Carolina Panthers top three draft steals of all-time

(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) Mike Minter
(Photo by Craig Jones/Getty Images) Mike Minter /
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Steve Smith Sr.

“Agent 81”would definitely be the biggest Carolina Panthers draft steal in history. He was loud, he was proud, and he was in charge whatever he stepped on the field. He was one of the few players that could trash talk and back it up. He was the organization’s first true deep threat and he put up numbers for several Panthers teams that just were not that good.

Smith seemed to be able to do it all for the Panthers. Having 1,000-yard-plus seasons in eight out of the 16 years of his career, he truly was a big-play receiver. His best season undoubtedly came in 2005. That year, he caught 103 passes for 1,563 yards and 12 touchdowns to lead the league. Averaging 15.2 yards perception that year, he was no slouch. Of course, his impressive numbers would not stop there. He averaged 101.5 yards per game in 2008 and as a result made the Pro Bowl for his efforts. In all, he made the Pro Bowl five times and was a first-team All-Pro twice in the 2001 and 2005 seasons.

Drafted in the third round with the 73rd overall pick, this is a definite draft steal for the Carolina Panthers. No matter how things ended, he was undoubtedly a huge part of Panthers history. He paved the way for their success in the early 2000’s .Several teams are probably regretting picking him, especially in that draft slot, it’s hard to find someone who had better production.