The New Orleans Saints have a myriad of contenders to step up as the #2 (or #3, depending on how you feel about Ted Ginn Jr) wide receiver. There’s Tre’Quan Smith, Keith Kirkwood, Austin Carr, Lil’Jordan Humphrey, Rishard Matthews, Cameron Meredith, and Emmanuel Butler, all vying for snaps as one of Drew Brees’s pass-catchers.
But when Bleacher Report named the biggest sleeper for each NFL team, they tabbed Tre’Quan Smith as that player for the New Orleans Saints:
Tre’Quan Smith could become a breakout playmaker in the upcoming season. Although he showed inconsistencies through his rookie campaign, catching one or no passes in eight out of 15 games, the UCF product also flashed against the Washington Redskins (three receptions for 111 yards and two touchdowns) and Philadelphia Eagles (10 catches for 157 yards and a score).
With wideout Ted Ginn Jr. going into a contract year, Smith will have an opportunity to take over the No. 2 spot on the depth chart behind Michael Thomas. As a receiver who can stretch plays after the catch or go vertical, the 23-year-old possesses limitless potential with an accurate quarterback like Drew Brees under center.
The New Orleans Saints invested a third-round pick in Smith last year. After playing 54 percent of the offensive snaps and showcasing his skill set in splashes, Smith may see more targets from Brees during the regular season if he stands out this summer.
Tre’Quan showed flashes of brilliance in 2018, but it seemed to only occur against weaker secondaries.
When the Saints played tougher opponents with stronger secondaries, Tre’Quan seemed to disappear and showed why teams chose to pass on him in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft.
It is to be determined if Tre’Quan is able to take that big step forward in his sophomore year that so many of us are hoping for.