2. Shi Smith is sitting on the fence at wide receiver
The Panthers have a fairly underrated and maybe even overlooked group at wide receiver. The starters include Adam Thielen, D.J. Chark and rookie Jonathan Mingo. For a rookie quarterback, having a sure-handed veteran like Thielen is going to benefit him greatly. Additionally, the big play potential of Mingo is something fans have loved seeing throughout training camp.
Behind the three starters, Carolina has Terrace Marshall, Laviska Shenault and Damiere Byrd. Nothing seems guaranteed for these guys at this stage, and just behind this trio is 2021 sixth-round pick Shi Smith out of South Carolina.
In two seasons, Smith has garnered just 28 receptions for 400 yards and two scores. He's shown potential at times, but has some work to do if he's going to make this roster. Currently, Smith is third in line for return duties and has Shenault and Byrd ahead of him in kickoff and punt, respectively. That's where he could make the most of his opportunity, if he wants to prove he can contribute some value to the team.
Speaking of Byrd, too, the veteran just suffered a hamstring injury which could put him out a while, giving way for Smith to have a bigger opportunity.