5 Panthers players entering the last chance saloon in 2022 camp

(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Shi Smith /

Shi Smith – Carolina Panthers WR

This might seem strange considering Shi Smith is only entering his sophomore season in the NFL, but the wide receiver has plenty to prove in training camp with a view to establishing himself within the Carolina Panthers.

Smith came with some intrigue after the Panthers spent a sixth-round pick on the South Carolina product last year. He shone in the preseason but was unable to take this into a competitive setting during an anonymous rookie campaign.

There remains fierce competition for places aside from two or three established figures in the wide receiver room. An offseason arrest wasn’t exactly what the doctor ordered for Smith, which only heightens the sense of urgency for the talented multi-purpose weapon this summer.

One thing that attracted the Panthers to Smith was his competitive edge. The player is also a significant threat with the football in his hands, but it was seldom seen in 2021 and the jury is still out as to whether his skills can successfully transition to the next level.

This is an enormous test of Smith’s character. But if he takes on this challenge with his customary grit and determination, then it could mean another shot on the 53-man roster as a result.

Anything less would leave his future looking incredibly murky in Carolina.