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2021 On Tap Sports Net NFL Mock Draft: Chicago Bears – Pick #20

With Allen Robinson likely departing Chicago after 2021, the Bears find his replacement in Alabama WR Devonta Smith.

Devonta Smith NFL Draft
Photo: John David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears offseason to date has been downright laughable. The team brought in Andy Dalton and named him the starting quarterback, cut Kyle Fuller outright, and the Allen Robinson saga is still ongoing.

The 2020 Bears lacked an identity offensively and it ultimately led to their downfall in the playoffs against the New Orleans Saints. Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace will return, but I don’t believe a single soul outside that pair and maybe George McCaskey know whether or not the duo will be here past this season. The fact of the matter is it does not appear the Bears will be extending Allen Robinson when his franchise tag deal expires after this season, so why not go after his replacement now?

With the 20th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, I have our Chicago Bears selecting the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama wide receiver Devonta Smith.

Meet The Prospect

In the video above, you see a freshman in Devonta Smith grabbing the game-winning touchdown on the biggest stage in college football. Smith finished his time in Tuscaloosa with 235 catches, 3,965 yards, and 47 touchdowns, and those aren’t even his most impressive stats. He also concluded his college career with an incredible 16.9 YPC average.

When Jaylen Waddle went down early during Alabama’s 2020 season, Smith instantly became Mac Jones’s new favorite target, which was enough to catapult Devonta Smith to the 2020 Heisman Trophy. 117 catches, almost 2,000 yards, and 23 touchdowns allowed Smith to run away with the award, and he capped it all off with a phenomenal performance against Ohio State in the National Championship game. Smith logged 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in his curtain call game for the Crimson Tide as they went on to take home the title in convincing fashion.

Devonta Smith is a deep threat who can take the top off any defense. He created second-to-none levels of separation on his routes during his time at Alabama, and his statistics and trophy case are proof of that. Smith opted out of Alabama’s pro day but showed lightning-fast speed and a gear that most defensive backs could not keep up with at the collegiate level. He was downright dominant at Alabama and similar to his counterpart in this year’s draft, Jaylen Waddle, he did it with three different quarterbacks in Mac Jones, Jalen Hurts, and Tua Tagovailoa.

Offensive coordinators can line Smith up in the slot or out wide due to the fact he can complete the end-around play, which the Bears will absolutely need to take advantage of should they end up drafting him. Along with his exceptional hands, Smith is quick in and out of his cuts, which helps make him the polished route runner that he is. Additionally, Smith did see a little bit of time on special teams for Alabama and even ran a punt back during his senior season, the only year he returned any kicks or punts.

If Devonta Smith falls to pick #20, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy will be salivating at what could be with the talented Alabama product. Most 2021 NFL mock drafts have Rashod Bateman going here if a receiver is the pick, but the Bears would be utterly foolish to pass up on the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner if he is available at #20 overall.

It’s important to keep in mind that the Bears have traded several draft picks in recent history, so don’t be surprised to see potential movement at this spot as well. For the sake of this exercise, our mock draft did not entail any trades, so this was the pick that made the most sense. It’s also a pick I hope to see executed on draft day by our Chicago Bears.

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