Panthers News: Dalvin Cook, Kyle Pitts, Shi Smith and Ejiro Evero

Shi Smith
Shi Smith / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers WR Shi Smith tipped for breakout

With all the exciting additions made by the Carolina Panthers throughout the offseason, it's pushed some further down the pecking order than ever. That's all part of the business when a new coaching regime comes into the fold, but head coach Frank Reich is giving everyone a fair shake before solidifying depth chart standings at the team's training camp in Spartanburg.

When naming one player from every NFL team that could have a breakout season in 2023, Jarrett Bailey of USA Today Sports took a surprising route where the Panthers were concerned, tipping Shi Smith to produce some career numbers with legitimate coaches leading the charge.

"[Shi] Smith was one of my biggest draft crushes in 2021. While on the smaller side, he is very shifty and has the ability to grind out yards underneath while also taking the top off a defense. The Panthers receiving core is somewhat a question mark. They brought in Adam Thielen, but how much top-level play does he have left? Is D.J. Chark going to display the caliber of play we saw in Jacksonville a few seasons ago? Smith could earn respect and regular season reps in the preseason."

Jarrett Bailey, USA Today Sports

The talent is there with Smith, but everything hasn't come together as yet. It appears as if the former South Carolina star could be No. 6 on the wide receiver depth chart currently, so it'll take a lot of work to generate the targets needed to take this projected career surge.

Smith is a determined figure who won't be giving up his roster spot without a fight. However, the pass-catcher must also display urgency considering this staff has no emotional attachment to him whatsoever.