NFL Draft 2011: Cam Newton in Elite College Company, Bad Pro Company

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NFL Draft 2011: Cam Newton in Elite College Company, Bad Pro Company
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The 2010 Carolina Panthers had an awful season. To earn the first pick in the NFL draft, your team must endure the worst. Good thing Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney didn’t trade away their first round pick for 2011 already. 

Cam Newton is that next “it” guy. The player that can’t lose. All eyes must be fixated on him come draft time. Jersey sales are expected to hit the roof for a Newton NFL jersey. Team apparel will sell out of stores, until that player either does or does not produce. Success or failure, everyone wants to see what happens.

The Panthers scored just 17 touchdowns in 16 games. Their passing attack was dead last in yards (just 143.1 per game, which is pretty poor for most high school standards), touchdowns (9) and overall quarterback rating (57.0). With 21 interceptions and only nine touchdowns, the Panthers were the only team that threw more than twice as many interceptions than touchdowns. 

The Panthers' first pick in 2010 was Jimmy Clausen, just the third quarterback taken in the 2010 draft. Clausen had a rough rookie year, with only three touchdowns and nine interceptions. At Notre Dame the year before, he threw for 3,722 yards with 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions. 

Newton has had unprecedented success. There have been six other quarterbacks to have won the Heisman trophy and college national championship since the AFL/NFL merger. None of those players were drafted as high as Newton is expected to. Here is a look at those players and their (lack) of NFL success.

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