No. 1 pick Cam Newton named Carolina Panthers starting QB

Of the four first-round picks in the 2011 NFL Draft, only one is going to start the first game of the season.

Appropriately enough, it's No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton who is getting the first shot when his Carolina Panthers open up against the Arizona Cardinals.

Newton has had bouts of inconsistency throughout the preseason, but quite frankly just about anyone would be an upgrade over Jimmy Clausen.

Newton put together an impressive 71-yard drive against the Pittsburgh Steelers Thursday night and culminated in a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jeremy Shockey. For Newton, that drive made up for middling performances against the Cincinnati Bengals and Miami Dolphins.

Clausen, referred to as "awful" by a Charlotte Observer headline writer, may even have to suit up as the team's third stringer behind veteran Derek Anderson. Where did all those Clausen fans from the 2010 draft go?

Anderson was Carolina's first replacement for Newton, not Clausen as expected.

For more on this and other Panthers news, check out Cat Scratch Reader.

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