Don't look now, but the Football regular season kicks off in less than a month. So where do teams stand now, and what has changed since our post-draft edition? The ESPN power panel -- a group of more than 80 writers, editors and TV personalities -- evaluated how all 32 teams stack up, with a look at players who could be surprising contributors or veterans who are in danger of being left off the roster.
“WR Tre'Quan Smith. The rookie third-round draft pick from Central Florida has made some of the flashiest plays throughout training camp and the preseason opener, showing a good combination of size and speed at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. Coaches have still been harping on him for issues such as communication, alignment, etc. But his big-play ability should get him on the field as a third or fourth receiver.”Mike Triplett said about surprise player to watch this preseason of the New Orleans Saints.
Smith flashed the kind of playmaking ability he has featured throughout training camp on a 25-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter. While he's listed as a second-stringer on the Saints' initial preseason depth chart, Smith could have an opportunity to make an impact in his rookie campaign, particularly if Cameron Meredith suffers any setbacks in his recovery from the torn ACL and MCL he suffered last preseason.
"He's making plays," says head coach Sean Payton. "It's cleaning up all the details and nuances of playing receiver in this league and learning the system."
Not to be overlooked in Smith's debut, the Saints won the game. For him, that's nothing new after going undefeated during his junior season at Central Florida. In fact, Smith says it's hard for him to even remember the last time he lost a game. The Saints hope he's not reminded of that feeling anytime soon.