Quinnen Williams lobbying Jets to draft Devonta Smith in first round

Devonta Smith NFL Draft

The New York Jets lost the 2021 NFL draft sweepstakes — otherwise known as the race for Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence — to the Jacksonville Jaguars at the end of the 2020 season because of a bizarre winning streak that ultimately meant nothing. At all.

Now armed with the second overall pick, there’s a debate in New York whether that selection should be used on the next-best quarterback in the class, be it Ohio State’s Justin Fields or BYU’s Zach Wilson.

But if defensive lineman Quinnen Williams had his way, he’d give Sam Darnold another year behind center and help him with one of his former Alabama teammates in wide receiver Devonta Smith.

“I’m wishin’!” Williams told TMZ Sports when asked about the chances of Smith landing with the Jets. “I’m saying it right now, I’m wishin’!

“Devonta Smith got that ‘Bama in him. We need someone with that. Man, he’s amazing.”

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Smith was the most dominant skill player in college football last year and was a massive reason why Alabama was crowned champion. He ended the season with 117 catches for 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns in 13 games and was the winner of the 2020 Heisman Trophy.

The problem with Smith’s projection as a pro, however, is his frame. At 6-1 and a shade over 170 pounds, Smith doesn’t fit the traditional profile of the kind of wide receiver who’s drafted in the top 10.

According to Williams, that doesn’t matter.

“If we get him,” Williams said, “he’s going to be a dynamic attribute for Sam.”

If the Jets have their heart set on Smith, they should look to trade down with a quarterback-hungry team before spending the second pick on him. Maybe the Falcons would look to move up from No. 4 overall to guarantee they get their homegrown stud in Fields. Maybe the Panthers will get aggressive and try to move higher than their No. 8 overall pick. If so, New York would be wise to slide down, grab a bounty of picks, and still end up with Smith, who despite his statistical dominance is still a somewhat risky prospect to draft in the top 10.

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Bryan Perez

Bryan is the founder of Pro Football Draft. His work has been featured on NBC Sports and USA Today. Former CFL scout.

Follow him on Twitter: @BryanPerezNFL