Shi Smith – Carolina Panthers WR
Shi Smith has propelled himself from a roster bubble candidate into a potential starter for the Carolina Panthers in 2022. This incredible turnaround has been accomplished by nothing more than hard work and having the right desire to stake a bigger claim.
It might sound simple. But having the necessary heart is something that sets players with similar talent levels apart when it comes to the crunch.
This offseason was probably a big wake-up call for Smith. He was non-existent as a rookie and an arrest on gun and drugs charges left many wondering whether the former sixth-round selection would ever reach his undoubted potential.
Smith’s character wouldn’t allow him to fade into the wilderness. He’s been reliable, kept his head down, and gradually installed additional confidence in his abilities ahead of potentially more involvement next time around.
Players and Matt Rhule praised Smith’s evolution following Tuesday’s practice. The head coach even revealed that he is pushing for a starting job after such an outstanding few weeks featuring huge plays aplenty.
The big test for Smith will come once the regular season arrives. But considering where things stood with the South Carolina product before camp, the Panthers must be pleasantly surprised.