Carolina Panthers select Cam Newton with #1 overall pick

What was once considered a long shot quickly became a stark reality tonight as the Carolina Panthers decided to select Heisman trophy winning QB Cam Newton with the #1 pick in the 2011 draft.

The selection not only highlights the need for the Panthers to find a franchise quarterback, but also the philosophical shift the organization has undergone. A franchise known for playing it safe and hedging their bets decided to go all in on a player whose upside could be unmatched as a quarterback, and make him a player the NFL has never seen before, while revolutionalizing the QB position; a player with unmatched speed for his size. The Panthers will hope they can succeed with Newton at the helm the same way the Pittsburgh Steelers did when they selected Ben Roethlisberger in 2004, for they are two QBs cut from the same cloth.

The selection is not without significant risk however, as the Panthers will be banking on new QB coach Mike Shula to be able to take the 'raw plutonium' as 49ers coach John Harbaugh called him and turn him into a true, NFL, pro style QB. Though this will be a huge undertaking, the Carolina Panthers would not have selected Newton if they didn't believe he had the work ethic, and they had the personnel in place to nurture his talent.

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