DeAndre Smelter, Wide Receiver, Georgia Tech
Weight: 226 pounds
Arm length: 32-5/8 inches
Hand size: 11 inches
NFL Combine Results: N/A (injury).
Pro Day Results: N/A (injury).
2014: 35 receptions | 715 yards | 7 TD | 3 rushes | 103 yards | 1 TD
2013: 21 receptions | 345 Yards | 4 TD | 1 rush | 12 yards | 11 punt returns | 124 yards | 5 kick returns | 65 yards
DeAndre Smelter has the size, weight and speed combination that teams love in receivers. He has a good understanding of how to use his body and how to use it to keep defenders out of a position to make a play on the ball.
He has excellent control of his body to contort it to make the tough acrobatic catches. Smelter is a playmaker with and without the ball in his hands. He has a high football IQ. He is an extremely hard worker and is always pushing himself to do better.
Smelter doesn’t possess elite speed, or burst off the snap. He has some technique concerns that need to be worked on, especially in and out of breaks. His route tree is very underdeveloped, due to playing in a triple option offense at Georgia Tech.
He needs to become more of a natural hands-catcher and not let the ball into his frame as often as he does. Smelter comes with serious injury concerns. He suffered a torn ACL in November 2014. There are also concerns with his shoulder, which caused him to retire from baseball.
How he fits with the Denver Broncos
DeAndre Smelter will likely go through the NFL Draft without hearing his name called. However, he is well worth the risk of a seventh round pick, especially with the Broncos, who have three selections in the final round.
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Smelter has the versatility to play in the slot, or on the outside. The Broncos have Emmanuel Sanders, who is also versatile enough to do that, but he is the only one. There are also concerns regarding Demaryius Thomas and his future with the Broncos, which is another way Smelter could help.
Smelter's fit with the Broncos is actually a great one. He could do very well in Gary Kubiak’s offense, even excel, if injuries don’t keep him from seeing the field. He provides an option for the Broncos and their future.
They can stash him on the practice squad for a year and help him grow, then allow him to compete for the fourth or fifth wide receiver spot, even the third position, if Demaryius Thomas is not retained beyond this year.
The ceiling for Smelter is incredibly high, but it is absolutely dependent on staying healthy and seeing the field. His health and injuries are a major concern. If they didn't exist, Smelter would be talked about as a third or fourth round receiver—at the lowest. As a seventh-round pick or undrafted free agent, he is a low-risk, high-reward selection, whom the Broncos should really consider.
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