When Cam Newton was drafted No. 1 overall by the Carolina Panthers, there was a cacophony of voices (including my own, sadly), who shouted that Cam Newton would be a terrible choice for a rebuilding team at No. 1 and that he should go sit behind an incumbent veteran before being thrown to the wolves.
Boy, were we wrong. He took the pigskin and ran, threw, and simply rammed it down the throats of his detractors.
Never before has anyone had a rookie season like Cam Newton. Literally. His campaign has been historic in nearly every way.
Andy Dalton may be the winningest quarterback in the 2011 class (so far), but you cannot compete with a man who has shattered numerous rookie records, and even a few standard ones, in his debut year.
Newton left Vince Young's seven rookie QB rushing touchdowns in the dust and now owns the single-season record for QB rushing touchdowns, period, with 13.
He is the fastest quarterback to ever reach 1,000 yards, doing it in his first three games. He is the only rookie to ever throw back-to-back 400 yard games and is the only rookie to throw for 400 yards in his first career game. For that matter, with 432 yards against Green Bay, he holds the rookie record for passing yards in a game as well.
He is the first rookie quarterback to ever have 10 rushing and passing touchdowns in a single season, and the ONLY player in history to ever have five of each in his first five games.
He is one of only four rookies to pass for 3,000 yards, and with 3,297 passing yards to date, he is on pace to shatter Peyton Manning's rookie record of 3,739.
On a side note, he ranks second among all rookies in rushing yards with 518, only behind DeMarco Murray; you know, a running back.
A player of Newton's like has never been seen before, and might never be again. He is, without a doubt, the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
2011 Season Stats:
251/413 (60.2% comp), 3,297 Passing Yards, 13 TDs, 14 INTs, 518 Yards rushing, 13 TDs.
Season Highlight: Uhhh—everything.