With the off season all-star games, combine, and pro days behind us, all eyes are on the NFL Draft.
And, with the receiver class not being as deep as it has been in past years, some good wide outs from our state are flying under the radar.
FSU’s Auden Tate, UCF’s Tre’Quan Smith, and USF’s Marquez Valdes-Scantling are names that you should be paying attention to for late April.
Tate was one of the lone bright spots for the Seminoles last season. He had 40 receptions for 548 yards and an impressive ten touchdowns. A negative since the season ended, is Tate didn’t help himself with his 40 times at both the combine and pro day.
However, At 6’5 he showed he could be a big target, plays to his size and flashed the ability to body up and box out defenders in space. His stat line probably could have had him in the second or third round, but his 40 times could make him a 4th round steal.
A team needing a big wideout, like the 49ers could give him a call.
Meanwhile, Tre’Quan Smith was one of the critical factors to UCFs undefeated season. We have written about Smith’s 2017, where had 59 receptions for 1,171 yards and a whopping 13 touchdowns. He had a 70.8 percent of his deep targets (second in the nation), and tying for the national lead with nine touchdowns on deep passes.
If the speedster Smith can consistently beat press coverage he could be a very good pick for a team in the third round or maybe sooner.
A team like the Panthers who need another deep threat could give him the call.
Finally, Valdes-Scantling, the least heralded of this group, may have the nest tools. He had 59 receptions for 879 yards and six touchdowns for the explosive Bulls offense that led them to a second straight 10 win season. He has the size of Tate and is faster than Smith.
A negative is he didn’t receive the same amount of reps as Smith and didn’t go to as big of a program as Tate. However, Valdes- Scantling could be a major steal in the back end of day two of the draft for a team looking for a receiver.
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