An intriguing player from last season was Wide Receiver Devin Smith. The former second-round pick was a reclamation project for the Dallas Cowboys and flashed some good things in limited opportunities. Was it enough to earn him further consideration in 2020?
A college teammate of Ezekiel Elliott’s at Ohio State, Devin was drafted 37th overall by the Jets in 2015. After a slow start in New York as a rookie, Smith suffered knee injuries the next few years that nearly derailed his career. He’d only caught 10 passes before the Cowboys picked him up after the 2018 season ended.
Things were looking good for Smith in Dallas after a hot preseason. Devin had 14 catches for 188 yards and a score in August, then had a 51-yard touchdown in the Week 2 victory over the Redskins.
When starter Michael Gallup had to miss the next two games with his own knee injury, there was the thought that Smith might be able to really shine. But despite starting in both weeks, Devin only caught two of five passes against Miami and then disappeared completely in the Cowboys’ loss to New Orleans.
That Saints game was the last time Devin Smith would even be active in 2019. Tavon Austin eventually took over as the 4th receiver while Smith also started battling a knee injury.
So no, Devin’s contributions last season weren’t much. But were they enough that the 28-year-old receiver deserves another look in 2020?
The Cowboys have several young receivers under contract for this season. Assuming they reach agreements with Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb, the stable already holds Gallup, Noah Brown, Cedrick Wilson, Lance Lenoir, and Jon’Vea Johnson among other prospects.
Even though Devin Smith has been in the NFL since 2015 he’s barely played, and at 28 there may not be much more room for him to grow. The Cowboys may decide it’s better to invest their energy into younger players.
However, there was a time that Smith barely fell out of the first-round of an NFL Draft. And at only a $735k hit to the 2020 salary cap, Devin isn’t much more expensive than the undrafted guys around him on the WR depth chart.
It will be an interesting decision for the Cowboys to make this offseason. Devin Smith may have more upside than anyone apart from Cooper, Gallup, and Cobb, but after five disappointing seasons there may not be much more room for faith.