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2024 Schedule Release

Philadelphia Eagles News

Eagles select Ainias Smith with the 152nd overall pick

Ainias Smith
Ainias Smith

Chosen by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, No. 152 overall, with a pick acquired from Washington, Ainias Smith, a wide receiver from Texas A&M, hopes to be the third member of his family to play professional football.

His dad, Maurice Sr., enjoyed a nearly decade-long career as a defensive back and wide receiver in the CFL and Arena League. His brother, Maurice II, was a defensive back for three seasons in the NFL with Miami and Washington, and was picked in the 2023 XFL Draft by the Vegas Vipers.

Smith led Texas A&M in receiving yards in 2020 and in receptions the following season before breaking his right fibula and separating his ankle four games into the 2022 campaign. He underwent two surgeries and wore a cast for six months only to come back in 2023 and record a career-high 53 catches for 795 yards and two touchdowns, earning first-team All-SEC honors.

"All-Purpose" could have been Smith's nickname in college since he's the only 2,000-yard receiver in SEC history to also collect at least 250 yards on rush attempts, punt returns, and kickoff returns.

And the Missouri City, Texas native knew his way to the end zone, as well, with 19 receiving touchdowns, four rushing TDs, and scoring twice on punt returns.


50 Games (34 starts)

2,407 Receiving yards

13.4 Yards per catch

19 Receiving TDs

405 Rushing yards

4 Rushing TDs

836 Punt return yards

2 Punt return TDs


First-team All-SEC All-Purpose and Return Specialist (2023)

What Head Coach Nick Sirianni said: "Obviously, we were all really excited about him. It's great when you kind of watch a guy - obviously, when I'm starting to watch a guy, Howie has watched probably three or four times by the time I get to watch him one time, but it's always fun to go into his office and be, like, 'Hey, I love this guy.' I think that was definitely a guy that we did that with.

His ability to run after the catch. His ability to get in and out of breaks. I think he is extremely tough. I love that about him. That's really what sticks out. Catches the ball really well.

Those are the things that really stick out. It's going to be fun to see how we can get him the football and different ways that he can contribute both on special teams and on offense."

What Director of Player Personnel Alan Wolking said: "Instincts. Versatility. Toughness. With Ainias, you see the ability to multi-align. He's in the backfield, he's in the slot, and he runs a variety of routes. The punt return stuff really kind of shows how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands. He's really good as a punt returner. He's a guy that we thought might be in last year's draft class, so we had a full evaluation from last year, and so coming into this year we had a great idea of the player and he just built off of that. He did a nice job of rounding out his resume this year."

Scouting Report

  • Smooth athlete who has quickness to get in and out of breaks and enough speed to be a playmaker at all three levels of the field.
  • Played both running back and slot receiver in college and offers position versatility moving into the league.
  • Accomplished punt returner and kickoff returner in college; scored a pair of special teams touchdowns.
  • Very tough with the ball in his hands; excelled after the catch and his experience as a return man shows up on offense.
  • Has shake and snap as a route runner with excellent flashes of being able to create separation for himself. Looks great on double moves.

Key Numbers

  • According to Pro Football Focus, he caught 94.7 percent of the catchable targets in his direction last season, which was one of the highest marks in the class and ranks in the 92nd percentile of all receivers drafted in the last decade.
  • Has played 351 snaps on A&M's "core four" special teams units (kickoff, kickoff return, punt, and punt return) over the course of his career, one of the highest numbers at receiver in the last 10 drafts.

From first-round pick CB Quinyon Mitchell at No. 22 overall to G/C Dylan McMahon to close out the Eagles' 2024 NFL Draft in the sixth round, check out these photos of all nine selections.

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