The Carolina Panthers chose QB Cam Newton with the first pick in the 2011 NFL draft on Thursday.
The Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn product who led the school to the national title last season became the first QB selected in the first round by Carolina since 1995.
Newton was widely projected to be the first overall pick for the Panthers, who were 2-14 last season.
He joins a team with a new coach in Ron Rivera and new offensive coordinator in Rob Chudzinski.
Newton called it the selection a "great responsibility."
His selection marks the second straight year the Panthers have chosen a QB with their first pick. They chose Jimmy Clausen last year in the second round, when they did not have a first-round pick.
"I'm blessed for this whole organization to put faith in me," Newton said. "I can't wait to get to my new hometown of Charlotte."