5 underrated moves during the Carolina Panthers 2021 offseason

Dean Jones
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) David Moore
(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images) David Moore /
3 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith /

Carolina Panthers drafted Shi Smith

One draft selection that went relatively under the radar was Shi Smith. The Carolina Panthers selected the talented wide receiver in the sixth round, which was another prospect they got a good look at during their time coaching at the 2021 Senior Bowl.

Smith is no stranger to the Panthers’ fanbase having played his college football at South Carolina. He has a tremendous ability to get open quickly – especially from the slot – and this is an area that could use some help after Curtis Samuel left in free agency for the Washington Football Team.

Offensive coordinator Joe Brady has an embarrassment of riches to call upon in the passing game. So a player like Smith will have to show he’s worthy of gaining some early targets during his rookie season.

The player made a solid impression both during rookie minicamp, voluntary OTAs, and mandatory minicamp, which is a solid foundation from which to build ahead of the team’s return to Spartanburg for training camp.

Smith needs to make every target count during the preseason to further solidify his claims. If he manages to make an immediate contribution en route to becoming a valuable piece in the coming years, this will be an absolute steal in no uncertain terms.

This is a low-risk, high reward pickup by the Panthers and one that comes with a substantial amount of intrigue.