With not many reliable receivers on the New Orleans Saints‘ roster outside of Michael Thomas, it’s crucial for Tre’Quan Smith to step up this year and have a breakout season. Fortunately, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report predicts he’ll do just that.
Knox had this to say about why he chose Smith as his breakout candidate for New Orleans:
"Smith helped forge a passer rating of 122.7 when targeted in 2020 and has helped garner a passer rating above 120.0 in all three of his seasons.With Sanders departing for Buffalo in free agency, Smith should be the clear No. 2 option behind Thomas on the perimeter. Given his dependability as a pass-catcher, Smith could quickly become a favorite target of Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill—who will, in some combination, step in for retired superstar Drew Brees at quarterback."
If there’s going to be a time for Smith to step up and show why he’s a former third-round pick, it has to be this year. He’s heading into a contract season for the Saints, so if he wants to get paid like a true WR2, he needs to up the ante this year and show he can handle that workload. He hasn’t been able to prove that so far, unfortunately.
It’s time for Tre’Quan Smith to step up for the NOLA Saints.
Thomas is the only reliable receiver on New Orleans’ roster and that was proven even more true when he missed over half of last season and no other receivers could fill the void. Smith was fine but he didn’t show enough to make Saints fans overly confident in him heading into this year, especially with Emmanuel Sanders no longer on the team.
If Winston is the one who gets the starting job — and he should — it’ll be interesting to see what kind of impact he has on Smith. Winston is no stranger to throwing the ball down the field and depending on his receivers to make a play and that’s what he’d be relying on Smith to do. Can the former UCF product handle that?
When it comes to other potential breakout candidates for the Saints, Marcus Davenport is another guy fans would like to see something from. He has more pressure on him this year than Smith, as he’s a former first-round selection and has yet to do much of anything.
Knox wisely picks Smith though and Saints fans sure hope he’s right in predicting a breakout season. It’d come at the perfect time for where he’s at in his career.