DeVonta Smith: Alabama connection with Jalen Hurts can only help so much

CFP National Championship Presented by AT&T - Ohio State v Alabama
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One of the assumed benefits of receiver Devonta Smith heading to the Eagles at No. 10 overall was his built-in chemistry with quarterback Jalen Hurts.

The two played together at Alabama in 2017 and 2018. Smith has called Hurts “my guy,” noting how during Smith’s recruiting process, Hurts wanted the wideout to join him with the Crimson Tide.

But Smith isn’t overestimating what that college connection will mean at the highest level.

It can only help so much. You have to continue that. So we have to continue building from that,” Smith said during his Wednesday press conference. “I mean, just because we had that connection in college doesn’t mean that it’s the same now. We’ve both grown as players. We both have things that we’ve added to our game. So we have to build from that and get better. I feel like whatever we did in college, it has nothing to do with now because things have changed over time.”

It has been a while since Smith and Hurts played together. By the time Smith emerged as one of Alabama’s top receiving threats in 2019, Hurts had transferred to Oklahoma. Hurts also gained a year of NFL experience while Smith was winning the Heisman Trophy in 2020.

Time will tell how much the previous experience between the two men will help in their development and overall success as an offense. But it’s unlikely to hurt the Eagles in 2021 and beyond.