CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Panthers say theyd like to find a replacement for longtime No. 1 wide receiver Steve Smith in this years NFL draft. The big question is when theyll do it. The Panthers have the 28th overall pick, but the NFC South champions have a variety of needs after getting hit hard in free agency, and could go in a number of directions with their first-round choice. General manager Dave Gettleman said recently that wide receiver, offensive tackle and cornerback are among the teams top needs, but qualified that statement by adding he wont got out of his way to land one. "When you reach for a position of need youre in trouble," he said. Gettleman said he has some reservations about drafting a receiver in the first round because it often takes them longer to adjust to the NFL game than those who play other positions. "History tells you that its a very difficult position to assimilate into (the NFL), especially with the current game being played at the college level," Gettleman said. Gettleman called it a "wide receiver heavy" draft that includes several players whove put up big numbers. He said the trick is finding guys who can easily make the transition to the next level. "Ill look at a guy and hes caught 90 balls ... but of those 45 were flash screens," Gettleman said. "The other 45 he caught, he ran to three spots. So, do they understand coverage? Theyre going to have to learn the whole route tree. How long is it going to take them to assimilate? Its an issue. Its a problem." Smith was released in a salary cap move earlier this off-season. Replacing his toughness and production wont be easy. He caught 836 passes for 12,197 yards and 67 touchdowns for the Panthers in 13 seasons. However, after averaging 76 receptions for 1,284 yards receiving and 5.5 touchdowns in his first two seasons playing with quarterback Cam Newton, Smiths numbers fell off in 2013. He caught 64 passes for 745 yards and four TDs. The Panthers signed free agents Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood, but none is expected to become the next No. 1 receiver in Carolina. Five things to watch from the Panthers in the draft: ON THE FRONT BURNER: Jordan Gross retired this off-season, leaving a huge hole at left tackle — one the Panthers potentially could address in Round 1. Gettleman said there are some tackles in the draft dont have "left tackle feet," but said that doesnt necessarily matter. "There are only so many elite tackles," he said. "There are plenty of guys playing left tackle in this league that dont have classic left tackle feet." Finding a left tackle might take on added importance given Newton is coming off ankle surgery this off-season. FIRST ROUND SUCCESS: The Panthers have had tremendous success with their first-round picks the last three seasons. They grabbed defensive tackle Star Lotulelei from Utah at No. 14 in 2013, and he looks like hes going to be around the league for quite a while. They drafted linebacker Luke Kuechly at No. 11 in 2012 and quarterback Cam Newton first overall the year before that. Kuechly was the 2013 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, while Newton was the Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011. BLUE GOOSE: Last year, Gettleman said the Panthers needed to add some "hog mollies," or big linemen. This year, the Boston native switched gears, saying if there is a "blue goose" pass rusher available at No. 28 he wouldnt pass on him. Tough to know what a blue-winged bird native to Ethiopia has to do with building a football team, though. CORNERBACK ON RADAR: The Panthers lost starting cornerback Captain Munnerlyn to Minnesota in free agency. While they signed free agent Antoine Cason, dont rule out cornerback as an option with one of the teams top three picks. The Panthers have one pick in each of the seven rounds. DONT BE REACHING: The Panthers are determined not to reach for picks at positions of need. They followed that plan last year and took defensive tackle Kawaan Short from Purdue in the second round — even after selecting Lotulelei in the first. "Last year, K.K. (Short) was obviously the best value in that second-round pick," Gettleman said. ___ AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL Nike Air Max 95 Just Do It Black . Joining him in this years class were Switzerlands Patrick Huerlimann and Norways Eigil Ramsfjell. The announcement was made at the world mens curling championship at Capital Indoor Stadium in China. Air Vapormax Canada . The Redskins announced Monday that the quarterback who led the team to the Super Bowl championship in the 1987 season will serve as a personnel executive. http://www.airvapormaxcanada.com/nike-ju...ir-max-270.html. "Im proud of him," Jones said in an interview from Sacramento, site of the UFCs weekend televised card. "I think hes listening to his body and hes doing what makes him happy and thats what life is about ultimately. Vapormax Plus Sale . Even if he is shooting 38 per cent from the field overall this season, the Utah Jazz rookie always feels like his final shot is going in. Vapormax 97 Sale . Brazilian striker Brandao opened the scoring with a header in the 55th minute before winger Franck Tabanou volleyed home from close range to double the lead in the 61st.CALGARY -- Hockey Canada gave Scott Salmond a promotion Friday, naming him vice-president of hockey operations and national teams. The native of Creston, B.C., previously served as manager of high performance, director of mens national teams and most recently as senior director of hockey operations and mens national teams. Salmond takes over from Brad Pascall, who stepped down this month to take a position as assistant general manager of the Calgary Flames. "Hockey Canada is very fortunate to have Scott Salmond in place to take over as vice-president of hockey operations and mens national teams," Hockey Canada chief operating officer Scott Smith said in a statement. "In his role as senior director, he played a key role in supporting the vice-president in growing our high performance department and our teams through great success." Salmmond originally joined Hockey Canada in 2001 after five years at BC Hockey.dddddddddddd. In his most recent role, Salmond assisted the vice-president in overseeing hockey operations for Canadas mens teams, the national junior team, under-18 and under-17 programs and the sledge team. "I would like to thank Hockey Canadas leadership group and the board of directors for entrusting me with this great opportunity and responsibility," said Salmond. "I look forward to working with everyone at Hockey Canada, our staff, branches and partners, in continuing to grow our high performance area and leading our teams to continued success on the international stage." Hockey Canada has yet to name a replacement for president Bob Nicholson, who stepped down May 31. Nicholson was recently named vice-chairman of Oilers Entertainment Group. ' ' '