What Smith learned about himself this spring


It’s safe to say DeVonta Smith is feeling at home already in Philadelphia.

The No. 10 pick is, by nature, a pretty quiet and reserved person. You could probably call him an introvert. Smith was a leader at Alabama but did it by example, rarely speaking up. Of course, when he did speak up, his teammates listened.

But after just a couple weeks at spring workouts with his new Eagles teammates, Smith is already feeling comfortable.

“I learned that I’m still growing more,” Smith said on Thursday afternoon. “I’ve kind of gotten out of my shell kind of quick. It was just like, I can be somebody that interacts with people a lot, that’s not always going to just be to themself.

“I feel like it goes mostly to just my teammates, the way they’ve accepted me and just how comfortable they made me feel. I’ve learned that I don’t always have to be this person that’s just in his shell.”

Smith, 22, said coming out of his shell “most definitely” happened quicker in Philadelphia than it did when he arrived in Alabama back in 2017.

He’s grown a lot since then.

“I was young going into Alabama,” Smith said. “I was young, just fresh out of high school, so it was just kind of like that’s the only thing I knew. As of now, I mean, I’m older, wiser. It’s just more stuff that I know. You have to be able to step outside your comfort zone to be able to do the things that you want to do.”


It’s not like Smith is all of a sudden going to be some loud and boisterous personality; that’s not him. But it’s reassuring that he’s already feeling this comfortable among his new coaches and teammates in Philadelphia.

The people closest to Smith say he’s not as shy or as quiet as he appears. But he has generally always kept a small circle.

“I would say if he don’t really know you personally, he probably wouldn’t talk to you as much,” Smith’s high school teammate Elijah Walker said to NBC Sports Philadelphia in an interview shortly after the draft. “I feel like he would probably have to learn you. But he’s not really quiet.”

Smith is confident, not cocky. And maybe that’s why he’s fit in so well over the last few weeks of full-team voluntary workouts.

In addition to his fellow receivers, Smith said he’s been spending the most time with his former Alabama teammate Jalen Hurts and veteran cornerback Darius Slay. Smith and Slay have been spending time after practice sharing football tips with one another. And there’s probably something to the idea that the ever-jovial Slay is helping Smith break out of his shell.

The Eagles will break for summer after their final voluntary practice on Friday. From then, Smith will be on his own until players begin reporting to training camp on July 27. He isn’t sure where he’ll be, but he knows he’ll be training and preparing for his rookie season.

He’ll be doing that with some change in his pocket. Smith on Thursday signed his rookie deal, which reportedly includes over $20 million guaranteed. Although, his answer about what he’s going to do with that extra scratch shouldn’t be all that surprising.

“Just put it in the bank,” he said. “That’s about it.”

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