Shi Smith – Carolina Panthers WR
Everyone was rooting for Shi Smith after the Carolina Panthers kept him close to home during the 2021 NFL Draft. The former sixth-round selection was seen as a development project that could turn into something more over time, but there wasn’t much involvement from the player despite most wide receivers failing to meet their respective targets.
Smith was active just six times and generated 11 targets throughout the campaign. Not exactly the best rookie year, but it wasn’t the end of the world by any stretch.
The Panthers acquired Rashard Higgins in free agency, whose chances got a big shot in the arm following the trade for Baker Mayfield. While this could help Carolina, it only makes life more difficult for Smith to make his presence felt.
Gun and drug charges are also hanging over Smith following an offseason arrest. Just another bump in the road to potentially overcome for a player whose future is seemingly hanging in the balance.
Smith has the competitive streak and talent to become productive. But time is of the essence and unless everything comes together in training camp, the Panthers could perhaps move on from the wideout entirely.
This would be a disaster for the South Carolina product. However, Smith does have some enticing qualities and can also assist in the punt return game, which might be enough to keep him around.