Cool Draft

The Carolina Panthers hold the number-one pick at this year's NFL Draft, April 28-30. Davidson-based David Fleming, senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and columnist for ESPN.com, shares his insights about the Panthers.


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Will the Panthers draft Da'Quan Bowers from Clemson?

The Carolina Panthers hold the number-one pick at this year's NFL Draft, April 28-30. Davidson-based David Fleming, senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and columnist for ESPN.com, shares his insights about the Panthers.

Who will the Panthers draft first?

They're going to go where they can't go wrong, which is with one of those defensive linemen: Nick Fairley from Auburn or Da'Quan Bowers from Clemson.

If the Panthers have another losing season, they're going to lose fans.

The standard in the NFL now is that things get fixed immediately. But teams like the Falcons and the Saints, teams that have turned things around immediately, put a lot of pressure on teams like the Panthers.

Steve Smith isn't happy and has two years left on his contract. What should the Panthers do?

One of the Panthers' problems, like any NFL team, is they have to make the tough, emotional decisions. You see the long-term benefit of the Packers doing the unpopular thing of getting rid of Brett Favre. It's the same thing with the Eagles. They realized that to get any value for Donovan McNabb, they had to trade him when they did. It wasn't popular, but at least they got something in return. After what happened with Julius Peppers, the Panthers got no value in return for a guy they drafted and developed because they waited too long. I wonder if that's in the back of their mind and if they're going to try to ship Steve Smith while they can still get some value for him.

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