2011 NFL Draft: Panthers Pick Flash over Substance: Select Cam Newton No. 1

Chris SContributor IApril 29, 2011

Auburn Quarterback, Cam Newton
Auburn Quarterback, Cam NewtonChris Trotman/Getty Images

“With the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers select, Cam Newton, Quarterback, Auburn University.”

With those very words, the countdown to Andrew Luck began.

If there was one thing that last season’s on field campaign showed Panther fans last year, the team was “clearly” just one player away.

They do not need help on offensive line, as they only gave up 50 sacks last year.

They do not need help on defense, as they held opponents to 25.6 points per game (only six offenses averaged more than they gave up).

They do not need help at wide receiver. Steve Smith, when (occasionally) healthy, would “clearly be a number one” (or slot receiver) on any other team, and LaFell Edwards occasionally catches a pass that hits him right in the hands.

They don’t need help at running back as four running backs combined for a stellar 1,654 yards last season.

To add insult to injury, one of the Panthers division rivals traded up to give Matt Ryan another high-powered weapon in Julio Jones, and another selected Mark Ingram to share the backfield with Drew Brees.

The argument could easily be made that the Falcons are “one player away”.

But not the Panthers.

Clearly, what they needed is ANOTHER quarterback?

Is this one going to have time to develop?

Could Cam Newton be a transcendent player?

Sure, but don’t bet on it.


Because instinctual run-first quarterbacks from a gimmick offense—who have “out athleted” opponents at every level—traditionally fail at the NFL level, where the talent level is so high it no longer works for them.

What else can you expect from a front office who has selected four quarterbacks in two years, and a GM who most notable pick to date was Ryan Leaf when he was in San Diego

An owner who is trying to tell a city hit hard by the economy, that the stadium he built 15 years ago is outdated and convinced his fellow owners that a lockout was a good idea.

Mr. Luck, the Charlotte real estate market is down, you might want to start looking.