It's official; we can no longer look at Lee Smith as just a blocking tight end.
Sure, big No. 86 is a dominant force in the run game, and a throwback to when tight ends were more blockers than receivers, but after securing his first touchdown of the preseason against the Los Angeles Rams by way of a 19-yard dart from quarterback Derek Carr, it's time to give Smith his due as a receiving threat too.
"Quit calling him a blocking tight end," reinforced Carr postgame. "As you see, people just drop him sometimes. That's one thing we have to take advantage of. We can't just be limited by a certain personnel group. Lee is one of the guys who has the one of the best sets of hands on the team. Being able to run him up the seam and do things like that, people won't be able to dictate when he comes in the game what they want to play."
In total, Smith played 10 offensive snaps against the Rams, finishing his night with two catches for 25 yards, and the aforementioned score.
Smith missed nearly all of the 2016 campaign due to injury, so it was good to see him back in action in front of Raider Nation Saturday night.
Top to bottom, the physical tight end put together an impressive evening, and his trip to the end zone is this week's Performance Moment of the Week, presented by Bridgestone.