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Nick Sirianni’s honest take on DeVonta Smith after A.J. Brown trade will excite Eagles fans

Philadelphia Eagles, Nick Sirianni, DeVonta Smith, A.J. Brown

For the second year in a row, the Philadelphia Eagles bolstered their wide receiver depth during the opening round of an NFL Draft. This time around, the Eagles went all in to acquire A.J. Brown from the Tennessee Titans for a pair of draft picks.

After a rookie season in which he garnered plenty of attention from opposing defensive backs, DeVonta Smith will now not have such a hefty responsibility to lead Philadelphia’s wide receiver corps thanks to Brown now being in the fold.

For Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni, as he touched on during a press conference on Thursday, he sees that Smith will much benefit from the team’s addition of the one-time Pro Bowler.

“It’s a good complement” Sirianni said. “He’s [Brown] a bigger guy with a lot of play strength. Like I said, this is one of the stronger receivers in the NFL. … And this guy has shown in the NFL that he will win one-on-one matchups.

“Again, I know I keep saying it, but it just sticks out. The way he wins with his play strength, the way he wins with his quickness. … And no one thought [WR] DeVonta [Smith] was a secret, he won the Heisman Trophy. But there’s still a prove it factor for a lot of these defensive coordinators in the NFL. This is going to make that an awful lot harder for defenses to do with the proven commodity like A.J. Brown on the opposite side of him.

“I think most definitely this helps, obviously, our passing game and this helps DeVonta. It’s just good for the Eagles.”

Smith had a potent season in his rookie campaign last year, recording 64 receptions for 916 receiving yards and five receiving touchdowns. From slot assignments to downfield plays, the Eagles opened up the playbook for him last season.

Cornerbacks in the NFC East will now have quite a task to not only help to contain Smith but also attempt to slow down Brown’s quickness in the open field, which was on display during his run in Tennessee. Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen is set to have plenty to work with come Week 1 of the 2022 season.