The Second Coming of Steve Smith

Panther Nation is still waiting for the second coming of Steve Smith.

 Steve Smith

Steve Smith is the greatest wide receiver in Carolina Panthers history. He holds more than 30 Panthers records and is the all-time receiving leader with 12,197 yards. The Panthers were without their all-time receiving yards leader this past season, because he was released by General Manager Dave Gettleman. There wasn't a press conference when he was cut, just an email from Gettleman stating that releasing him wasn't easy. After his release from the Panthers, Smitty was signed by the Baltimore Ravens, and had a great season. He finished the season with 79 receptions for 1,065 yards, and six touchdowns. He scorched the Panthers in week 4 by recording 10 receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns against them.

You probably already know all about this, but why am I bringing this up again? I am bringing this up again because the Panthers passing game struggled last season without Steve Smith. The Panthers now need a solid number two wide receiver. The Panthers did a great job in the last NFL Draft by picking Kelvin Benjamin. He finished last season with 73 receptions for 1,008 yards, and nine touchdowns. By doing this Benjamin has already solidified himself as the number one wide receiver on the team. But, what if the Panthers have the opportunity in this upcoming draft to select their ideal number two receiver? Who should they pick?

I really think that they need to pick a wide receiver who has similar NFL Combine numbers to Steve Smith. Benjamin is a wide receiver who has hands, size, and lots of potential. If you add a wide receiver who has speed to the Panthers arsenal, that combination could be deadly on offense.

Let's take a minute to look at Smitty's 2001 NFL Combine numbers and measureables:

  • Weight: 184 lbs.
  • Height: 5'9”
  • 40 Yard Dash: 4.39 seconds
  • Vertical: 38.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 121 inches

All of the wide receiver prospects below either have the same or similar numbers to Smitty. They might not all be a good fit for the Carolina Panthers, but they could make an impact with another team in the NFL.

  1. Tyler Lockett

  • Weight: 182 lbs.
  • Height: 5'10”
  • 40 yard Dash: 4.40 seconds
  • Vertical: 35.5 inches
  • Broad Jump: 121 inches

      2. Phillip Dorsett

  • Weight: 185 lbs.
  • Height: 5'10”
  • 40 yard Dash: 4.33 seconds
  • Vertical: 37 inches
  • Broad Jump: 122 inches

       3. Tre McBride

  • Weight: 210 lbs
  • Height: 6'0”
  • 40 yard Dash: 4.41 seconds
  • Vertical: 38 inches
  • Broad Jump: 122 inches

       4. Sammie Coates

  • Weight: 212 lbs.
  • Height: 6'1”
  • 40 yard Dash: 4.43 seconds
  • Vertical: 41 inches
  • Broad Jump: 131 inches

After reviewing the above numbers from this years NFL Combine, I think that Tyler Lockett could be the next Steve Smith.

They are similar in size, speed, and how they play the game. Lockett would be a good fit for the Panthers, because of his quickness. If you want to learn more about Tyler Lockett, check out this article written by Carolina Cat Chronicles Owner Mel Maycock, “Ten Wide Receivers The Panthers Could Target in the Draft: #10 Tyler Lockett”.

How do you feel about Tyler Lockett? If the Panthers draft Lockett, will you forgive Gettleman?

By, Justin Raymond

Follow Me On Twitter @JayRay19