|Source: Carolina Panthers Facebook Page|
Yesterday during the Carolina Panthers 30-15 victory over the St.Louis Rams at home Steve Smith made some history. With 5 receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown on the day he became the 29th player in NFL history with 800 career receptions joining the likes of NFL greats such as Jerry Rice,Chris Carter, Tim Brown and a few others.
It has been a long productive career for the 5-time pro bowler and 74th overall pick out of Utah. With over 800 receptions, 11,000 yards and 6o touchdowns Smith continues to add to what looks like a hall of fame resume. At this present moment the Carolina Panthers great ranks 24th in NFL history in receiving yards. Smith hasn't lost that much and is just starting to hit his stride this season with Cam Newton. If he can stay healthy for at least 2 more seasons and have 1,000 yards or more in both seasons then he will crack the top 10 in NFL history for yards amongst receivers. He currently has collected 11,745 yards in his career which leaves him 2,032 yards away from Henry Ellerd who is currently in 10th with 13,777 receiving yards.
The crazy part about Steve Smiths career is that he has done this with a lot of sub par to average quarterbacks throwing him the ball. Out side of Jake Delhomme in the beginning of his career and Cam Newton now towards the latter stages, Steve Smith has dealt with some “scrubs” at the quarterback position. Guys such as David Carr, Old Vinny Testaverde,Brian St.Pierre, Jimmy Clausen and Matt Moore, not quite the greatest collection of arms but Smith has remained consistent posting seven 1,000 yard+ seasons.
I think if he puts up 2 more solid years of play then he is definitely a fist ballot hall of famer because then we are looking at someone with 800+ receptions 13,000+ yards and 80+ touchdowns. That’s comparable to a Torry Holt who has 13,382 yards and 85 touchdowns and those are the kind of numbers Smith can finish with if he decides to retire in 2 or 3 years. The craziest part about all of this is imagine if he had a better quarterback in the middle of his career how much more gaudy his stats would look. At 5'9 I don't think we will ever see someone in this era dominate the game at that height for as long as Steve Smith did as the number one receiver for the Carolina Panthers.