The South Carolina Gamecocks don’t always have the best offense in college football, but they always put out great receivers but let’s analyze Shi Smith’s best fits.
From Alshon Jeffery to Bryan Edwards, there has been no shortage of talent at the receiver position for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Shi Smith is next in line to take over in the NFL. Like Deebo Samuel, Smith has heavily increased his draft stock in the Senior Bowl. Also like Deebo, Smith will be a really good receiver out of the slot position. Here are the best landing spots for him:
The Eagles are in a really tough spot as far as their offense goes. They’re trying to unload Carson Wentz in exchange for picks while they have very few weapons to help out Jalen Hurts.
Doug Peterson loves the passing game, so it would be no surprise if they looked to Smith for a mid to late-round steal. The Eagles have plenty of positions of need, but their young receiving corps of Travis Fulgham and JJ Arcega-Whiteside won’t be enough to help their quarterback.
While Fulgham is similar to Smith in his ability to be physical with a good amount of speed, Smith has more speed and has a better run-after-catch ability.
Smith would be a great player in the slot who could give the Eagles some much needed speed at the receiver position.
New Orleans Saints
The Saints will need to reload at the receiver position if they are choosing to keep Jameis Winston at quarterback. With Drew Brees retiring, the Saints offense will look a lot different next season.
Winston is a quarterback who loves taking shots downfield. This was evident by his 30 touchdowns and 30 interception season in Tampa Bay. If Winston takes over, Kamara will most likely be used less in the passing game.
Emmanuel Sanders will be 34 when the next season starts. Tre’Quan Smith has a lot of drop issues. With Michael Thomas being the only reliable receiver, Shi Smith could provide some meaningful depth for the Saints. He would be able to switch between slot receiver and outside receiver with Thomas.
Smith’s downfield threat along with his ability to make plays after the catch is good enough for Sean Payton to look at him in the later rounds.
The Bears are struggling heavily on offense, and they need as many weapons as possible to help out whoever their next quarterback will be. Seeing as the next quarterback will be one who has better passing talent than Mitch Trubisky, the Bears will need as many weapons as possible.
It looks like Allen Robinson will be gone, so Chicago will be left with Anthony Miller and Darnell Mooney leading the receiving corps. Miller has been underwhelming at the slot position due to the amount of drops he has. Mooney is still young and isn’t physical enough to replace Robinson. Javon Wims has some temperament issues and still produces a lot of drops.
Smith has enough speed to fit into Matt Nagy’s system, but his physicality is really what the Bears need. The only thing Smith would be lacking is the size to really give the Bears a true physical weapon.
The slot position has become increasingly important in the last few years in the NFL, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Smith ends up having a role exactly like Deebo Samuel.
I chose all these teams with the expectation that they would take Smith in the middle three rounds. Teams like the Dolphins and Lions would most likely take a receiver in the early rounds since there is a surplus of speedy, physical receivers.
Smith increased his draft stock in the Senior Bowl, but he will help out whoever needs a slot receiver who also will be physical.