-- 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.
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