Panthers haven’t ruled out Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick

New Carolina coach Ron Rivera said, "Bring it on Falcons." (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

New Carolina coach Ron Rivera said, "Bring it on Falcons." (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

INDIANAPOLIS – “Team AJC” has arrived at the 2011 NFL scouting combine.

Today, the following position groups will stream through the interview room: Offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long snappers and  tight ends.

Lucas Oil

Some team executives have been through already. Denver coach John Fox just finished. A. Detroit coach Jim Schwartz is finished. (I’m going to ask him about Chris Houston and Erik Coleman when he gets off the podium.)

Miami’s Jeff Ireland, Buffalo’s Chan Gailey and new Carolina coach Ron Rivera have already spoken to the gathered media.

Rivera didn’t rule out the Panthers selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, of Westlake High, with the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

“There are  8 to 10  young men that we feel fit our needs real well,” Rivera said. “We’ll explore every avenue with them. We are going to try to keep an open mind with everybody we deal with.”

He’s believes the Panthers will face an uphill battle in the NFC South with the Falcons, Saints and Bucs all coming off 10-win seasons.

The Media Entrance at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLVI, you know if there isn't a lockout. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

The Media Entrance at Lucas Oil Stadium, site of Super Bowl XLVI, you know if there isn't a lockout. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

“It’s going to most certainly be a challenge,” Rivera said.

He also addressed whether wide receiver Steve Smith will be retained by the Panthers.

“Steve is a Carolina Panther,” Rivera said. “Let us put it all together and see if it works first.”

Rivera, who interviewed for the Falcons head coaching position before they hired Bobby Petrino for the 2007 season, could have been in the NFC South earlier.

“I’m very excited and it’s great to have the opportunity,” Rivera  said.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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162 comments Add your comment

DC

February 24th, 2011
11:59 am

First. Cam tha man! I am an AU fan..but I dont want him in our division…I think he will be legit in a couple years…

John

February 24th, 2011
12:03 pm

I hope they take Cam with the no.1 pick. Be hilarious!!!! Definitely not deserving of the no.1 pick…not even the best QB in this draft. Then again, how many Heisman Winners (never the best player in the country) are actually good in the NFL.

David

February 24th, 2011
12:03 pm

Wow I for one would love to see the Panther’s take Cam Newton 1st overall. Since I think he will be a draft bust I don’t want the Buffalo Bills (my home town team) even thinking about taking him at 3.
On a side note with 3 young quarterbacks already on their roster (Matt Moore, Jimmy Clausen, and Tony Pike) I would invest more in a Quarterback Coach and Draft A.J. Green 1st overall since he will by himself make any quarterback look better.

DC

February 24th, 2011
12:06 pm

David..how is that working for CJ at detroit?..and explain how Newton will be a bust in the NFL?…you guys just can’t say BUST without reasoning…explain with his progressions on the field etc..

clay

February 24th, 2011
12:15 pm

Bring it on Carolina Panthers

#60 :)

February 24th, 2011
12:16 pm

cam newton might not be the best passing QB rite now, but you cant deny his upside he will be a hell of a QB in a couple of years. he reminds me of a faster more agile Big Ben..thats scary! on another note D-Led what if the lions get to pick aj.green? calvin johnson and AJ thats even scarier! i know who im playin wit on madden 12

Joe Tess Fish House

February 24th, 2011
12:24 pm

Just like the Flacons 2 let Cam Newtom get a way to anoter team.

Joe Tess Fish House

February 24th, 2011
12:25 pm

devildawg

February 24th, 2011
12:29 pm

Cam’s Wunderlich test will be worse than Vince Young’s and everyone will realize that all the natural talent in the world doesn’t put a brain between your ears. Cam’s about as dumb as my stool and had no chance to stay at AU. He’s as dead as those ugly arse trees. Bwahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!

Who Dat Nation

February 24th, 2011
12:30 pm

If anyone is a bust just check Matt Ryan and Peria Jerry, those two are BUSTS. Joe Tess any thoughts on Jerry

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ATLHOMER, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Panthers haven’t ruled out Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick http://bit.ly/gGXNcb [...]

Joe Tess Fish House

February 24th, 2011
12:31 pm

Wonderlick is overatted. Matt Ryan score high on it and what does he do? Throughs 2 many INTS

Joe Tess Fish House

February 24th, 2011
12:32 pm

Webster dictonary defies bust as Perrier Jerry

Perrier Jerry THE BUST

February 24th, 2011
12:36 pm

Joe I am sorry I hurt my knew, but at least you can watch me make one tackle a year before I am out for the season

Perrier Jerry THE BUST

February 24th, 2011
12:37 pm

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:39 pm

“not even the best QB in this draft.”

Then who is? Last time I checked, Cam led in almost every single category in college football.

Keith

February 24th, 2011
12:39 pm

Cam Newton should be the number one pick in the draft. This kid is going to be one of the most successful QBs in the NFL in the next decade. He made playing in the SEC look very easy. He will not be like Andre Ware or Akili Smith. He’s the real deal!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

February 24th, 2011
12:42 pm

Joe Tess — You got a “hall pass?”

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:44 pm

“Then again, how many Heisman Winners (never the best player in the country) are actually good in the NFL.”

Reggie Bush, Charles Woodson, Ricky Williams, Eddie George, Barry Sanders, Tim Brown, Bo Jackson, Marcus Allen, Earl Campbell, Tony Dorsett, O.J. Simpson, Roger Staubach to name a few.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
12:45 pm

It’s gonna happen. I told y’all when you dropped the mock draft having him outside the top 5. No way the top QB in the draft slips out of the top 5 nowadays. If Newton impresses at the combine, and I think he will, he’ll go no lower than 3.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:45 pm

“cam newton might not be the best passing QB rite now”

He had the highest QB passer rating in the country.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:46 pm

“Draft A.J. Green 1st overall since he will by himself make any quarterback look better.’

Yeah, cause he really made Aaron Murray look great! What was that record? Oh yeah, 6-7. Yeah, AJ is awesome.

Najeh Davenpoop

February 24th, 2011
12:47 pm

Also, QB Wonderlic scores are such a poor predictor of NFL success that you might as well judge a QB’s future success by his 40 time.

Who Dat Nation

February 24th, 2011
12:47 pm

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:45 pm
“cam newton might not be the best passing QB rite now”

He had the highest QB passer rating in the country.

Maybe the Falcons can trade for him because they need a upgrade at that position

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:47 pm

“I don’t want the Buffalo Bills (my home town team) even thinking about taking him at 3.”

Yeah, cause the Bills have a great history of drafting great players. LOL

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:48 pm

“Maybe the Falcons can trade for him because they need a upgrade at that position”

Falcons are fine at qb. The Falcons have MUCH more problems than their qb.

dawgfacedboy

February 24th, 2011
12:49 pm

He can throw the ball better than Tebow but his entire game was based on him being able to run. Will he be able to stand in the pocket and throw the ball down field??

They have alot of holes on that team, ala Detroit and Stafford. His best hope is to stay healthy enough and sign with another team.

Carolina needs to get some players in there to support next year’s top pick in Andrew Luck.

Bubba

February 24th, 2011
12:50 pm

Scam Cam is a legend in his own mind, just ax(ask) him

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:51 pm

“Cam’s Wunderlich test will be worse than Vince Young’s and everyone will realize that all the natural talent in the world doesn’t put a brain between your ears.’

Yeah, and the dawgs will win the BCS Title this year. I love dumb dawg fans whose predictions NEVER come true. Speaking of dumb, did Herschel ever learn how to read?

“He’s as dead as those ugly arse trees. ‘

Not nearly as ugly as your 6-7 dawg team.

Hey, do you think you’ll have enough money left over from your trailer rent to go bail out this years football team?

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:52 pm

“He can throw the ball better than Tebow but his entire game was based on him being able to run.’

You must have missed the UGA, USC, Arkansas, Bama and Oregon games.

“Will he be able to stand in the pocket and throw the ball down field?? ”

Go back and re-watch the UGA beat down he gave UGA.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:53 pm

“Carolina needs to get some players in there to support next year’s top pick in Andrew Luck.”

Andrew Luck didn’t win one tough game this year. Not one. Stanford beat one ranked team and that same team lost to James Madison.

I’d love to see Mr. Luck throw week in and week out in the SEC.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:53 pm

“Scam Cam is a legend in his own mind, just ax(ask) him’

No, that would be delusional UGA fans.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:54 pm

“Just like the Flacons 2 let Cam Newtom get a way to anoter team.”

Who are the Flacons?

DawginLex

February 24th, 2011
12:54 pm

It would be nice if some SEC QB’s would do well in the league. Stafford, Tebow and Newton can all do well.

Mannings are kind of the exception as the SEC hasn’t turned out much lately in the way of NFL QB’s.

WDE, trying to have a serious conversation with you is a waste of time. your rants about 6-7, trailer parks etc really get old and are childish and a big waste of space.

Can’t wait for your next 5 year old comment.

DC

February 24th, 2011
12:55 pm

Cam isn’t school smart but he does know how to play football..he knows how to pick up reads and definitely sees what defenses are doing on the field..thats all i care about. i don’t care about a test that asks if Johnny rode a bus into work and kim rode her bike at 55 mph who farted the loudest…i dont care…most of you all don’t care either..but you act like you do..

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:56 pm

“Stafford, Tebow and Newton can all do well.”

No argument there.

“WDE, trying to have a serious conversation with you is a waste of time. your rants about 6-7, trailer parks etc really get old and are childish and a big waste of space.”

You must be under the false impression that I care what you think.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:57 pm

“Cam isn’t school smart but he does know how to play football”

Neither are 80% of NFL football players.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
12:58 pm

DawginLex

If my comments aren’t worth commenting on, why did you comment?

DawginLex

February 24th, 2011
12:58 pm

no WDE, I realize you don’t care about much of anything except bashing UGA and repeating the same 5 year old crap over and over again.

I don’t care what you think either and here is a newsflash for you:

No one else on here cares either.

We get it. You hate UGA.

Why don’t you do what they do in the old folks home and number your jokes? It would save you typing time.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
1:00 pm

“I realize you don’t care about much of anything except bashing UGA and repeating the same 5 year old crap over and over again.’

I bashed the people who were bashing Cam and Auburn. You must have skipped over the comment about Auburn’s “ugly trees.”

Try again, Gump.

“No one else on here cares either.’

Yet you keep responding so you obviously care.

“Why don’t you do what they do in the old folks home and number your jokes?”

That makes about as much sense as Bobo’s play calls.

DawginLex

February 24th, 2011
1:01 pm

I commented on the blog topic.

I stated an opinion about you.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
1:02 pm

“We get it. You hate UGA.”

No, I don’t like ignorant UGA fans who spew crap about Cam and Auburn. Instead of typing gibberish, maybe you should go and read some of the above comments about Cam/Auburn etc.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
1:02 pm

“I stated an opinion about you.”

You really are a contradiction.

WDE

February 24th, 2011
1:03 pm

“Here is a list for you:”

Huh, I hadn’t mentioned those and didn’t plan on it. Again, re-re-re-re-read the above comments from your fellow UGA brethren.

DawginLex

February 24th, 2011
1:04 pm

Did I comment about Cam and auburn?

Yes

what did I comment?

I talked about the lack of successful QB’s in the NFL lately except for the Mannings.

You respond by bashing UGA, and calling me Gump.

DawginLex

February 24th, 2011
1:07 pm

“Here is a list for you:”

Huh, I hadn’t mentioned those and didn’t plan on it. Again, re-re-re-re-read the above comments from your fellow UGA brethren.

**************************************************************

We all know it would only be a matter of time before you used the things on the list. Just reference a number and save time.

Tech Stinger

February 24th, 2011
1:08 pm

You forgot to put the Fulmer Cup on the list

WDE

February 24th, 2011
1:08 pm

“Just reference a number and save time.”

SEE: 12:54 and 12:56 pm

Nice try, Lex. Anymore lies you want to spew?

WDE

February 24th, 2011
1:09 pm

“We all know it would only be a matter of time before you used the things on the list.”

Foot meet mouth.

Project much?

WDE

February 24th, 2011
1:24 pm

I am an Auburn fan who never went to college.