NFL Draft 2011: Carolina Panthers And The Cam Newton Decision

The No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft comes with plenty of options and could set a team up for long-term success or cripple a franchise just the same. With the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers sit in the driver's seat, and have the chance to draft an immediate impact player, giving the franchise a quick shot in the arm. As the draft draws closer, all signs are pointing to the Panthers snapping up Cam Newton, regarded as an impact playmaker at the quarterback spot -- the most important position in the NFL.

CBS Sports' Pete Prisco took a look at the Panthers wants and needs in an effort to form a conclusion about what Carolina may do on April 28. But it came down to a simple question: Quarterback or defensive tackle. The answer, it turned out, was just as simple.

But like I said last year before the draft: When was the last time you came away from a Super Bowl and said that team won because of the great defensive tackle play?

It's a quarterback league. If the Panthers think Newton can be a franchise passer, they need to take him.

It's a risk, but one the Panthers may have to take. With the city expecting Newton at this point, anything less may cause widespread mutiny in Carolina.

For the latest news and rumors, stay with our 2011 NFL Draft StoryStream. For more on the Panthers and the decisions they face, head over to Cat Scratch Reader.

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