Panthers Watch 2012: Back for Carolina's 2013 NFL Draft third round pick

We take a look at the Carolina Panthers poor performance to date, and how it could improve the 49ers chances with the Panthers 2013 NFL Draft third round pick.

Three years ago, the San Francisco 49ers made a trade during the 2009 draft, dealing away their second round pick (No. 43 overall) and fourth round pick (No. 111 overall) in exchange for the Carolina Panthers 2010 first round pick. The Panthers selected Everette Brown and Mike Goodson with those picks, while the 49ers used the 2010 pick to draft Mike Iupati.

During the course of the 2009 season, we ran a weekly Panthers Watch segment to track how Carolina was performing, and where that first round pick was going to settle. The Pink Panther watch was first introduced for Panthers-Cowboys on Monday Night Football.

Well, the Panthers Watch is back! The 49ers made some trades this past draft that once again provide a Carolina Panthers draft pick potentially worthy of continued "Panthers Watch" updates in light of the Panthers struggles.

This past April, the 49ers held pick No. 92 overall near the end of the third round. The 49ers dealt that pick to the Indianapolis Colts (selected T.Y. Hilton) in a deal that netted the 49ers the Colts 2012 fourth round pick (No. 97) and a fifth round pick in the 2013 draft. The 49ers turned around and dealt No. 97 to the Miami Dolphins (selected Lamar Miller) for the Dolphins 2012 fourth round (No. 103) and sixth round (No. 196) picks, and a sixth round pick in the 2013 draft. The 49ers THEN turned around around dealt No. 103 to the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the Panthers 2012 sixth (No. 180) and a third round pick in 2013.

All that 49ers wheeling and dealing netted them a variety of picks, including the Carolina Panthers third round pick. Nothing is going right for the Panthers in 2012 as they are currently 1-5 and already in the running for a top pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. They join three other teams in the one-loss club and the schedule is not getting much easier the rest of the way. The thought of a high end third round pick is just a little bit enticing.

Here is the Panthers remaining schedule:

Week 8 - @ Chicago
Week 9 - @ Washington
Week 10 - vs. Denver
Week 11 - vs. Tampa Bay
Week 12 - @ Philadelphia
Week 13 - @ Kansas City
Week 14 - vs. Atlanta
Week 15 - @ San Diego
Week 16 - vs. Oakland
Week 17 - @ New Orleans

The Panthers could get things on track and return to some measure of respectability. However, looking at that schedule, there are a lot of potential losses. This isn't quite like getting a high end first round pick, but a high third round pick can provide some added punch for a potential trade up next year. In the meantime, we can continue to enjoy the Panthers struggles.

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