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Schefter predicts Cam Newton will be No. 1 overall pick

Cam Newton, Warren Moon

NFL draft prospect Cam Newton shares a laugh with former NFL quarterback Warren Moon, right, during a football workout Thursday, Feb. 10, 2011, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Chris Park)


Late last February, ESPN’s Adam Schefter got the ball rolling nationally when he predicted Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford would be the Rams’ No. 1 pick in the draft.

It took Schefter just over a month longer this year. In a Q&A for Insider, Schefter predicts that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will be this April’s top overall selection.

“Last week, I sensed Blaine Gabbert,” writes Schefter. "... This week, I’m more on the Cam Newton bandwagon. The more I hear, the more it sounds like Newton is the player to beat for the No. 1 pick.”

In addition to Carolina’s quarterback need, Schefter explains that the Panthers “need to create buzz to sell some tickets.” A controversial prospect but with unquestioned physical tools, Newton gives Jerry Richardson’s organization the best chance to do just that.

The news isn’t shocking. Newton went first in our latest mock draft, and he’ll remain in the top spot when our next one comes out, too.

So despite G.M. Marty Hurney’s defenses, Jimmy Clausen might be on his way out of Carolina.

According to Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki, “there remains interest in the league for (Clausen’s) services,” if the Panthers decided to trade last year’s No. 48 overall pick.