Sources: Carolina Panthers To Draft Cam Newton With No. 1 Pick

April 27, 2011 – 6:24 pm by Ryan Phillips

According to a source close to the situation, barring a miracle, the Carolina Panthers will make Auburn quarterback Cam Newton the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft tomorrow night. We have since heard a similar story from another source.

While it has been rumored for weeks that Newton was the front-runner to be taken with the top pick, the Panthers have held the public stance that they weren’t leaning in any direction. Indeed, tonight the organization is publicly saying it is still considering up to four players with the top pick.

That stance appears to just be posturing however, because after some 12 meetings with Newton, new Panthers head coach Ron Rivera is sold on the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner. Our source says that barring something crazy happening over the next 24 hours, Newton will be the top pick. The Panthers would love the opportunity to trade down and stockpile draft picks, but looking at the current trade market, that doesn’t appear likely.

Therefore the Panthers are left with two options: Take the top player on the board, or take the flashiest guy who could help sell tickets. They’re going with the later.

Newton will likely not be ready for some time, he has a lot of developing to do, and it could take at least two years for him to be even close to a competent NFL quarterback. But, he would probably add a lot of excitement to an organization in desperate need of some.

Newton is not the best player available in this draft. In our opinion, he’s not even in the top 10. Scouts Inc. has him ranked as the No. 15 player on its board, while Mel Kiper similarly has him at No. 15 on his Big Board.

The Panthers will be taking a huge risk by taking Newton, but with no clear-cut value pick available at No. 1, it might be a risk they have to take.

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  1. 4 Responses to “Sources: Carolina Panthers To Draft Cam Newton With No. 1 Pick”

  2. I think you’re right in that the Panthers have to take him, because there isn’t any other clear-cut choice out there. One of the things that might play to Newton’s strengths, though, is that Jon Fox built the Panthers into a run-based offense (which is (one reason) why Clausen was/is so terrible). Granted, the offensive line is more like the offensive sieve, but if they can find guys to shore that up, Newton might be serviceable, or, hell, might even be good.

    By MJenks on Apr 28, 2011

  3. MJ,
    I’m just not sold on Newton as a player, forget all the other stuff. I just see Vince Young when I look at him. Sure he’ll have some nice runs in the pros, but he won’t be able to do that consistently. The first time he tries to run through a guy like Ray Lewis will probably be the last time. And being a runner was what made him so dangerous in college.

    As far as his arm goes, he can throw the ball very, very far, so people are saying he has a “strong arm.” But throwing the ball far and throwing the ball hard, with zip are two totally different things. I just don’t see him firing fastballs into tight spaces. Young could also throw the ball far, but not hard.

    I think people have fallen in love with the athlete without examining whether or not he can be a good pocket passer.

    By Phillips on Apr 28, 2011

  4. Have they fallen in love with the athlete, or with the legend that surrounds him?

    I’m not sold on him either. I’m also not sold on Clausen being a complete bust, but that could just be my blue-and-gold bias. Everyone talks about how awful Jimmy was (and he was awful), but he was a rookie who was in a…something something pro style something…in college, and then he goes to a grind-it-out, built for running team in the NFL with a lame duck coach, a porous offensive line (which he should know how to deal with), and no receivers.

    But, everyone down here wanted Newton. Now they have him. You have an unproven quarterback on a team filled with needs being coached by a rookie and unproven head coach. Yup. Super bowl for you guys!!!

    Sorry. Not a Panther fan. Or a fan of Panther fans.

    By MJenks on Apr 29, 2011

  5. I’m not a fan of Clausen and people I’ve talked to close to the Panthers claim he essentially pissed off everyone in the organization with his attitude last year (specifically the veterans). That said, if you take a guy in the second round, you don’t take a quarterback in the first round the next year. It’s just bad management. A.J. Green, Patrick Peterson or Marcell Dareus made WAY more sense for the Panthers, especially now that there will be a rookie wage scale. Taking a “high value” position guy with the top pick won’t matter much anymore since he won’t be getting $50 million before seeing the field.

    By Phillips on Apr 29, 2011

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