Brandon Smith - Carolina Panthers LB
It seems as if Brandon Smith is rapidly becoming the forgotten man on Ejiro Evero's defense. The second-year player is buried down the depth chart currently, with the likes of Deion Jones and Kamu Grugier-Hill accumulating reps that were expected to go the former Penn State stud's way after flashing as a rookie.
Smith remains an athletically gifted individual. Something is clearly missing, so it'll be interesting to see what the Carolina Panthers do with a player that could be of use elsewhere.
It's one of many tricky situations upcoming for the Panthers before their squad gets finalized before Week 1. Smith will get one more shot to prove his worth either on the defensive rotation or special teams - whether he can do enough is another matter.
Much will depend on how many linebackers the Panthers take through and whether Evero trusts Smith enough to make a contribution on the defensive rotation in the event injury strikes. However, a strong performance against the Detroit Lions would give him some good tape for other teams to look at if the 2022 fourth-round selection doesn't make the cut.
Looking at the grand scheme of things, it doesn't look especially promising for Smith. Nobody envisaged he'd be on the cusp of being cut given how he performed when called upon under Steve Wilks, but this is a brand new coaching staff with their own ideas and no emotional attachment to the player whatsoever.