Wednesday, May 7, 2014

On Panther draft, Durant speech and other sports notes

-- I do not think the Panthers will trade anywhere but down in this draft, and I think it is more likely that they do not trade at all. Better stock up on late-night snacks on Thursday, because I would guess the Panthers won't pick until at least 11 p.m.

-- I remain a believer that Carolina should take an offensive tackle with its No.1 pick Thursday night and a wide receiver at No.2 Friday, but it would be OK if that order was reversed. They need to address both those positions in the first three rounds, however.

-- The best two Panther drafts in history were in 2001 (Steve Smith, Kris Jenkins and Dan Morgan) and 2002 (Julius Peppers, DeShaun Foster, Will Witherspoon). The two worst: 1997 (Rae Carruth) and 1998 (Jason Peter, Chuck Wiley, Mitch Marrow). Dave Gettleman's first draft in 2013 ranks somewhere in the middle, but could rise to a top-5 Panther draft eventually if the two defensive tackles at the top keep progressing.

-- If you remember Grady Little -- who went to Garinger, later managed the Boston Red Sox and L.A. Dodgers and now manages the high school baseball team at Hickory Grove Christian in Charlotte -- I wrote a long profile about him here in Wednesday's Observer. You have to at least read the part about "Bull Durham" -- Little was the "baseball trainer" for that movie.

-- Kevin Durant's NBA MVP speech was one of the best and most gracious sports speeches I have ever heard. Here's the full video: skip to the 23-minute mark to see the best part, when he talks about his Mom being the "real MVP."

-- Along with more than a dozen other current and former Observer staffers who have written books, I will be signing and selling my "100 Things Panther Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die" book on Thursday, May 8, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on The Observer's front lawn (600 S. Tryon Street). Books are $15 apiece, including tax. More details here.


par said...

Regardless of the past. The Panthers need speed and an offensive tackle. Best bet first round is Cook.

Duff Watkins said...

That Durant's disorganised, ramblings, however sincere, is somehow regarded as an excellent or moving or in any way good speech is a sad, sad comment on the poor standards now accepted in the US. Durant was woefully unprepared to say anything meaningful.