Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith is primed for a breakout season in 2020
"I love Tre'Quan. I loved him coming out (of college). I spent a lot of time watching film on him before we decided to draft him. He's a unique player." - Saints WR Coach Ronald Curry
Tre’Quan Smith is a young and talented WR with good size at 6’2 and serviceable speed, but his transition to playing the slot position at the NFL level has been challenging for him. Smith has loads of potential and can become a quality NFL WR, especially in Sean Payton's offense. Yet, in his first two seasons, he has taken fans, coaches, and even fantasy experts on a roller coaster ride. Many have been left frustrated with Smith's lack of production and consistency.
Fighting the injury bug in 2019, Smith did not have many opportunities to shine for the Saints. He played in 11 games and caught 18 passes for 234 yards. His 5 TD catches matched his total from his rookie campaign in 2018. Despite the setbacks in his brief NFL career, Saints Sr. Assistant Offensive Coach Curtis Johnson has not lost faith in the UFC product.
With the emergence of QB Taysom Hill and TE Jared Cook at the end of the 2019 season, along with the signing of WR Emmanuel Sanders, Smith will have less room for mistakes in his third season with the Saints. 2020 could be a “Make or Break” season for Smith. He needs to be more explosive, create separation from DBs through traffic, and show a willingness to compete for footballs with strong hands. According to Saints WR Coach Ronald Curry, he is a smart player and cares about the game for football. The Saints offense has plenty of talent this upcoming season, and Smith's chances to showcase his talent could be fading. If it is opportunities that Smith needs, he better take advantage of every football thrown his direction in 2020.
The first two seasons of Tre’Quan Smith’s NFL career have been frustrating for many Saints fans. Since entering the league, Smith is the only Saints WR behind Michael Thomas in TD receptions at 10, while Ted Ginn, Jr. only had 4 TD during the same period. Smith, 24, has yet to find consistency in his play in the NFL. The 6’2, 210 lb WR made headlines his rookie season catching a 62-yard TD pass from Drew Brees to give Brees the record of most passing yards in an NFL career. Smith finished the game, on MNF, with 3 rec for 111 yards and 2 scores. Six weeks later, against the Eagles, Tre'Quan set a career-high with 10 rec for 152 yards and 1 TD. However, with every big moment that Smith provided, there are stretches of games where he disappears, and production is low.
The opportunities will come for Smith in 2020 as it appears he will be the Saints #3 WR. With the opportunities to learn from two of the best route runners in the NFL (Sanders and Thomas) and less expectation/pressure to perform as a #2 target, expect Smith to shine in 2020.
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