Steve Smith’s Impact on the NFL Draft


Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith (89) on the field prior to the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Smith has joined the Baltimore Ravens, which means the Carolina Panthers better put their “goggles” on when they visit Baltimore in the 2014 season. The offense is definitely taking shape with Dennis Pitta, Jacoby Jones and Eugene Monroe all inking deals with the Ravens during this offseason already. Smith will bring a level of toughness and edge to this team. If nothing else, he will be fun to watch on Sundays.

Often times since the season has ended I have looked at a variety of players as the Ravens first round target for the upcoming NFL Draft including Texas Aggies’ wide receiver Mike Evans. With Smith and Jones, taking a receiver early on is becoming more unlikely. Michael Oher is on his way to the Tennessee Titans, so look for Ozzie Newsome to give the position a heavy look. Zack Martin or Taylor Lewan are most likely the two offensive linemen who could be drafted at 17.

It is no secret that Newsome wants a playmaker at free safety. Something this team missed a season ago with the release of Ed Reed after their championship season. Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix and Calvin Pryor are the two safeties that are brought up the most with first round grades.

Either way the Ravens go with the 17th selection, signing Steve Smith was the right move as it allowed them some flexibility.