Throwing to Mr.Smith

Updated: September 11, 2013

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)-This statement may upset some people.

And, it may shock some others. But, the best wide receiver in the NFL, in my personal opinion, is Carolina Panthers’ Steve Smith.

Plus, he has the career stats to back it up.

For instance, he is a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time All Pro, the all-time leader in touchdowns (69) and receptions (772) for the Carolina Panthers. Plus on 2011, he became only the 35th player in NFL history to amass 10,000 receiving yards.

Along with all of that, Smith ranks 23rd of all times amongst NFL receivers, which places him only behind the Colts’ Reggie Wayne and the Atlanta Falcons’ TE Tony Gonzalez, who are still playing.

And, you know what they say, “the numbers don’t lie.”

Seriously, he is ten times better than newly required Denver Bronco Wes Walker.

He is more explosive than the Eagles’ DeSean Jackson.

He is more physical than the NY Giants’ Victor Cruz.

He is a better route runner than the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant.

Plus, he is more durable than the Packers’ Randall Cobb and the Seahawks’ Percy Harvin put together.

And, for what he lacks in height, when standing next to taller WR’s like Calvin Johnson (Lions), Julio Jones (Falcons), Andre Johnson (Texans), and Vincent Jackson (Bucs), he makes up in his heart.

Why? Because, he plays with passion, an attitude, like there is a chip on his shoulder that he dares you to knock off.

Mentally, he is a middle linebacker playing the wide receiver position, who isn’t afraid of a little contact or a violent collision.

In other words, he isn’t afraid to go across the middle, fully extending his body, in harm’s way, to make a catch.

He is a trash-talking, Hell-raising, go-getting deep threat.

The spark plug of the Panthers’ offensive, who is a walking, talking, ticking time bomb, ready to explode.

And in the Red zone, despite his size, he still can run a corner fade route with the best of them and leap over taller defenders for a touchdown.

He is in a class of his own, an electrifying force on the field, with seemingly endless energy.

No other wide receiver in the league can do what he does game-in and game out. Not even, Larry Fitzgerald, in my opinion.

Smith is a complete football player.

Blocking, catching, and running.

Plus, with Cam Newton under center for the Panthers, the 34 year olds’ career has been rejuvenated.

Last season, Smith caught 73 passes for 1,174 yards while averaging 16.1 yards per catch and scoring four touchdowns.

And, while some NFL analysts may question Smith’s ability to still get in the end zone, let’s remember that Larry Fitzgerald only had four touchdowns last season, while Calvin Johnson only had five.

With that said, look out for another outstanding season from Smith this year as Newton continues to connect with him for more touchdowns and touchdown celebrations.

Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where received a B.A. in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Radio & Television, and a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently the Editor and Chief of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his reports appear daily along with his controversial cartoon in the Bobbee Bee The Hater. Graham can be reached at

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