Typically you don’t want to select wide receivers in the first round. There are so many really good ones who are selected in the later rounds. Most recently, Tee Higgins, Michael Pittman, Chase Claypool and Gabriel Davis. But Devonta Smith sure was impressive in the national championship game last night.

It’s rare to see a wide receiver catch 15 passes for 212 yards and 3 TDs in a game. Smith did it in a half – and against a defense with a lot of players who’ll wind up in the NFL. Ohio State simply couldn’t cover him.

Smith isn’t as big as you’d like. He’s 6-foot-1 but weighs only 175. So for size, you’re looking at a slightly taller version or DeSean Jackson or Hollywood Brown. But Smith is remarkably quick with the ball in his hands. He showed that in the Notre Dame game, and again on a couple of plays last night. They get the ball to him and there’s a defender in place to get him on the ground, and Smith gets around the edge anyway.

I am aware that the two Alabama wide receives selected with top-15 picks a year ago were underwhelming as rookies – both Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy. But Smith is a lot better than either of those guys. He scored 24 touchdowns this year; that’s 6 more than the combined total of those other two a year ago.

Smith’s 24 touchdowns (including 1 run), in fact, is 4 more than any of the wide receivers chosen in the first round over the last 10 years. He also finished with 123 more receiving yards than what any of those other guys did (in their final college seasons).

I understand the size concerns, but Smith looks like he’s going to give a big boost to whatever NFL team is able to secure his services.

2021?Devonta SmithAlabama1171,85615.924
201615Corey Coleman, Clev.Baylor741,36318.420
20175Corey Davis, Tenn.Western Michigan971,50015.519
20179John Ross, Cin.Washington811,15014.219
201420Brandin Cooks, N.O.Oregon State1281,73013.518
202022Justin Jefferson, Minn.Louisiana State1111,54013.918
20125Justin Blackmon, Jac.Oklahoma State1211,52212.618
201327DeAndre Hopkins, Hou.Clemson821,40517.118
20154Amari Cooper, Oak.Alabama1241,72713.916
202017CeeDee Lamb, Dall.Oklahoma621,32721.415
201428Kelvin Benjamin, Car.Florida State541,01118.715
201220Kendall Wright, Tenn.Baylor1081,66315.414
201622Josh Doctson, Wash.Texas Christian791,32716.814
201621Will Fuller, Hou.Notre Dame621,25820.314
20144Sammy Watkins, Buff.Clemson1011,46414.512
20147Mike Evans, T.B.Texas A&M691,39420.212
201520Nelson Agholor, Phil.Southern Cal1041,31312.612
20138Tavon Austin, St.L.West Virginia1141,28911.312
20177Mike Williams, LACClemson981,36113.911
201623Laquon Treadwell, Minn.Mississippi821,15314.111
20157Kevin White, Chi.West Virginia1091,44713.310
201925Marquise Brown, Balt.Oklahoma751,31817.610
202015Jerry Jeudy, Den.Alabama771,16315.110
201932N'Keal Harry, N.E.Arizona State731,08814.910
201529Phillip Dorsett, Ind.Miami3687124.210
202025Brandon Aiyuk, S.F.Arizona State651,19218.39
201412Odell Beckham Jr., NYGLouisiana State591,15219.59
201213Michael Floyd, Ariz.Notre Dame1001,14711.59
201526Breshad Perriman, Balt.Central Florida501,04420.99
201824DJ Moore, Car.Maryland801,03312.99
20114A.J. Green, Cin.Georgia5784814.99
201230A.J. Jenkins, S.F.Illinois901,27614.28
202012Henry Ruggs, L.V.Alabama4074618.78
20116Julio Jones, Atl.Alabama781,13314.57
202021Jalen Reagor, Phil.Texas Christian4361114.26
201826Calvin Ridley, Atl.Alabama6396715.35
201514DeVante Parker, Mia.Louisville4385519.95
201126Jon Baldwin, K.C.Pittsburgh5382215.55
201329Cordarrelle Patterson, Minn.Tennessee4677816.95

—Ian Allan