Cam Newton to Carolina may be getting closer to reality

How big of an impact could Cam Newton have on the Carolina Panthers?

How big of an impact could Cam Newton have on Carolina?

To Falcons (and Georgia) fans who continue to debate the NFL merits of Cam Newton — who has been central to a verbal pie fight of late – here’s an update: You may get to watch him close up against the Falcons twice a year.

There are growing indications that the quarterback-desperate Carolina Panthers will take Newton with the first pick in the NFL draft in a few weeks. The Panthers apparently have met with the former Auburn quarterback and like him. CBSSports.com reported Panthers owner Jerry Richardson “still isn’t completely sold on Newton,” but will defer to his football staff on the decision.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s two draftniks, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, but unveiled new mock drafts Wednesday and both made a change at the top, projecting Newton to go No. 1. Kiper originally had Carolina taking Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert and Kiper had Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus going first.

(UPDATE: Just realized I never posted Kiper’s and McShay’s comments about Newton. So here you go.)

Kiper:

There are immediate needs, and there is a decision that you believe will change the direction of your franchise for years to come. While I don’t believe Carolina is locked onto this pick — if you’re heard me at all lately, you’ll know I see this is one of the more unpredictable top 10’s I can ever remember — if they really see Newton as the transformative player that can be both a Pro Bowl quarterback and face of the franchise who draws a lot of buzz, they can make this pick. If talent alone was all they were concerned with, Newton would be an easy choice. But this pick also requires a belief in his development and maturity. Certainly, however, Newton’s potential is significant.

McShay:

Newton is not the No. 1 player on my board — that would be Alabama DT Marcell Dareus — and defensive tackle is as much of a need as quarterback, but I’m hearing a lot of buzz from people in the league that Carolina is leaning toward a quarterback. I’m also hearing the Panthers favor Newton over Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert, and where there’s smoke there’s often fire. It’s not that Gabbert’s stock is falling, it’s just that Carolina apparently likes Newton’s incredible physical tools and immense upside.

Carolina is a dreadful team, and Newton likely wouldn’t have the same immediate impact there that he did at Auburn — certainly not to that degree. But he could make them more entertaining and competitive.

Falcons’ projections in mock drafts remain all over the board, which is probably the way general manager Thomas Dimitroff likes it. Kiper has the Falcons taking Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn, (with Georgia’s Justin Houston going to New England with the next pick). Kiper on the Falcons:

The Falcons are a solid team without a true glaring need, but a 4-3 defensive end with the ability to rush the passer and great awareness and discipline against the run can help them in 2011. That’s Clayborn in a nutshell. His coaches rave, as do players that have had to face him. He has good size, a reputation for relentlessness and the respect of his peers. Atlanta could look for a wideout to diversify an attack that went too often in one direction last year, but Clayborn is the better value here.

McShay has Clayborn being off the board at 24th to New Orleans and the Falcons taking Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed at 27th. McShay on Reed:

The Falcons are in the market for a pass rusher who can keep DE John Abraham fresh and be groomed as Abraham’s eventual replacement, and while Reed’s ideal fit is at 3-4 outside linebacker he has good size (6-foot-3, 263 pounds) and is a similar player to the Eagles’ Brandon Graham, who the Falcons had interest in last year. Also, history tells us Atlanta prefers to draft seniors and Reed is an experienced player coming off a productive senior season.

Both have Georgia’s A.J. Green going fourth overall to Cincinnati.

Back to Newton. After seeing him torment the Bulldogs and the rest of the SEC (and nation) this season, any thoughts on him going against the Falcons twice a year, should he end up with Carolina?

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

131 comments Add your comment

ansel

April 6th, 2011
2:36 pm

D A DoubleU G

April 6th, 2011
2:47 pm

Better Carolina than Atlanta.

The. End.

DawgFan

April 6th, 2011
2:52 pm

It will be a lot more fun to watch the Falcons run all over him than it was to watch him run all over my Bulldogs.

Vain Jangling

April 6th, 2011
2:58 pm

Just heard that Cecil is asking Carolina for “$100,000 to $180,000″ to draft and sign his son. Will someone please tell the dude that the market is about $75 million over 7 years, with $45 million guaranteed.

Jeff Schultz

April 6th, 2011
3:00 pm

Vain Jingling — “Just heard that Cecil is asking Carolina for “$100,000 to $180,000″ to draft and sign his son. Will someone please tell the dude that the market is about $75 million over 7 years, with $45 million guaranteed.” ….. That comment is going to be hard to top.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 6th, 2011
3:01 pm

I don’t care at all about Auburn, or college football in general, but I find myself wanting Cam to succeed in the NFL just because It seems to have become so fashionable to diss him and root for his failure. I am especially amused by UGA fans who hate on him, knowing very well that if he had done the exact same things at UGA they would be making excuses for him.

It will be nice to see him prove the haters wrong. Always nice to see people from ATL succeeding.

Najeh Davenpoop

April 6th, 2011
3:03 pm

Also, if this actually becomes a reality, I gotta toot my own horn for a second, having called it on DOL’s first mock draft two months ago where he had Cam slipping to #8.

Biff Pocaroba Fan Club

April 6th, 2011
3:05 pm

Cam Newton has the most upside of any QB entering the draft since Michael Vick. Why shouldn’t Carolina take a chance on him?

GTBob

April 6th, 2011
3:05 pm

I would actually prefer that Carolina take Cam over Gabbert. It will set them back another few years and lowers our competition a bit.

Hollywould

April 6th, 2011
3:06 pm

I don’t see it. Carolina will trade down/ 2 many qb’s in this class. I don’t see Richardson makin this move.

Hollywould

April 6th, 2011
3:07 pm

Najeh, Do u ever sleep? You are up at 2 in the morn after the Hawks.

Dawglasville

April 6th, 2011
3:10 pm

Cincy? Poor A.J.

Tebow and Cam were scary to face in college, not too worried about them in the pros. I hope Carolina drafts him. It would make playing them more interesting.

Paul H

April 6th, 2011
3:12 pm

He would put butts in the seats. If you’re the owner of the worst team in the league, what is there to debate?

Paul H

April 6th, 2011
3:13 pm

He would put butts in seats. If you’re the owner of the worst team in the league, what is there to debate?

The Original WDE

April 6th, 2011
3:13 pm

People will doubt him and hate him, but we’re proud of him.

++

April 6th, 2011
3:14 pm

I’d rather have Aron White and Drew Butler.

1eyedJack

April 6th, 2011
3:14 pm

If he tries to be the player he was at Awbun he’ll get his clock cleaned so many times that he won,t be able to say Wunderlich let alone spell it.

Dawglasville

April 6th, 2011
3:15 pm

Biff Pocaroba Fan Club

1eyedJack

April 6th, 2011
3:15 pm

won,t? WTF is that?

schmeckdawg

April 6th, 2011
3:15 pm

SMOKE SCREEN!!!!!!!!!

Dawglasville

April 6th, 2011
3:16 pm

Biff Pocaroba Fan Club – Upside is not the biggest selling point for a top five pick. He had better be a lock.

Brandon

April 6th, 2011
3:17 pm

Newton is going to be a stud. You can overlook mechanics to death but if a guy can lead and win that’s all that matters.

schmeckdawg

April 6th, 2011
3:18 pm

If I was AJ Green, I’d pull a John Elway and tell them that if they draft me, I am not signing. Why go there and have you career ruined before it ever starts. With Carson Palmer threatning to quit, the Bungholes should go QB! Just my humble opinion!

GTBob

April 6th, 2011
3:19 pm

Cam Newton has the most upside of any QB entering the draft since Michael Vick. Why shouldn’t Carolina take a chance on him?

Questionable character, was a RB/QB combo in college and didnt play in a pro offense, struggled with passing accuracy at the combine, has fundamental throwing issues similar to Tebow. Those would be the big ones. It just seems to be pretty dumb taking a project QB as the number one pick.

JB

April 6th, 2011
3:22 pm

Big Big mistake. Those with big bodies and out of control arms have tried before him. You won’t win big in the NFL with a QB who in college was great because of his legs but fair or so passing. You need a pure passer long term, not just one or two great 20 yard scrambles a game. Big Big mistake Carolina.

Dawglasville

April 6th, 2011
3:23 pm

Najeh – let’s be honest. If he had played at Georgia you’d be hating on him. You guys love anyone who beats Georgia. Tech fans, like Georgia fans, hate on their rivals. We have a lot more rivals than Tech does.

schmeckdawg

April 6th, 2011
3:25 pm

I hope the Panthers do take Scam. I mean with old receivers, a cruddy d-line, banged up running backs that should be an automatic 2 wins for the Falcons!!!!!

JSS

April 6th, 2011
3:27 pm

One name: Jimmy Clausen… And you want to criticize Cam Newton? I can’t stop laughing…

DawginLex

April 6th, 2011
3:28 pm

Newton has talent but how will pros respond to him?

That is the big question to me.

AJ to Cincy-go play in Canada for a year and come back in 2012. Don’t let them ruin your life in Cincy.

schmeckdawg

April 6th, 2011
3:35 pm

DawginLex

April 6th, 2011
3:28 pm
Newton has talent but how will pros respond to him?

That is the big question to me.

AJ to Cincy-go play in Canada for a year and come back in 2012. Don’t let them ruin your life in Cincy.

GREAT CALL. See my post @ 3:18. Go DAWGS!!!!!!!!!

Ridiculous

April 6th, 2011
3:35 pm

Carolina is not going to trade down. That first pick is so hard to trade out of, but teams all shy away due to the asking price for it (usually like a 1st & 3rd this year + 2nd next year) plus the fact you have to pay a ton of $$$ to the top overall pick that has maybe worked out, what, half the time? It’s a blessing & a curse to have that first pick.

There are so many needs for teams that need a “franchise QB” like Newton that I just can’t see anyone paying the price to trade up for him. Carolina is stuck with the pick, they’ll probably use it on Newton, and we’ll all see how he pans out (*bust* – ahem…)

Richham

April 6th, 2011
3:36 pm

Newton to the Panthers is a best case scenario for the Falcons. Drafting a quarterback in the first round is a perilous and risky process, and Newton has way too many problems surrounding him if I was the owner.

All it means for the Falcons is a better player slides down the board to them in the first round. I really hope this is true.

AU Football = Mental Giants

April 6th, 2011
3:37 pm

BG

April 6th, 2011
3:37 pm

Cam the cheater!! I hope Carolina passes on him.

JB

April 6th, 2011
3:39 pm

If AJ goes to Cincy, he could change his name to Pedro Cabos. Wacko names appear to be a big deal there.

JB

April 6th, 2011
3:41 pm

At the end of the Day, I don’t think that owner up there could stomach giving this guy 60 mil.

give me a break

April 6th, 2011
3:43 pm

Vain Jingling — “Just heard that Cecil is asking Carolina for “$100,000 to $180,000″ to draft and sign his son. Will someone please tell the dude that the market is about $75 million over 7 years, with $45 million guaranteed.” ….. That comment is going to be hard to top….LAME

tonyb

April 6th, 2011
3:47 pm

If Carolina uses the first pick on Newton, it will be decisions like this that will make the Panthers the LA Clippers of the NFL.

Whopper Dawg

April 6th, 2011
3:51 pm

There won’t be a middle ground with him. It will be boom or bust.

Carolina Boo

April 6th, 2011
3:51 pm

The lockout is the best thing Carolina has going for them right now. That is a franchise going nowhere fast. Claussen is just the latest example of that. He would probably work out fine in a couple of years if he was coached up as a second or third option on a decent team.

Laverne Bedletter

April 6th, 2011
3:52 pm

Say what you will about Cam; I do not want to face him twice a year. Period. Send him to Oakland, please.

PMC

April 6th, 2011
3:53 pm

Would be pretty cool if the 2nd major sponsorship after he’s drafted is Apple or Dell.

PMC

April 6th, 2011
3:56 pm

If they are going QB I can’t imagine him not being the pick. What he did on the field in the midst of all that scruitiny is nothing short of amazing. I think he can handle the pressue of the NFL.

Blaine Gabbert may well be excellent, but he didn’t start in college long enough to really prove much on that level.

Stinger2

April 6th, 2011
3:57 pm

It does not matter to me who drafts Cam Newton. One thing for sure…it won`t be the Falcons.

1eyedJack

April 6th, 2011
3:58 pm

By the time this deal is done there could be a rookie salary cap and Cam would be happy to get that $180,000.

1eyedJack

April 6th, 2011
3:59 pm

If he let’s Cecil be his agent then it will prove he’s a damn fool.

newton

April 6th, 2011
4:03 pm

Well, Cam Newton burned up all of Auburn’s $$ salary cap, so surely he can burn up all of Carolina’s salary cap, too…

Bryant

April 6th, 2011
4:09 pm

This just in from T-Town. Patriots will package the 17th pick and the 28th to move up and take Julio Jones who has sped past (pun intended) A.J. as the number one WR in the draft.

BAMA dude

April 6th, 2011
4:10 pm

1eyedJack

April 6th, 2011
3:59 pm
If he let’s Cecil be his agent then it will prove he’s a damn fool.

Why’s that? Cecil scored the loot last year.

exNFLplayer

April 6th, 2011
4:14 pm

Ryan Leaf comes to mind.