CHARLOTTE, N. Lonnie Johnson Youth Jersey .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 J.J. Watt Youth Jersey .Cameron sustained his third concussion in three seasons last week on a hit by Oakland safety Brandion Ross, who was fined $22,050 by the NFL for the helmet-to-helmet blow. Cullen Gillaspia Womens Jersey . Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks were proof of that on Wednesday night. ST. LOUIS -- Missouri coach Frank Haith has been suspended for five games by the NCAA, which found he inadequately monitored his former assistants interactions with a disgraced Miami booster and then tried to cover up a five-figure hush money payment to keep potential violations hidden. The NCAA released the findings of its two-year investigation into convicted felon Nevin Shapiros relationship with Miami athletics on Tuesday and said that Haith, the former Hurricanes basketball coach, failed to promote an atmosphere of compliance with its rules. The investigation found that Haith and Miami assistant coach Jake Morton provided Shapiro $10,000 after he threatened to expose previous improper contact with high school recruits and amateur coaches, as well as other unflattering details involving a booster now serving a 20-year prison term for masterminding a $930 million Ponzi scheme. Shapiro, who had basketball season tickets with a courtside seat, initially demanded a large loan from Haith after he experienced financial trouble or the return a $50,000 donation from a benefit bowling tournament he had hosted. The coach refused. Morton, who joined Western Kentucky as an assistant coach in 2011 but resigned in April as its director of basketball operations, then loaned Shapiro at least $6,000, which he later repaid. The NCAA also said that Haith helped Morton and two other assistants pay $10,000 to Shapiros mother and "attempted to cover up the boosters threats to disclose incriminating information." Missouri plays four of its first give games this season at Mizzou Arena, starting with Southeastern Louisiana on Nov. 8. Haith will also miss home games against Southern Illinois, Gardner-Webb and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, as well as a Nov. 16 game against Hawaii at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. He also must attend an NCAA rules seminar next summer. Haith has 15 days to appeal the Committee on Infractions penalties, which dont affect Missouri as an institution. School officials did not respond to several requests for comment, though Haith, who came to Columbia in 2011 after seven years at Miami, was scheduled to meet with reporters later Tuesday. His Florida-based attorney did not immediately respond to an interview request. While much of the 102-page report focuses on the far more successful Miami football program, the NCAA inquiry also opens a rare public window into the seamier side of cultivating big-money boosters -- even those, like Shapiro, with substantial baggage. Max Scharping Youth Jersey . Shapiro told Yahoo! Sports that he steered a $10,000 payment to secure recruit DeQuan Jones commitment to Miami in 2008 with Haiths knowledge. The NCAA said it found no evidence to support that claim. The report also said an associate athletics director in charge of fundraising guided Shapiro toward the Miami mens basketball program after the booster became disenchanted with the football teams losing 2007 season under first-year coach Randy Shannon. Haith and Morton told NCAA investigators they shared several meals with Shapiro, attended a concert together and visited a strip club "to create donor relationships." The report found that Haith provided inconsistent answers during multiple interviews with NCAA investigators, including conflicting accounts of when he reported Shapiros shakedown attempt to athletic director Paul Dee. "Because of the many inconsistencies the former head mens basketball coach reported during his interviews with the enforcement staff and the institutions, the committee does not find his version of events to be credible," the report concludes. Infractions Committee Chairman Britton Banowsky, who is also Conference USA commissioner, reiterated those concerns. "It was difficult for the committee, and maybe even the members of the enforcement staff, to know precisely what really was going on in the program, given all the conflicting information," he said. In Haiths three interviews with NCAA investigators between October 2011 and September 2012, he provided three different explanations as to why he paid his assistants $3,200 advances that they normally would have had to wait to receive from summer basketball camps. Haith requested the third interview soon after his second sit-down, citing concerns that he had given "inaccurate" information and was "confused about the timing of what (he) knew and when (he) knew it." Beyond Haiths penalties, Miamis football team will lose a total of nine scholarships and the Hurricanes mens basketball team will lose three over a three-year period starting in 2014. The school will also serve three years of probation. Two former Miami football assistants and one ex-basketball assistant received two-year show-cause bans, which effectively keep the penalized parties out of the college coaching ranks. ' ' '