I may be in the minority here, but I'm not sure if that is the right pick for the team. One one level it makes sense as it'll put some butts in seats and give the fans something to be excited about. It'll also help give the team some national exposure, because let's face it going 2-14 last year doesn't help give the media anything positive to talk about your team.
By drafting Cam with the 1st pick also means the team is giving up on Jimmy Clausen whom they selected last year. I like Clausen personally and I felt bad that he was thrust into the starting line-up as he was. The Panthers should've went into last season with a veteran QB to help Matt Moore and the 2 rookie QBs (Clausen & Tony Pike). Jimmy was running for his life on the field thanks in part to a poor offensive line. I don't think last season was indicative of Clausen's abilities.
I would like to see the Panthers trade down in the draft personally. The team has so many holes to fill right now it's not even funny. Yes, the team could use some stability in the QB department - I won't debate that...but I don't see Cam Newton coming in and being the team's savior. I see him being 3rd string while he learns. The Panthers are rebuilding and a lot of the locals think that Cam does have the tools to be a good NFL quarterback, but it'll take some time. Carolina fans are impatient and for good reason. Our owner (Jerry Richardson) has been acting like a major jerk over the last few seasons. We lost Julius Peppers and apparently now Steve Smith is done in Carolina. The whole set up of the team last year was horrible and I'm sure coach John Fox was glad to get out of Charlotte.
In addition to trading the first pick I'd like the see the team sign a veteran QB at least to a one or two season deal. If nothing else to provide that leadership aspect in the locker room and for the young guys on the team. They did it before with Steve Beuerlein, Rodney Peete and more recently w/ Vinny Testeverde. Some people have brought up Vince Young's name. Others have mentioned Kelvin Kolb or even Donovan McNabb. I just want a half decent team on the field again!
The other draft picks the Carolina Panthers have supposedly targeted include:
Marcell Dareus, Alabama defensive tackle
A.J. Green, Georgia wide receiver
Patrick Peterson, Louisiana State cornerback
There are several arguments to be had of who the Carolina Panthers should pick and the topic has dominated local sports talk radio shows for the last few weeks. If the Panthers could trade the pick and get something in the 2nd round I'd like to see them draft A.J. Green. It looks like Steve Smith has played his last game at WR for the Panthers and while rookies David Gettis and Brandon LaFell showed splashes of brilliance last year the position could use another guy.
I guess we'll see how it all turns out later this evening. Either way I hope Topps shows the Panthers some cardboard love in 2011 with whomever is drafted.