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 /

What would Smith bring to the Carolina Panthers?

Rodney Smith is the most prolific running back in Minnesota’s history. He racked up a sensational 5,441 career all-purpose yards during his career, 29 touchdowns, and 4,122 rushing yards.

While Smith is never going to blow you away with explosiveness. What he would give the Carolina Panthers is a dependable presence who is fluid enough to gain yards off one or two cuts.

He is also more than capable of finding a seam and runs with an aggressiveness that will make him a fan favorite no time at all. Smith was a good pickup in undrafted free agency and it’s clear he has a better chance than most of securing a roster spot.

The prospect does lack some elements to his game, most notably his physical strength and burst. So this will need to be coached up at the next level if he is to have any chance of contributing.

It’s clear new head coach Matt Rhule likes what he sees in Smith. But the player will need to demonstrate more toughness in the pros to stand a chance. There is no doubting the back’s skill set is an enticing proposition, and he wasn’t short of offers once the final draft pick had been submitted.

Regardless of whether it’s Smith or someone else, McCaffrey does need another foil in the backfield to take some of the load off. The All-Pro has accumulated 923 rushing and receiving touches in just three seasons. This is a trend that cannot continue given the injury risks involved with players at the position.

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Smith will be given the chance to prove he is worthy of such a role. It will be up to the player himself to deliver and show he has what it takes in the NFL.