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January 17, 2006

Press conferences scheduled for Friday

The Panthers and Seahawks have to be represented by their head coaches and selected players at NFC Championship game press conferences Friday. Carolina coach John Fox, quarterback Jake Delhomme, receiver Steve Smith, defensive end Mike Rucker and safety Mike Minter will take part in a press conference at 1 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium. It will be broadcast live on the NFL Network. It will not be open to the public.

The Seahawks will hold theirs in a Seattle hotel at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern). Coach Mike Holmgren, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, running back Shaun Alexander, linebacker Lofa Tatupu and defensive end Grant Wistrom will participate. Seattleā€™s press conference also will be carried live on the NFL Network, and is not open to the public.

DRAFT GLIMPSE: With the Panthers deep in the playoffs, not too many people are thinking ahead to the college draft in April. But people outside the Carolinas already are. ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. recently issued his first mock draft and he has the Panthers taking Notre Dame tight end Anthony Fasano.

Here's Mel's mock:

1. Houston -- *Reggie Bush, RB, USC

2. New Orleans -- Matt Leinart, QB, USC

3. Tennessee -- *Vince Young, QB, Texas

4. New York Jets -- D'Brickashaw Ferguson, OT, Virginia

5. Green Bay -- *Mario Williams, DE, NC State

6. Oakland -- A.J. Hawk, LB, Ohio State

7. San Francisco -- DeMeco Ryans, LB, Alabama

8. Buffalo -- *Haloti Ngata, DT, Oregon

9. Detroit -- Jay Cutler, QB, Vanderbilt

10. Arizona -- DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis

11. St. Louis -- *Vernon Davis, TE, Maryland

12. Cleveland -- Chad Greenway, LB, Iowa

13. Baltimore -- Tamba Hali, DE, Penn State

14. Philadelphia -- *Santonio Holmes, WR, Ohio State

15. Atlanta -- Michael Huff, DB, Texas

16. Miami -- *Winston Justice, OT, USC

17. Minnesota -- *LenDale White, RB, USC

18. Dallas -- Jimmy Williams, DB, Virginia Tech

19. San Diego -- *Ko Simpson, DB, South Carolina

20. Kansas City -- *Ashton Youboty, CB, Ohio State

21. New England -- Bobby Carpenter, LB, Ohio State

22. Denver (from Wash.) -- Mathias Kiwanuka, DE, Boston College

23. Tampa Bay -- Derek Hagan, WR, Arizona State

24. Cincinnati -- Claude Wroten, DT, LSU

25. New York Giants -- *Ernie Sims, LB, Florida State

26. Chicago -- *Leonard Pope, TE, Georgia

27. Carolina -- *Anthony Fasano, TE, Notre Dame

28. Pittsburgh -- *Antonio Cromartie, CB, Florida State

29. Jacksonville -- Thomas Howard, LB, UTEP

30. Indianapolis -- *Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota

31. Denver -- *Darnell Bing, DB, USC

32. Seattle -- *Chad Jackson, WR, Florida


Posted by Observer Sports on January 17, 2006 at 07:55 PM | Permalink


P-Yaz --

I love Melvin, but I don't see the Panthers burning a 1st rounder on a TE, certainly not with someone like Maroney on the board. I think the Cats have already decided that Witherspoon is higher priority than Foster, although they'd like both. If push comes to shove, they'll be looking for a RB WAY ahead of a TE.

Posted by: JAT | Jan 17, 2006 10:59:27 PM

Fasano would be a nice pick, I just don't see him still being on the board when we pick 32nd.

Posted by: Rob | Jan 18, 2006 10:14:42 AM

I completely agree. With Mangum, Gaines & Seidman, why in the world would we waste a first round pick on a TE? That's a clueless pick.

Posted by: Brendan | Jan 20, 2006 9:28:18 AM

I think White from USC might go higher than 17th. Of the backs available, he might be a better NFL runner than even Bush or Williams. He definitely has potential.

Posted by: Kevin | Jan 20, 2006 11:46:21 PM

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