Philadelphia Eagles

Eagles' DeVonta Smith Thought Panthers Were Going to Draft Him

DeVonta Smith expected other Top 10 NFC team to draft him originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles made a splashy deal with the Dallas Cowboys of all teams to make sure they landed wide receiver DeVonta Smith in the first round last week, moving up two spots to snag the Heisman trophy winner.

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Smith was the third wideout to come off the board, and while being taken in the Top 10 wasn't surprising to Smith, he did say this week he was kind of surprised that the Eagles were the team he wound up with.

Smith appeared on Eagles legend Chris Long's podcast on Friday to chat about the draft experience, his journey to the NFL, and plenty more. It's a great pod and is fully worth a listen.

At one point, Long asked Smith if he expected to wind up somewhere else on draft night:

"LONG: Was there a team you felt like, leading up, that they might be the ones that went a different direction?

"SMITH: I thought Carolina was going to draft me. 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."

Very interesting! Particularly because Carolina wound up selecting cornerback Jaycee Horn, who was the betting favorite for the Eagles' pick at No. 12 heading into the opening night of the draft.

The Panthers are in a good place at wide receiver, with Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore, and David Moore, but Smith must've had a vibe from his interactions with Carolina. And the Panthers did wind up taking LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr., so they were clearly looking at wide receiver in the first two rounds to help support new franchise quarterback Sam Darnold.

(The Giants' interest in Smith is well-documented at this point. Ha, Giants.)

Ultimately, Eagles fans are obviously very happy to have Smith in Philadelphia and not Carolina or New York. 

And Smith told Long he liked to see the Eagles trade up for him on draft night:

"Once Philly traded up, I was like, 'This could possibly be it? But I don't know.' And then once I got the call, it was like, 'Okay, they traded up for me. They see something they like.' Nobody's going to trade up for you if they don't really want you. [...] So now I'm like, I've got to return the favor."

Just four months until Week 1, folks.

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