Despite not being able to move up on day two of the draft, the Saints still found a way to land an impact player late in the third round. The Saints brought in UCF’s explosive WR Tre’Quan Smith. Smith comes from UCF and Scott Frost’s 9th nationally rated team in total offense. He compiled 59 catches for 1,171 receiving yards, and 13 touchdowns. He averaged 19.8 yards per catch and is a perennial deep threat while possessing many other positive traits.
The 6’2″ 203 pound receiver has 33 3/8″ long arms, which is insane. For reference, Michael Thomas has just over 32″ arms at 6’3″. Smith uses his long arms to make some pretty great contested catches. Scouts tend to knock him on being able to make catches outside of his frame, but as you can see below, that might not be too much of a concern at all.
Luke Pradas, our staff scouthad some pretty high praise for Smith with some evaulation that you don’t often see for wideouts. He mentioned that Smith does a hell of a job selling his routes during run plays. A great quality to see in a wide receiver especially after the Saints often over the 7-9 years were being criticized for telegraphing run plays. Receivers breaking the huddle early, not selling routes, personnel tells are all a thing of the past when you add high-quality players who aren’t in it for themselves. Tre’Quan comes off as a big time team guy, which makes sense with what he and his teammates achieved at UCF.
All of this without even mentioning Smith’s outstanding speed. Ran a sub-4.50 40 in the combine with a low of 4.40 at an earlier point. He’s a blazer who can change direction and drop speed when necessary. He’s also a hell of a blocker, just to throw that out there. 78% of his catches in 2017 went for first downs, which should be helpful for us on third down. You can also see the tweet below from John Sigler regarding his percentage for first downs and touchdowns.
That’s career receptions, y’all. This dude is no joke and he’s going to be a great addition to the Saints offensive attack. Should Ted Ginn’s time with us come to an end within the next few year, Smith is a more than adequate option to fill the deep threat role. Right now, his focus will be on complementing the already stack WR corps and learning what he can from some absolute monsters. I suspect we’ll see him rotationally all over the offense sort of like what Deverey Henderson was. The Saints now have (at least) two wide receivers that can play all over the field in their scheme and adding Smith just makes it even more dynamic.