5 Carolina Panthers players who aren’t getting enough respect

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports) Rodney Smith /

Rodney Smith – Carolina Panthers RB

Considering Rodney Smith’s journey from an undrafted free agent to gaining notable reps for the Carolina Panthers in 2020, his contribution isn’t getting the respect it deserves.

The former Minnesota standout failed to hear his name called during the draft despite leaving college as the Gophers’ all-time rusher. Smith was quickly signed to the Panthers in pursuit of making the roster, but he was released shortly before final cuts were made at training camp.

Credit to Smith for keeping himself in shape in readiness for a potential shot, which came in Carolina after all thanks in no small part to Reggie Bonnafon and Christian McCaffrey going down with injuries.

Smith was thrust into a prominent role when Mike Davis was forced to miss time at the end of the season, gaining 156 rushing yards and one touchdown from 41 carries.

This is a solid foundation from which to build for Smith, although the presence of fourth-round pick Chuba Hubbard has the potential to throw a wrench into his plans to be McCaffrey’s primary backup.

Regardless of how things transpire with Smith, he deserves a lot of credit for coming back from the brink to potentially earn a roster spot with hopefully more to come at training camp this summer.