5 shining stars from the Carolina Panthers second preseason game

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Chris Keane/Getty Images) Shi Smith /

Shi Smith – Carolina Panthers WR

It’s been a hugely impressive first two preseason games overall for Shi Smith. The sixth-round pick appears to be growing in confidence with every passing week, becoming more knowledgeable with the playbook and just what the NFL demands to succeed.

Smith has a lot of likable tools in his locker. Something that was once again evident during his time on the field against the Baltimore Ravens.

The South Carolina product looked sharp, displaying the sort of competitive spirit that made the Carolina Panthers take a shot on the wide receiver in the sixth round.

His stats would have looked far better had he stayed inbounds after making an eye-catching grab from P.J. Walker in the second half. Smith finished the game with two receptions from six targets for 35 receiving yards, which was another big step in the right direction.

Things remain pretty crowded in Carolina’s wide receiver room. Places are at a premium for those on the fringes, but Smith has done enough to make the team and perhaps even generate some meaningful targets as the campaign progresses.

With the starters set to see up to one half against the Pittsburgh Steelers, it should become clearer as to where Smith fits in the grand scheme of things. Sam Darnold needs all the help he can get in the passing game, so having a dyanmic playmaker most teams won’t see coming is a big-time asset to call upon.