Last April the Carolina Panthers traded their first-round pick to San Francisco so they could move up and take Florida State defensive end Everette Brown.
Brown is small but fast. Does his speed offset his stature? I didn't see enough last season to say that.
The pick the Panthers traded turned out to be the 17th in the first round. There are three positions Carolina has to fill before the 2010 season begins -- a wide receiver, a pass rusher and a quarterback.
When the 49ers made their pick, two defensive tackles and four defensive ends had been selected.
Only one quarterback, Sam Bradford, had been taken.
Nobody had selected a receiver. So Dez Bryant of Oklahoma State, Demaryius Thomas of Georgia Tech, Golden Tate of Notre Dame and Arrelious Benn of Illinois all were available.
Except for Thomas and Bryant, they still are. Barring a trade, however, 15 teams will make their pick tonight before the Panthers do. They have No. 48.
Regardless of the player they select, Brown will be measured, at least this season, against what the Panthers could have had at 17.
If Bryant or Thomas tear it up, and the receiver Carolina takes in the second, third or fourth round fails to, so will the Panthers.