Here we are again in the bunker, a little bleary eyed but the coffee's flowing. The picks will be in 30 minutes.
-- Panthers top pick Everette Brown is already in the building, though he's probably not going to get the golf-cart tour from owner Jerry Richardson. He's still doing well, but he's not up to the kind of grand reception he's given past picks. Every indication is that he's on schedule in his recovery from heart transplant surgery, and but it has to bother him deeply that he can't be here. He loves meeting his high picks right off the bat, and Brown sounds like the kind of character/effort player Richardson loves.
-- The Panthers won't pick until 93rd this morning. There will be some movement above them. They do have that extra fourth (111th) they got from San Francisco, but I'm not sure they're looking to move up again. GM Marty Hurney mentioned needing "numbers" last night, so I'm guessing they stay put or move back if anything.
-- Reading some stuff this morning, and there's a funny phenomenon in the national media. The Broncos are getting ripped for trading next year's first (they kept Chicago's) so they could select CB Alphonso Smith in the second. Meanwhile, the Panthers aren't getting the same kind of scorn.
It remains to be seen whether Brown falls victim to the curse of the Florida State DEs, but Smith's going to be a player from day one. Several scouts I know considered him a first-round talent, and opposite Champ Bailey, he's going to get chances to make plays on the ball.
-- I'll be honest with you. I haven't seen tape on CB Sherrod Martin. Just like three years ago, I didn't know all that much about the kid from Fresno named Richard Marshall.
Some evaluators I know think that Martin's a good pick, and will fit well in Ron Meeks' defense. We'll see. I won't pretend to offer a valid report on the kid until I see him on the field.
-- I try to not get hysterical, but with the third and two fourths, they better find a DT who can rush and a G who could start. Should be able to, but if they don't, they better be on the phone with DeWayne Robertson and Jeremy Bridges, pronto.