The Carolina Panthers didn't surprise anyone on Thursday night selecting Auburn QB Cam Newton with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. The Panthers say they received no offers for the pick and owner Jerry Richardson signed off on it hours before the draft.
Panthers fans at SB Nation's Panthers blog, Cat Scratch Reader, have been talking about Newton for months. All along he's been one of the 2-3 candidates for the top pick so that he was the actual pick should be of little surprise.
The reaction to the pick has been split. Cat Scratch Reader conducted a poll with 36 percent grade the pick as A and 24 percent as a B. 12 percent say it's a C while seven percent say it's a D. There were 18 percent of fans that grade it as an F. So that's 60 percent of their readers who agree with the pick and nearly 40 percent that rate it a C or worse.
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.
With great risk comes great reward. You have to take a few risks if you want to be great so we'll see if this is one of those risks that pays off for the Panthers.
Check out Cat Scratch Reader to see what Panthers fans are saying.
The first round of the 2011 NFL draft is in the books. Check out SB Nation's recap of first round draft picks, NFL draft grades and our round 2 mock draft as we prepare for another day of NFL draft festivities. Also be sure to check out SB Nation's NFL draft hub and Mocking The Draft to stay caught up on all things NFL draft.