Steve Smith is a legend in the Carolinas and the most beloved player in the Panthers team history. And for good reason, as he established himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL during his 13 year tenure with the Panthers. The 74th pick of the 2001 NFL draft racked up 836 receptions for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns in his illustrious career.
Smith also proved that you don’t have to be six and a half feet tall to play the role of #1 wide receiver in the NFL. The Panthers tried to pair Smith with a viable second receiving option for years, and the best they could do was Muhsin Muhammad. This makes Smith’s achievements even more impressive. Opposing teams knew that the Panthers were going to throw it to Smith, but they still couldn’t stop him.
On top of that, Smith played for some fairly mediocre quarterbacks most of his career. Catching passes from the likes of Chris Weinke, Rodney Peete, Vinny Testaverde, Jake Delhomme, Jimmy Clausen, and Matt Moore, he still put up big numbers year after year.
It’s easy to get excited about Smith’s prospects with the Ravens because for the first time in his career, he won’t be the focal point of defenses. This is (debatable, I know) the most talented offense he has ever played on. And if you still aren’t excited by those prospects, check out this highlight video of some of Smith’s finest moments the last few years.