The NFL draft is just days away, and by this point each player has been analyzed, scrutinized, and romanticized by every NFL guru from Kalamazoo to Calcutta. We here at pigskinpress.com turn once again to our director of scouting Nathan Cooper to help us look deeper into the draft at some guys from the group of five that may be a real steal on draft day!
Tre’Quan Smith College: Central Florida
Position: Wide Receiver
Hometown: Delray Beach, FL
Games Scouted: 2017 #4 @ Cincinnati, #10 Temple (Live), #11 South Florida, #13 Auburn,
Smith projects as a #2 receiver at the next level with the ability to play outside and inside on all downs. At UCF, he played primarily on the outside, but did slide inside quite a bit. UCF’s offense is a system that runs a lot of RPO’s and screens with some deeper route concepts sprinkled in. He is a very good athlete who competes and shows very good toughness in all aspects of the game. In the run game, he shows tremendous toughness and willingness as a blocker. He does a great job squaring up his defender and driving his hands into their chest while keeping his feet moving. Smith was the main blocker for the majority of the quick and bubble screens that UCF’s offense ran and was a large part of why they were so successful. In the pass game, he shows strong, natural hands. He shows the ability to go up and get the ball at its highest point a majority of the time, but sometimes lets the ball come into his body which could be due to him only having 9” hands. He does a great job making catches in traffic, especially down the field. When it comes to his stance, he seems to line up inconsistently from snap-to-snap. His front foot is cock-eyed and forces him to take an initial false step to straighten it out and get himself off the LOS. Sometimes he lines up taller in his stance and sometimes he will crouch down. On the times he stands up taller, he will sometimes get a bad release against press due to him taking the false step and exposing his chest to the defender. When he is crouched, he does a relatively good job getting off the line and playing strong when contacted. He shows good speed and deep threat ability and shows a suddenness and burst in the open field. When he gets a clean release and is able to separate on deep routes, he doesn’t always stack the defender and sometimes allows them to come back into the play. Once he catches the ball, he shows good RAC ability and is able to break tackles for even more yardage. He ran a limited NFL route tree and will need to become crisper in his overall route running. However, he does show good spatial awareness to sit in open holes against zone defense. On 3rd downs, Smith won’t have a problem playing outside or inside. He didn’t contribute much as a special teams player in college and didn’t return kicks, but should be effective on teams like kickoff and punt due to his play speed and toughness. Smith should come in Day 1 and compete for playing time as a receiver and contribute on teams. He shouldn’t have any problem becoming a solid #2 receiver by his second season.
NFL Comparison: Breshad Perriman, Ravens (1st Round, 2015) Smith and Perriman have very similar size and skills. They both bring good hands and a great catch radius with the ability to make plays down the field, but they are raw in their route-running.
Grade: 6.7 (Late 1st-Early 2nd)
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