Updated Oct. 2, 2020
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.
Alabama produced a rare feat in the 2020 NFL Draft when the program had two players from the same position selected in the top half of the first round. Wide receivers Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy were both taken quickly on the opening night of the 2020 NFL Draft, and another Alabama receiving duo looks destined to be first-round picks for the upcoming draft, Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. Sources from seven different teams said they thought both of those Crimson Tide wideouts would go in the first round, and a few believed that Waddle would go as top-16 pick next April in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Multiple team sources compared Waddle to Kansas City Chiefs star receiver Tyreek Hill. Waddle's explosive speed and game-changing ability have some evaluators believing he could go in the No. 10-15 range of the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and those scouts think Waddle is a better prospect than Ruggs. A few teams had Waddle lower, saying they felt that he needed to become more of a polished receiver and less of a gadget player, but one director of college scouting said Hill was not a polished route runner when he entered the NFL and the explosive gadget players are being utilized better by coaches than some similar prospects in the past.
Evaluators love the polished and well-rounded play of Smith. His refined route-running, reliable hands, yards-after-the-catch skills, and overall receiving ability have many saying he is a natural football player. Smith, however, is very thin-framed, which has has some grading him as a late first-round or early second-round pick. He is listed at 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, and that weight is very undersized for the NFL. Even though some have him on the bubble between Round 1 and 2, the expectation from all seven sources is that Smith is more likely to be picked in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Of course a lot can and will change in the lead up to the 2021 NFL Draft, but as the SEC season gets going, the consensus opinion in the scouting community is that Alabama will make it back-to-back drafts with two wide receivers going in the first round.