Matt Waldman’s Rookie Scouting Portfolio examines a play involving the Saints pitch-and-catch combo of Taysom Hill-Tre’Quan Smith.
I’ve been hearing good things about Hill and Smith throughout the summer. Both are athletic prospects who can run with strength and burst for their position and have baseline technical skills.
Smith reminds me of players with a skill set that puts him in the spectrum of Early Doucet (low-end) and Golden Tate (high end). Let him work routes that maximize his physical assets and he impresses. Otherwise, he needs refinement with routes that require technical and tactical skill. This one below is a good example
I expect Smith to earn time in four-receiver and empty sets this year. The more exacting a route runner he can become, the greater his chances of becoming a primary receiver in a year or two.
Hill is still finding his way. He seems more comfortable with unscripted plays than he does from the pocket. His footwork with drops and the foot movement where he transitions between processes remains deliberate and tentative — even if only for the slightest moments.
The player who most impressed me on this play is Jaguars cornerback Quenton Meeks — a rookie who always showed well whenever I was studying a receiver or quarterback playing against Stanford. Meeks lacks top speed but he reads and reacts well.
Ed Reed wasn’t a fast safety but like my friend Gene Clemons noted during a conversation we had one afternoon, Reed’s perception and reaction to information were so fast that he could bait quarterbacks into thinking he was covering one side of the field and seamlessly adjust to the other.
Meeks isn’t that kind of special talent, but he continues to catch my eye and I’ve been reading that he’s really upping his performance in training camp.
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