With just seven weeks left until the 2011 NFL draft, teams are aware of their needs and are beginning to narrow down their first- and second-round options.
Perhaps more so than in any year in recent memory, there is a wide range of players that have been projected to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Ranging from defensive tackles Nick Fairley and Marcell Dareus, to cornerback Patrick Peterson, to defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, to quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Cam Newton, there is no clear-cut No. 1. With so much national spotlight and media attention over everything that these players have done leading up to the draft, there seem to be more and more reasons not to choose these guys No. 1 than the contrary.
But when you weigh in all the factors, Cam Newton is the most special player on the board and should be the No. 1 pick in the drat. Here are five reasons why.
People can talk all they want about Cam Newton's inexperience in the three- or five-step drop or his inconsistency with accuracy, but no one can question his arm strength.
Besides completing an impressive 66.1 percent of his passes in 2010, Newton had a lot of success throwing the deep ball. Similar to Michael Vick, Newton possesses the deadly combination of elite speed to go with the threat of throwing the ball down the field.
Of Newton's 30 touchdown passes last season, many went for long distances, including a 94-yard touchdown pass against Louisiana-Monroe, as well as four other completions going for at least 60 yards.
In addition to throwing for over 2,800 yards and 30 touchdown passes last season, Newton can run.
At the NFL combine, Newton ran the 40-yard dash in an impressive 4.59 seconds, the second fastest of any quarterback.
Newton ranked 12th in the nation with 1,473 rushing yards and third in rushing touchdowns with 20, simply remarkable for a quarterback.
What makes his speed so amazing is the fact that Newton is 6'6" and 250 pounds, making it awfully difficult for opposing players to defend him in the open field.
You could not have possibly asked for more out of Cam Newton than what he did in 2010.
Newton led the Auburn Tigers to an undefeated season and the BCS national championship, earning Heisman Trophy honors in the process.
Originally projected to be a Top 20 or 25 team, Newton and Auburn exceeded all expectations, beating teams like Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Oregon in the process.
Newton was the leader of the team no matter how you look at it. Simply playing the quarterback position does not make someone a leader, but when teammates listen to you and trust every decision you make, that is a different story.
Newton's ability to lead is a special quality that NFL teams looking for a quarterback should not overlook.
Nine games into Auburn's perfect season, allegations came out that Cam Newton or his father petitioned payment for his playing services.
It was obviously a big deal considering Auburn was ranked in the top five with Newton playing the quarterback position, but he proceeded to play even better to close out the season en route to winning the BCS championship and the Heisman Trophy.
Despite so much success, Newton still has a lot of work to do to regain respect from the NCAA and the NFL, and perhaps more importantly, from his fans.
After a slightly disappointing throwing performance at the combine, Newton worked hard for the two weeks leading up to his pro day, and it showed.
Newton completed just 11 of 21 passing attempts at the combine but was very impressive at his pro day, going 42-of-53 despite several drops by the receivers.
Last year, it was obvious that Newton improved as the season progressed. He threw for 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions in his last eight games despite playing teams like LSU, Alabama and Oregon.
Based on the way things have gone for Newton, it is clear that he is getting better every day. After all, Newton had just 12 passing attempts at the NCAA Division I level prior to last season, and at just 21 years old, the sky is the limit.