If you don’t have Quanterus Smith in your 53-man roster projections, Ryan Clady says you’re doing in wrong. In Andrew Mason’s five thoughts from camp day 8 piece on DenverBroncos.com, Clady lauds the second year pro who has a chance to become part of a really good defensive line rotation in 2014.
“He’s a good player, for sure. Fast. Really good hands. He’s definitely a good player, and he’ll definitely make the team,” Clady said.
Smith hadn’t generated a ton of hype in the first week of camp, but in week two with DeMarcus Ware having to nurse a lower leg injury, the Broncos are giving Smith the reps and he’s taking advantage.
On day eight of camp, Smith blew by Clady and got a ‘sack’ on Peyton Manning, even though they aren’t allowed to touch him, and I can recall from the open practice on Wednesday that Smith was the one who pressured Manning right before he threw a drive-ending interception to Kayvon Webster to end the drill for the first-teamers.
Other teammates and coaches — including John Fox — have singled out Smith as having had a very good camp so far. Smith was out all last season getting back from a knee injury he suffered the year prior after lighting it up at Western Kentucky.
In case you haven’t hopped aboard the Quanterus Smith train yet, you might not know that early last season, he put up three sacks against the Alabama Crimson Tide offensive line and eventual second round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft Cyrus Kouandjio. He also abused D.J. Fluker at times, who is now a starting tackle for the San Diego Chargers.
The Broncos have a really nice young player here. Ryan Clady’s assessment is right on in saying that Smith’s biggest strengths are his speed and hand usage. I’m not 100 percent positive of this either, and maybe it’s the fact he’s wearing a different number this year (93) than he was last year (69) but Smith also appears bigger than he was a year ago.
Either way, it’s great to hear these types of reports coming not just from analysts and reporters, but from the guys they are going up against in practice. If Smith is able to continue this kind of progress, the Broncos’ defensive line will be among the best in the NFL in 2014.
“This is probably the best (defensive) line we’ve had here since I’ve been here,” said Clady.