4 Panthers players who must generate early buzz in 2022 camp
By Dean Jones
Shi Smith – Carolina Panthers WR
The Carolina Panthers kept faith with their wide receiver options this offseason despite a distinct lack of consistency outside of D.J. Moore. They did make one notable addition in Rashard Higgins, who is set to rebuild his connection with former Cleveland Browns teammate Baker Mayfield after a deal was finally secured for the fiery quarterback earlier this month.
Higgins’ arrival only decreases Shi Smith‘s prospects of establishing himself as a core part of the rotation. The South Carolina product came into the organization with some eye-catching qualities, but he found life difficult throughout the campaign en route to just six receptions from 11targets for 108 receiving yards.
An offseason arrest could complicate matters for Smith depending on what transpires from the charges. But the former sixth-round pick must put all that to the back of his mind in Spartanburg to carve out some sort of role for himself.
Smith is a dynamic weapon with the football in his hands. His ability as a kick returner is also something working in his favor, but the Panthers acquired All-Pro Andre Roberts to assume these responsibilities, one suspects.
It’ll be difficult for Smith, there’s no getting away from that. That’s why acquiring early buzz in training camp is of critical importance.