Before anybody assumes that I'm trying to bash Steve Smith, read on. You should know that I'm a huge Steve Smith fan. I believe that Steve is severely underrated. I detest the notion that Smith can be compared to guys like Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons or any of the Giants wide receivers, and please don't compare him to the Steve Smith who is now on the Rams. There is only one true Steve Smith and he wears number 89 for the Carolina Panthers.
Smith's name should be included in conversations when talking about receivers like Calvin Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald. The only thing that those receivers have on Smith is their height. I'm not using height as an excuse, but you can't tell me that Smith wouldn't be getting numbers like these two if he were there size. Still I don't believe that size has ever stopped Steve Smith, and I refuse to believe anybody who thinks his game is suffering because of his age. I think that he could play until he is 40 years old if he really wanted to. Steve plays with more heart than anybody in the NFL, and in my whole-hearted opinion he has earned a spot in the Hall of Fame.
Now that I've made that clear I think that we need to consider who that next go to receiver will be. Though I've seen improvement in guys like Brandon Lafell and I like what I've seen out of David Gettis, we still have yet to see anybody really step up and show that they can be the next go to guy. In my opinion, though they may be good receivers, if they haven’t stepped up now they never will.
I may be wrong, but I think that this year's 4th round draft pick Joe Adams might just be the guy that we're looking for. From what I've seen so far, he shares a lot of qualities with our beloved Steve Smith that lead me to believe that he might be just what Panther fans have been looking for and I'm not just talking about the fact that he's coming in as a kick returner. Adams has confidence, speed, explosiveness, elusiveness, and a swagger that I like to see. My one and only question about this guy is does he have the hands? Does he have the hands to make a circus catch, rip the ball away from a defender, and ultimately command coverage? What do you think? Have the Panthers found Steve Smith's successor?