The Carolina Panthers have selected Cam Newton with the number one pick in the 2011 NFL draft, as I predicted in my mock. Whether or not to pick Cam Newton had become something of a race issue on WFNZ which is Charlotte’s premier sports radio station. As you can see here I wrote why the Panthers should take Cam Newton and here why they shouldn’t.
That all is a moot point now that the Carolina Panthers have selected Cam Newton with the number one pick. Now it remains to be seen if the Panthers under new coach Ron Rivera will be patient with Cam Newton and let him learn the NFL game or throw him to the wolves.
As a fan of the team I am also curious if the Panthers will try to build a team around Cam Newton or continue to cut costs and lose games. Last year owner Jerry Richardson who is in the forefront of NFL labor talks gutted the Carolina Panthers to save money.
The fact that the Panthers did select Newton tells me that the team will try to be completive to justify spending the money on a quarterback even if there is a rookie salary cap which is unclear at this time.
Despite being 2-14 last year mostly due to poor quarterback play, the Panthers do have some solid NFL players. IF they resign most of their free agents the team has a great running back unit, good offensive line and great linebackers. I do not expect DeAngelo Williams to return to the team but the Panthers can overcome that.
Panthers or at least Cam Newton fans should be patient and not expect Newton to be a day one starter for the Carolina Panthers. Carolina is lacking in good wide receivers as Steve Smith is expected to be traded as soon as possible. The team has a couple of young receivers with potential but no established go to number one type receiver if Steve Smith is gone.
Plus Cam Newton is coming from a run first spread type offense and will have to learn a lot about pre snap reads, play calling and just knowing what is going on. I would love to see Cam Newton play in some short yardage or goal line situations where he would excel.
The only problem with that is the Panthers offense getting near the goal line or into short yardage. If Jimmy Clausen is the starter then expect the Panthers to suck again and for Cam Newton to start sooner rather than later. Clausen showed fear last year and was shell shocked. He would have thrown more interceptions if he could keep from throwing the ball out of bounds.
Now that Cam Newton has been picked by the Carolina Panthers the team will maybe get some national attention and finally sell some jerseys. Putting butts in seats was a major reason why Newton was selected by the Panthers so I do expect to see him play some as a rookie just not in week one.