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Built-In Improvements

DeVonta Smith will be heading into his second year in the NFL and the second year running this offense, which can only help his game improve. He is now familiar with the coach, quarterback, and the system. Smith and Hurts will hopefully continue building on the chemistry they already have leading to more success on the field. Further he will be in his second season as a pro and has more experience on how to handle the travel and business of football. 

Smith should get better physically this year too. Although I never see him overcoming the slim frame, he should be in better shape this season after having an entire NFL off-season.

The addition of AJ Brown is huge for Smith. Now he no longer holds the burden of being the number one receiver. This has a couple of different positive factors. Some of which are less pressure, fewer double teams, and second-string corners covering him.

All three of the above should help DeVonta Smith improve in his second season as an Eagle.


Expectations

Before looking into expectations, here is what Smith’s first year looked like:

2021-22: 64 receptions, 916 yards, and 5 touchdowns. (See predictions for this season at the bottom.) 

I see Smith having another tremendous season. The uber talented rookie showed out last year and was the clear number one on the team. He should build on his stats from last season, but I am not sure if he will reach that 1,000 yard mark. The addition of Brown will help his receptions and touchdown stats, but I think it will hinder him from reaching 1,000 yards. I still think his yardage improves, just not quite enough.

Also, there is no Zach Ertz this year, and I believe the Eagles will see a different Dallas Goedert as the clear starting tight end. Goedert should be a factor in creating open looks for Smith. Two huge targets in Goedert and Brown could help Smith dominate one-on-one coverage with this slick route running, especially in the end-zone.

Depending on the improvement of Hurts and the overall offense, the Eagles should be a much more dynamic team offensively. Smith doesn’t necessarily need to make considerable strides to have a successful season because he already is such a talented player. However, he will be a focal point of the offense and should have a big sophomore season.

2022-23 Predictions: 72 receptions, 966 yards, 8 touchdowns



Photo Credit: Todd Kirkland/GettyImages

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