Carolina Panthers: Can Rodney Smith make the roster in 2020?

Dean Jones
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Rodney Smith
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Rodney Smith /
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Rodney Smith, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) Rodney Smith /

Much has been made about the lack of depth at running back behind Christian McCaffrey, but can undrafted free agent Rodney Smith make the Carolina Panthers roster?

The Carolina Panthers did not manage to select a running back to put behind All-Pro Christian McCaffrey in the 2020 NFL Draft. However, they did manage to pick up a notable addition in the form of Minnesota standout Rodney Smith.

The undrafted free agent represents an intriguing addition to the Panthers offense. Providing he impresses during training camp, there is plenty of hope Smith can not only become a member of the 53-man roster. But also become the short-yardage back that Carolina desperately needs.

McCaffrey recently became the highest-paid running back in NFL history by agreeing to a four-year extension worth $64 million. The Panthers will want a full return on this financial commitment, so they need to keep their star player fresh throughout the duration of his contract.

Having McCaffrey banging in-between the tackles is not going to do him or the Panthers any good. Smith has the balance and strength to gain those crucial yards that can prove the difference between moving the chains and an offense walking off the field.

The Panthers do have Reggie Bonnafon, who showed glimpses of promise when used in 2019. But the need for additional running back help is great and Smith would be a cheap option that could easily deliver on his promise.