’s a chance SEA could add him to the roster, I say go for it. Same with Calais.

  62. Kenny Sloth says:

    Gardner Minshew is already better than Jared Goff,