Friday, April 29, 2011

Cam Newton picked no. 1

NEW YORK -- It wasn't an unexpected phone call, but Auburn quarterback Cam Newton said it stunned him just the same.

"Just to get that phone call, it was like a shock going through my body," Newton said of a call from Carolina general manager Marty Hurney, who told Newton the Panthers had taken him with the No. 1 pick in Thursday night's NFL draft in New York City. "I'm just blessed to be part of a great organization and I'm ready to get to work."

The Panthers, 2-14 last season, hope to rebuild their franchise around the 2010 Heisman Trophy winner, who was one of six players from the state and two from Mobile to be selected in the first round Thursday.

The six first-round selections from Alabama matched the 2005 draft, when Auburn's Ronnie Brown and Carnell Williams led another group of six first-rounders from the state.

After the Panthers took Newton and Denver took Texas A&M's Von Miller at No. 2, Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus went to Buffalo with the third pick, Crimson Tide receiver Julio Jones of Foley went to Atlanta at No. 6, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley of Mobile went No. 13 to Detroit, Alabama offensive lineman James Carpenter was taken 25th by Seattle, and Alabama's 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram went to New Orleans at No. 28.

The Saints took Cal defensive end Cameron Jordan with their first-round pick at No. 24, then traded their second-round pick this year and a first-rounder next year to New England to get Ingram.

"It was a long wait," Ingram said moments after his selection. "I'm going to a great organization ... and I hope to help them win another championship."

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