When will Cam Newton be drafted and by whom?

March 11, 2011

Shuffle off to Buffalo

Sam Farmer

Los Angeles Times

Cam Newton might want to double up on the Under Armour because he's heading to Buffalo.

The Bills have the third pick, and they're one of the seven teams picking in the top 10 that is looking for a long-term answer at quarterback. With free agency up in the air while the owners and players grab for as much money as they can get, teams are going to have to look to the draft to fill needs they might have addressed by signing available veterans.

The Panthers will make Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert the No. 1 pick; Denver won't take a quarterback No. 2 after taking Tim Tebow in the first round last year; and Newton comes off the board at No. 3. The Bills have Ryan Fitzpatrick, who can hold down the job long enough for Newton to get comfortable, then step aside for the transition.


Bengals or Bills

Dan Pompei

Chicago Tribune

There are two kinds of NFL scouts: Those who love Cam Newton, and those who have no use for him. Newton is a polarizing prospect. But there are enough scouts who love him to insure Newton will be a very high draft pick.

Given the fact he is not a completely "clean" prospect, it's likely Newton will need to go to a team in which the owner is involved and intrigued by him. He could fit in Buffalo, which could take him at No. 3 and use Newton's fan appeal to sell the Bills brand.

And he could fit in Cincinnati, where Mike Brown has a long history of taking risks on draft day. Carson Palmer wants out, and selecting Newton with the fourth pick could enable the Bengals to grant Palmer his wish.


Could be No. 1 pick

Kevin Van Valkenburg

Baltimore Sun

He might be the top pick. Here's why: If the next NFL labor agreement includes some kind of rookie wage scale — and many people following the negotiations are predicting it will — then Newton is absolutely worth the risk. It's not the safest choice, but it could pay off big for the Panthers.

If you don't have to give him the kind of money you gave JaMarcus Russell, he would turn into an absolute steal if he developed into a hybrid of Ben Roethlisberger and Tim Tebow. And if he flopped, it won't cripple your franchise because you gave him $50 million guaranteed.

For all the criticism Newton has received — most of it deserved — he is a remarkable talent. If the next CBA allows the Panthers to sign him for a reasonable amount of money, they should jump at the chance.


Top half, first round

Omar Kelly

Sun Sentinel

Cam Newton was an unstoppable force that led the Auburn Tigers to the national championship in his first season as a starter, and he won just about every college award doing it.

You'd think that would be enough to make him to No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 draft, but it isn't. There are valid concerns about Newton's character, accuracy, the style of offense he played in and the small sample size to evaluate him off.

Those concerns will likely keep Newton from being the draft's top pick, but shouldn't keep him from going in the top half of the first round. Buffalo, which needs to energize it's fan base, would be a good home for Newton, as would San Francisco, where Jim Harbaugh could make Newton his next QB project.


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