Smith caught two of three targets for 30 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 37-16 win at Jacksonville. Smith's 32-yard score in the fourth quarter was the first touchdown of his career and the only one thrown by quarterback Marcus Mariota through two games this season. The rookie tight end remains the clear-cut No. 2 option at the position behind veteran Delanie Walker, who led the team with 61 receiving yards and found pay dirt on the ground. Smith's value is capped as long as Walker stays healthy, but his long-term upside is undeniable.
Smith caught five of seven targets for 47 yards during Saturday's preseason game against the Panthers. Smith showed why the Titans used a third-round pick on him in April's draft, as the rookie frequently found holes in the middle of the defense and ultimately finished the day with a game-high five receptions. Though he's admittedly stuck behind the ultra-reliable Delanie Walker for the time being, Smith will make it hard for the coaching staff to keep him off the field if he continues producing. His next chance to shine will come Sunday against the Bears.
Teammate Delanie Walker believes Smith can be a star in the NFL, USA Today's Jason Wolf reports. "One day [Smith] will be better than me," said Walker. "And that's his ultimate goal. And if he didn't feel that way, I wouldn't want him here." Selected in the third round (No. 100 overall) of this year's draft, Smith has drawn comparisons to Walker and Jordan Reed, with his athleticism and pass-catching skill making up for a lack of ideal height for his position. At 6-foot-3, 248 pounds, Smith is actually closer to the league prototype than Walker or Reed, suggesting he could eventually develop into a capable in-line tight end who stays on the field in all situations. For the time being, Smith likely will be brought along slowly behind the 32-year-old Walker, though the rookie could have a limited role from the jump due to the Titans' affinity for two-TE formations. After averaging 4.1 catches per game in his four seasons at FIU, the 21-year-old impressed at the Combine by finishing second among tight ends in the vertical jump, 20-yard shuttle and 60-yard shuttle, also showing well in the 40-yard dash (4.62) and broad jump (127 inches).
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|15||12/17||@San Francisco 49ers||3||2.00|
|16||12/24||Los Angeles Rams||13||5.00|
|3 Year Avg||0||0||0||0||0||0.00||0|