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Monday, April 20, 2009
Five predictions for draft week

By Pat Yasinskas
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

We'll wait until later in the week to predict who NFC teams will draft. But it's time to make five fearless predictions on other events that will happen during the next week.

  John Fox on 2009 season
  NFL.com Video
  Panthers head coach John Fox looks ahead to the 2009 season.

1. Let's assume for the moment that the Panthers stay put and have their first pick at No. 59. Coach John Fox is going to come out moments after the pick and declare that whoever the Panthers took was "the best player on our board'' and "we had a first-round grade on him." General manager Marty Hurney, sitting next to Fox will turn red. Out in the hallway after the press conference Hurney will lecture Fox about not giving out too much ammunition for agents to use when it comes time for contract negotiations.

2. The Bucs will come out of the draft still wanting more help at defensive end. They'll end up re-signing Kevin Carter. And Carter will end up with more sacks than Gaines Adams next season.

3. At least 10 times this weekend, Atlanta coach Mike Smith will use the phrase "part of the process'' in talking about how this year's draft class will help the team.

4. Unlike 10 years ago when the Saints traded their draft for Ricky Williams and Mike Ditka and company went golfing, Sean Payton and Mickey Loomis will remain hard at work. At the moment, they've got a first-round pick and don't pick again until the fourth round. Just a hunch, but I think Payton and Loomis will find a way to get a choice in either the second or third round.

5. Despite the wishes of many of their fans, the Panthers won't draft a quarterback -- at least not in the first four rounds. They might take an extra body for training camp after that, but that's all. For better or worse, Fox is going to stick with Jake Delhomme.