It's now past 7 p.m., and the Carolina Panthers are still a couple of hours away from making their first pick in this draft barring some sort of trade.
You can now almost completely erase the idea of Julius Peppers getting traded, too, in my opinion. The first-round 2009 draft picks are practically gone -- they're at the end of the first round as I write this. That means that the currency the Panthers most would have wanted for Peppers has already been spent.
(Incidentally, I don't expect Peppers to show up for this minicamp that comes up Friday through Sunday. That's just a guess, but I'm predicting that he'll put out a bit of a silent protest for that one by not showing up).
Even the word "Carolina" has barely been uttered by anyone from ESPN, as the talking heads captivate themselves by Cleveland's various trade-downs and other draft stuff. It did get said a few times when UNC wide receiver Hakeem Nicks got picked No.29 overall by the New York Giants. That's a good landing place for Nicks -- he goes to a team that really needs another WR after letting go of troubled WR Plaxico Burress.
The Panthers, meanwhile, are still not supposed to pick until No.59 -- deep in the second round.
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