2018 NFL Draft: WR Tre’Quan Smith of UCF and Delray Beach improves stock

Tre’Quan Smith of the UCF Knights celebrates a touchdown with Gabriel Davis after a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS — When UCF wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith was conducting a formal media session at the NFL Scouting Combine last month, there were a few reporters asking him questions.

But since his availability was at the same time as quarterbacks Josh Rosen and Mason Rudolph, hundreds of media members were jostling with each other and climbing on stools, just a few strides away.

“A lot of people don’t know Tre’Quan Smith,” he said. “I want to show everybody who Tre’Quan Smith is.”

Smith, who starred at Village Academy High School in Delray Beach, was a bit off the radar because it was uncertain if he would declare for the NFL Draft after his junior season.

But after strong performances at the combine (4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash) and the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama (5 catches for 79 yards and a touchdown), more people know who Smith is.

In fact, Smith may have improved his draft status from a possible 6th- or 7th-rounder to a possible 4th- or 5th-rounder.

“I’m about to tear up now,” Smith said when asked at the combine about the prospect of being drafted. “If I get that phone call, it will mean the world to me. Just knowing that all the hard work has paid off. This is what I’ve wanted, I dreamed of my whole life. That phone call would literally mean everything to me.”

Smith, 6-foot-2, 203 pounds, helped lead UCF to an undefeated season in 2017, as the school proclaimed itself a national champion.

As a junior, Smith caught 59 passes for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns. He averaged an impressive 19.8 yards per catch.

“I’m a deep threat, for one,” said Smith, whose favorite former player is Randy Moss. “My ability to go get the ball when it’s in the air, those 50-50 balls. I’m that guy, when the team needs a first down or a big play, I’m their go-to guy.”

According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Smith is a “smooth accelerator with gliding strides,” makes “necessary in-air adjustments” and “flashes plus ball skills.”

Zierlein notes Smith has excellent acceleration and arm length and can be an effective blocker.

On the downside, Zierlein notes Smith must improve his route-running, which the player agrees with.

“Making everything look the same because at the next level, you know, that’s the DB’s job to look at you and based on how you’re running, see which routes you’re running,” Smith said of what he’s been working on. “So it was mainly making everything seem the same coming out of the top of my route.”

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