Jacksonville Jaguars: WR Shi Smith turning heads at Senior Bowl
The Jacksonville Jaguars have four selections in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, and they will need to get those picks right if they want to get out of the cellar. Nevertheless, they also have four selections later in the selection meeting and they should consider using one in South Carolina wide receiver Shi Smith.
Although the South Carolina native won’t garner much attention as big-name wideouts such as DeVonte Smith or Kadarious Toney, he’s making some serious noise in the practices ahead of the Reese’s Senior Bowl. Jordan Reid of The Draft Network pegged him as one of his Day 1 standouts on offense and will likely see his draft stock rise if he keeps having that kind of performance throughout the process.
This is not a one-time thing either, as Smith made the most of his opportunities with the Gamecocks. In his first three years at South Carolina, he had limited touches behind Deebo Samuel and Bryan Edwards, but once they both left, he became the team’s number one wide receiver and hauled in 45 receptions for 673 yards and four touchdowns in 2020.
Smith may be better suited for a slot role in the NFL, as he doesn’t have the body frame to thrive on the outside. Even though he’s 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds, he’s not afraid of making contested catches. He won’t generate many yards after the catch but he will be there when you need him with a key conversion.
The Jacksonville Jaguars should target Shi Smith late in the draft.
The Jaguars’ wide receiver corps was one of their brightest and most solid units in 2020. D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault Jr, and Keelan Cole played at a high level even though the offense was hindered by inconsistent quarterback play.
Cole is set to become a free agent and so is Chris Conley, so this Jacksonville team may need to replenish its wide receiver group this offseason. If they aren’t interested in making a splash signing and bringing in someone such as Nelson Agholor, they will still need to add one or two receivers in the draft, and Smith provides value late in the draft.
There are different routes the ‘Jags’ can take to get better this offseason and if they want to prioritize other positions early in the draft, it might be worth investing a selection in Smith.