Cam Newton is the top Pick; Now the Questions Begin

April 29, 2011

The lights shined on Cam Newton after the Panthers made him the first overall pick on Thursday.

By Jason DeCrow, AP

NEW YORK — At least one major question about Cam Newton has been answered.  The lights shined on Cam Newton after the Panthers made him the first overall pick on Thursday.

The lights shined on Cam Newton after the Panthers made him the first overall pick on Thursday.

The Carolina Panthers took less than five minutes to turn in their card and christen the NFL draft on Thursday night by selecting the much-scrutinized Auburn quarterback.

Now for the next round of questions.

"Everybody is not just going to stop and say, ‘That’s Cam, the No. 1 pick, and we can leave him alone,’ " Newton said of his critics, as he met the press at Radio City Music Hall. "If anything, the floodgates have officially opened."

Newton, 21, is the 11th quarterback in the past 14 drafts to be selected with the top pick in the draft — which adds to a remarkable run in recent months that included leading the Tigers to a national championship and winning the Heisman Trophy.

He’s the first player since Notre Dame’s Leon Hart to be chosen with the top pick after winning the Heisman and a national title.

Yet Newton, 6-5, 248, was undoubtedly the most scrutinized player in the draft after playing in a spread offense at Auburn, and for just one season after transferring from Blinn (Texas) Junior College. Like any quarterback coming from a spread offense, Newton’s chances for success will largely depend on whether he can make the transition to a pro-style offense, with a more sophisticated level of reading defenses.

 

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