Jets Tab Ohio St. WR Devin Smith with 2nd Pick

Posted May 1, 2015

Smith, Latest Buckeyes Draftee to Join Green & White, Averaged 28.2 yards on 33 catches as Senior

Updated, 11:44 p.m. ET

The Jets kicked off night two and Round 2 of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago with a go-route, selecting their first offensive player of the draft, speedy Ohio State wide receiver Devin Smith, with the fifth pick of the night, No. 37 overall.

Smith (6'0", 196) joins first-round selected DE Leonard Williams as the newest additions to head coach Todd Bowles' first Jets team at positions that had been beefed up during the unrestricted free agency signing period but have gotten even more fortified with their first two picks of the draft.

"When I heard it was the Jets, I was very excited," Smith told newyorkjets.com's Eric Allen via videoconference from the green room at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago. "It's a whole new chapter in my life and I'm looking forward to bringing whatever I can to this team.

"Oh man, I'm looking forward to teaming up with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker and coming in and learning as much as I can and just grasping everything I can. All the information they're going to give me, I'm going to take it and try to add it to my game and become the best player I can be."

Smith, a senior on the Buckeyes' national championship team crowned in January, averaged one touchdown every 4.0 receptions in his four-year career. He averaged an FBS-leading 28.2 yards/catch as a senior with 931 yards on 33 receptions, and he led the Big Ten with 12 receiving touchdowns. And he finished his OSU career with 121 catches for 2,503 yards and 30 TDs.

At the NFL Combine in February he turned in a 4.42-second 40-yard dash, a 39" vertical leap and a 10'2" broad jump.

That has some draft analysts thinking Smith is a one-trick pony, just a nine-route runner. But general manager Mike Maccagnan said he and his draft team saw a more complete receiver when they scouted him.

"What stood out on tape is that Devin has the vertical skills to stretch the field," Maccagnan said. "We felt his hands were good, and at the Senior Bowl we thought he had all the skills, quickness out of his breaks, ability to track the ball.

"Then at his pro day he ran a variety of routes. You could see all the physical ability there to be able to do it. I know he could be perceived as only a deep threat, but the grouping of players there, he provided the best value return and fit for what we were looking for at that point in time."

As Smith learns to become a more complete pro wideout, some analysts suggested he could work in as a gunner on punt coverage. He agrees.

"Yeah, I think I have versatility, not just on offense but on special teams as well. I was a gunner on punt coverage and I feel that I was very, very effective on that unit," he told Allen. "I feel I can do it all, inside and outside and also produce on special teams as well."

Smith is the 12th Ohio State player selected by the Jets since 1963 and the sixth taken in the first round. Our first Buckeye first-rounder was RB Matt Snell, their most recent was DE Vernon Gholston in 2008. We also took T Dave Foley first in 1969, T Chris Ward fourth overall in 1978, and C Nick Mangold at No. 29 in 2006.

We have had six previous 37th overall picks in the draft. The most recent was CB Terry Williams out of Bethune-Cookman in 1988 and the most prominent easily was C Jim Sweeney out of Pitt in 1984. Sweeney spent the first 11 seasons of his 16-year career with the Jets and made a remarkable 162 starts in a 165-game span from late in his rookie season through 1994, with the only misses coming during the three 1987 replacement games.



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