Merrill Reese says DeVonta Smith drops his jaw like no other WR originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
When the Eagles report for training camp on July 27, all eyes will be on first-round pick DeVonta Smith.
Two of those eyes will belong to legendary play-by-play announcer Merrill Reese.
This coming training camp will be the 50th of Reese’s career, so he’s seen a lot. But there’s a reason he’s so excited about Smith, the No. 10 pick in this year’s draft. Reese was on the latest Eagle Eye podcast and explained why.
“In 50 years, I’ve seen a lot of wide receivers and I’ve seen great ones like Harold Carmichael, who’s going into the Hall of Fame, and my partner in the booth, Mike Quick, who went to five Pro Bowls. So I’ve seen great receivers,” Reese said. “But I’ve never seen a receiver that makes my jaw drop the way that he does.
“Keep in mind that Mike and Harold were unbelievable talents but they weren’t blazingly fast. This guy is blazingly fast and looks like he has springs on the bottom of his shoes the way he goes up. And he may be 6-1 1/2 but he has catch radius of somebody 6-4.”
Smith, 22, is coming off an incredible Heisman Trophy-winning season at Alabama. While some folks might be scared off by his build (166 pounds), there’s no denying his production in college. As a senior, he caught 117 passes for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. That followed a very impressive junior season.
While three other receivers have been first-round picks out of Alabama in the last two seasons (Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy, Jaylen Waddle), none of them had the college careers that Smith did.
Smith just seems to have that “it” factor. And as Reese thinks back, he obviously didn’t watch Carmichael or Quick as much in college. Heck, it’s hard to get more exposure than playing at Alabama right now.
“I watched so many Alabama games because they’re on every week,” Reese said. “And there were so many times when I looked at DeVonta Smith and said, ‘Oh would I love to see him with the Eagles, but it’ll never happen. It’ll never, ever happen.’
“No. 1, the Eagles will never be in position to take him and No. 2, they’ll take a fireman who plays center. And lo and behold, they got DeVonta Smith. And when we were out there a couple of weeks ago, in a limited capacity, it was still so easy to see his talent.”
In addition to his thoughts on Smith, Reese also talked about what he expects from Jalen Hurts in Year 2, his early impressions of Nick Sirianni and the energy he brings and Reese also recounts his early days on television as a child actor in commercials.
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