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Cam Newton Will Be Carolina Panthers No. 1 NFL Draft Pick, According To Report

In a move that will surprise nobody, the Carolina Panthers have locked up Cam Newton as the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, according to ESPN's Sal Paolantonio. Speaking about an hour before the draft kicked off, Paolantonio reported on a meeting between Panthers brass about Newton:

Jerry Richardson, the owner of the team, met with Marty Hurney the general manager and the head coach Ron Rivera and he signed off on the proposal of drafting Cam Newton, who he met with in his home for many, many hours and was very impressed with.

He also reported the team has met extensively with Newton. So there you have it, Atlanta Falcons fans -- it looks to be all but official that the team will have to prepare for Newton at some point soon.

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft started at 8 p.m. (ET) on Thursday, April 28th, and SB Nation has everything you need to keep up with it: news, rumors, player profiles, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule, NFL mock drafts, draft projections and more. Check it all out at SB Nation's NFL Draft hub and our NFL Draft blog Mocking the Draft. For more Atlanta Falcons draft discussion, join The Falcoholic.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.