DeVonta Smith's debut as a Philadelphia Eagle in Thursday night's preseason matchup with the Patriots was basically the only silver lining in an otherwise brutal night for the Birds.
Smith had a slow start to his night with Joe Flacco stepping in as starting quarterback and missing his spot on a few throws to the rookie, but Smith eventually saw a few catchable balls and he turned in a few highlights in his first outing at the Linc in an Eagles jersey.
The best play of the night from the No. 10 overall pick was probably this third down route, where he turns on a dime and shakes the opposing corner all the way down Broad Street:
It's not a big, flashy display, but the way Smith moves his hips and feet are just textbook fundamentals for a wide receiver. A guy in his first-ever NFL action who already has those things down? It's exactly what you're looking for from a WR1 and a guy you take that high in the draft.
Thursday's action was small but encouraging, and a former wide receiver who used to turn heads in the AFC took notice.
Ex-Bengals wide receiver Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, a six-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro selection, is a prolific tweeter, and he was apparently watching his old team the Pats on Thursday night in their preseason action because he had a rave (and explicit) review of Smith's performance at halftime:
Look, Chad, I need you to chill out on the profanity - but I also understand why you're so excited.
Smith looked really sharp tonight. He was constantly open in the first half, with the Pats' starters still on the field, and he still looked extremely fast against NFL talent. The concerns about his size might surface at some point during the season, but they certainly didn't matter on Thursday.
I have a feeling Smith is going to be a fantastic NFL wide receiver, and when a guy like Johnson tweets something like this, I have to think I'm right.
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