Adam Schefter: Panthers Will Take Quarterback Cam Newton No. 1 Overall

Jason KarlAnalyst IIIMarch 26, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27: Cam Newton passes the ball during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Though we are still a month away until the draft, the Panthers have been on the clock for months.

There was a report a few days ago, that head coach Ron Rivera and the front office had finalized their list of eight candidates that could possibly be drafted No. 1 overall.

One of the more reliable sports reporters in the NFL, Adam Schefter, predicted in an interview on ESPN.com that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will be the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft over Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

Schefter wrote, “Last week, I sensed Blaine Gabbert…This week, I’m more on the Cam Newton bandwagon. The more I hear, the more it sounds like Newton is the player to beat for the No. 1 pick.”

Most mock drafts switched from Newton to Gabbert a few weeks ago, and now Newton will probably be the consistent No. 1 pick until the draft on April 28.

Remember, last year most mock drafts did not have Sam Bradford going No. 1 overall to the Rams. In February of last year, Schefter predicted Bradford though would be the first pick.

Though Newton may take time to develop, Schefter believes that the Panthers, "need to create buzz to sell some tickets." Newton would certainly sell tickets as he is one of the most exciting players in the draft, but would he be the best pick, considering that much risk, especially at the quarterback position.

Its a tough question and one that I am sure general manager Marty Hurney, owner Jerry Richardson, and the rest of the staff will be debating.

Newton possesses unbelievable athleticism and could signal the end of the Jimmy Clausen era after only one season with the Panthers.