Panthers HC Dave Canales praises rookie CB Chau Smith-Wade

The Carolina Panthers really seem to have themselves a dawg in Chau Smith-Wade.

Head coach Dave Canales spoke on the rookie cornerback following Wednesday’s outing of organized team activities. When asked about the depth at the position and about Smith-Wade specifically, he lauded the 21-year-old for the job he’s done thus far.

“He’s a worker,” Canales said. “The guys that we drafted, these guys are hard workers and tough football players. And that’s what we tried to do—is profile those type of guys that fit what we’re doing. He fits right in with the group.

“He’s active, he’s always workin’ on stuff, JUGS after practice and I just love his focus. He’s got a great smile, but then you see, like, he’s just locked in. And he’s really interested in what’s happening everywhere.”

Smith-Wade was selected by the Panthers in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL draft. He comes into the pros as a standout defender at Washington State University and the National team Most Valuable Player from this year’s Senior Bowl.

Given Carolina’s lack of solidified depth at corner, Smith-Wade could factor in sooner rather than later—especially if he keeps on working.

Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire