WR Tre’Quan Smith, New Orleans Saints
Coming out of Central Florida, the so-called 2017 National Champions, Tre’Quan Smith has quietly been one of the most productive and consistent receivers in all of college football. Through three seasons, he totaled 2, 748 yards and 22 touchdowns on 168 receptions while helping the Golden Knights rebound from a 0-15 2015 season to an undefeated campaign in 2017. With an impressive resume, Smith declared early for the NFL draft and proceeded to impress at the combine. He recorded excellent numbers in many tests such as a 4.49 second 40-yard dash, 37.5-inch vertical jump, 6.97 second three-cone drill, and a nearly 11-foot broad jump. The combination of good college production and great athleticism bodes well for soon-to-be rookie.
The Scout’s Notes
Tre’Quan Smith has good size with his 6’2” 205-pound frame. He shows quick releases off the line of scrimmage and moves smoothly across the field. His best attribute is his excellent deep-ball tracking and high-point ability. He attacks the ball well down field and has no trouble bringing down contested throws. He makes good adjustments on poorly thrown balls and is comfortable along the sideline. His mid-range route running needs to sharpen before truly making an impact as an all-around receiver. Smith is a good run blocker and is not afraid to take on defenders to open holes for his runner.
Smith was taken by the Saints in the third round, but Sean Payton was quoted saying the team had a second round grade on Smith, so they must have big plans for the Central Florida product. Outside of Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara, the Saints do not have many viable receiving options, so expect Smith to jump in from day one and start opposite the record-setting Michael Thomas. As for his first year, Smith will likely have a few big gains and touchdowns but nothing more. From 2019 and beyond, Smith will be a great NFL receiver and fantasy WR3. Smith is sitting in most third rounds of dynasty rookie drafts, but with his upside and great landing spot, the mid-late second round would be a sneaky good place to take him and make all your league mates jealous this time next year.
The first play, starting at 0:59, Smith is lined up in the slot and simply runs a go route to try and beat his defender down the field. He does not have any separation, but as the ball approaches, Smith makes the necessary adjustment and uses his strong hands to come down the heavily contested throw. If he does this consistently in the NFL, his quarterback will build loads of trust with him and look to throw more of these his way.
The play beginning at 2:04, Smith lines up at the top of the screen and runs a simple five-yard curl route. When he notices the quarterback scrambling out of the pocket, he works back to sideline, stays extremely patient, and finally catches the pass. He then shakes a tackle and gains enough yardage for the first down.