Shi Smith - Carolina Panthers WR
The Carolina Panthers have plenty of options within their wide receiver room despite losing D.J. Moore in the trade that secured quarterback Bryce Young at No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft. It was a busy recruitment period that saw Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark, and Jonathan Mingo all come into the fold, which could mean bad news for those lower down the pecking order unless significant strides are made.
One of the players who face a real fight for a role is Shi Smith. The former sixth-round selection out of South Carolina has been a modest contributor since joining the team in 2021, but wouldn't be considered anything more than a sixth or seventh option at best heading into the Panthers' upcoming training camp.
Smith's status might come down to special teams. Can the player become more of a force in the return game to earn his place over figures such as Damiere Byrd and Marquez Stevenson, who were both acquired late in free agency and will fancy their chances of securing a roster position?
This is a precarious situation for Smith. Much will depend on how many wide receivers the Panthers take through, so it's a case of working hard and leaving no doubt whatsoever in the face of extreme adversity.
What happens after that is out of Smith's hands.