Tre’Quan Smith, WR, Central Florida
(percentile rank among all WRs at the Combine since 1999, courtesy of mockdraftable.com):
40-yard dash: 4.49 seconds (58th)
Vertical: 37.5” (77th)
Broad: 130” (93rd)
3-cone: 6.97 seconds (41st)
20-yard shuttle: 4.5 seconds (3rd)
After being redshirted in 2014, Smith led a bad Central Florida passing game in catches, yards and TDs in his debut season. No one else on that squad topped 21 catches or 264 yards. Smith was especially productive at the tail end of the season, racking up 283 yards and 2 scores over his final 3 games.
That momentum carried over to 2016, with Smith setting new career highs across the board and again leading the Knights in all major receiving categories. He accounted for 31.3% of the team’s receiving yards and 35.7% of the TDs.
The Central Florida passing game came to life this past year, ranking 9th in yards and 5th in TDs. That fueled a true breakout campaign for Smith, who again led the team in catches, yards and TDs. His 13 scores tied for 4th in the country, and his 19.8 yards per catch ranked 2nd among guys with 50+ grabs (behind only Oklahoma State’s James Washington). 20 of Smith’s 59 grabs went for 20+ yards.
He also posted strong efficiency marks, ranking 14th among draft-eligibles in Pro Football Focus’ yards per route run and 6th in my yards per target differential metric.
Courtesy of Cut Up Corner
Games watched - Maryland, Memphis, Memphis rematch, Auburn
Smith was a downfield dynamo for Central Florida. He hauled in 17 of 24 targets 20+ yards downfield for 649 yards and 9 scores last year, according to Pro Football Focus. No one in this draft class tallied more TDs on deep passes.
Smith combines crafty moves off the line of scrimmage with impressive acceleration to quickly get behind his defender. And once he gets a step, he has enough speed so that very few guys are going to catch him.
And when he doesn’t create separation, Smith uses his 6’2 frame, a nice vertical and long arms (33 3/8 inches, 87th percentile) to win the ball in the air. He might just be the best contested-catch receiver in this draft class.
Smith isn’t super dynamic after the catch, but he’s willing and able to put his head down and break a few tackles.
Smith feasted on some weaker competition in the American Athletic Conference. But he closed his college career with a nice 5-catch, 89-yard outing against SEC power Auburn, who ranked 27th in pass defense last year.
Knocks against Smith? We don’t see him running a wide variety of routes for Central Florida, although he was effective on comebacks and outs. Smith was also charged with a subpar 9.2% drop rate by Pro Football Focus last year. He had a pair of ugly drops in the 4 games I watched.
Smith pulled off the rare feat of leading his team in catches, receiving yards and receiving TDs in all 3 of his seasons at Central Florida. The tape shows a dominant downfield WR with plus acceleration, speed and ball skills. And he tested as a 65th percentile athlete.
So Smith checks all the boxes. But he seems to be flying under the radar so far. The composite rankings over at Dynasty League Football have him just 34th overall and 12th among WRs.
We’ll see when and where he goes in the NFL Draft, but Smith has the look of a value pick in dynasty rookie drafts and maybe even a sleeper in 2018 redraft leagues.