2. DeVonta Smith
Wide receiver DeVonta Smith is getting hot at the worst possible time for the Saints.
The rookie hasn’t enjoyed nearly as productive a season as, say, Ja’Marr Chase has, but he’s still been impacting his team in a big way.
The No. 10 pick caught nine passes for over 170 yards and three scores in the last two weeks and is the most reliable pass-catcher Philly has right now.
That may say more about the overall state of the Eagles’ wide receiving corps than it does about Smith, but despite his occasional inconsistencies, he’s the top downfield threat for Philly who also happens to have great chemistry with quarterback Jalen Hurts.
In 2021, Smith has recorded 42 catches for 603 yards and four scores. He’s currently averaging more yards per game than any Eagles wide receiver since 2015 and is on track to be the first Eagles wideout to achieve a 1,000-yard season since Jeremy Maclin in 2014.
That fact definitely says more about the plethora of disappointing Philly’s wide receivers in recent history. Still, Smith is elite, and no one can deny that.
Smith had some of his best games against the toughest secondaries (Carolina and Denver, for two) and he could break out against the Saints in Week 11.
If NOLA want to eliminate the run game for Philly, they’ll have to contend with a red-hot Smith scorching down the sidelines. He’s the X-factor in a game that could come down to a difference of one or two scores.
We expect the Eagles’ biggest plays to include Smith, so New Orleans will have to be on their toes.