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Draft Analyst Predicts Houston QB Donovan Smith as 2025 NFL First-Round Pick

Nov 18, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Cougars quarterback Donovan Smith (1) runs the ball during the first quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys at TDECU Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

While the name Donovan Smith may be familiar among fans of the Big 12, the NFL ranks are likely less familiar with his game.

Despite little buzz from most major outlets about Smith’s NFL Draft stock, one analyst at Pro Football Network believes the Houston signal-caller has first-round upside.


Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings made an incredibly bold claim on Friday, projecting Smith to be drafted in the first round of the 2025 NFL Draft.

“Heading into the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Smith grades out as a top-75 prospect and a worthy early-round candidate at the quarterback position,” Cummings said. “With more sustained growth in 2024, he can work his way into the first-round conversation. If I had to bet on another quarterback to join Carson Beck in Round One, that player would be Donovan Smith.”

While Donovan Smith’s stats may not look like those of a typical first-round quarterback, Smith is without question one of the nation’s top dual-threat quarterbacks and boasts impressive ability in the rushing attack.

The Nevada native is coming off the best season of his career in 2023 with 2,801 passing yards and a touchdown to interception ratio of 22-13. He also recorded 138 carries for 428 yards and six scores as a junior.

While NFL quarterback prospects come in all shapes and sizes from colleges across the world, it still feels pretty early to start handing out first-round grades for Donovan Smith.

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