Panthers focused on defense in NFL Draft

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The Carolina Panthers set out to improve their defense in the NFL Draft, and general manager Marty Hurney is optimistic they’ve accomplished that goal.

But he acknowledged you can never be sure.

Hurney says he and coach Ron Rivera really like what happened over the course of the three-day draft but “you really don’t know until two or three years down the road.” He said for the most part things fell Carolina’s way and they got the players they wanted in each round.

The Panthers selected linebacker Luke Kuechly from Boston College, defensive end Frank Alexander from Oklahoma, cornerback Josh Norman from Coastal Carolina and safety D.J. Campbell from Cal in hopes of shoring up a defense that ranked 28th in the league a year ago.

BRONCOS: Peyton Manning felt right at home with Todd Helton and the Colorado Rockies.

Manning dropped by Coors Field on Sunday morning to visit his pal before the Rockies played the New York Mets.

Manning and Helton were quarterbacks at the University of Tennessee in the mid-1990s. Manning recently signed with the Denver Broncos to become their new QB.

When Manning was going through his rehabilitation from neck surgery during the NFL lockout, Helton helped arrange for him to use the Rockies’ facilities to work out.

Manning thanked Helton and the Rockies for their hospitality and generosity. Manning said that when he left the Indianapolis Colts, became a free agent and was deciding on a new team, he already knew Denver was a great sports town.

JETS: Tim Tebow might be Mark Sanchez’s backup in New York, but he has bragging rights on the Jets’ starting quarterback.

Tebow was recently voted by current players as No. 95 on NFL Network’s list of the league’s top 100 players. Sanchez, however, didn’t make the cut.


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