By Eric D.Graham
Updated: April 29, 2011

Cam's #1

Cam's #1

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN)—There were a lot of handshakes and hugs during the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft Thursday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

With cell phones glued to their diamond studded ears, several players smiled while others cried as they heard their names called by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

With their tailored made suits, each player selected in the 1st round of the NFL draft tried to fit their teams fitted caps on their huge heads as they made their way to the stage to meet the commissioner.

After giving the commissioner a big bear hug, the fresh new faces of the NFL took family portraits while holding up their jerseys with pride for photographers.

Unfortunately, despite all the jubilance, some players with raised eyebrows and question marked looks, watched in disappointment as their inflated egos were deflated.

As a result, their 1st round NFL draft dreams were deferred to the second round.

Not surprisingly, the Carolina Panthers, who were 2-14 last season, selected the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, Auburn University’s Cameron Newton as the No.1 overall pick.

“I’m happy…” said the 6-foot-5 248 pound Newton.”There were a lot of sleepless nights and uncertainty. But now, we can put the cap on the bottle.”

Despite the Panthers’ popular pick in Newton, many NFL analysts weren’t happy with their selection.

“I don’t think it was the right pick for the Carolina Panthers.” said Kurt Warner of the NFL Network.

“I don’t think he (Newton) is a franchise quarterback. Franchise quarterbacks have to be able to play in the pocket. He is a long way from that right now.”

While analysts continue to question the Panthers’ pick and Newton’s franchise status, oddly, the numbers don’t lie. Because last year, the Panthers’ (QB) Jim Clausen threw only three touchdown passes, nine interceptions and had a league worst 58.4 passer rating while engineering the worst offense in the NFL.

With those stats, we all have to applaud Carolina’s selection. Because they definitely need a good quarterback to compete in the NFC South, which is a conference that already has Drew Brees in New Orleans, Matt Ryan in Atlanta, and Josh Freeman in Tampa Bay.

Whether Newton lives up to the hype and becomes a franchise quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, only time can tell.

But until then, we celebrate their selection.