Auburn coach: Newton will be a great pro

Auburn coach Gene Chizik said Sunday that quarterback Cam Newton would not let any team down if they decided to pick him No.1 in the 2011 NFL draft.

Speaking after acting as grand marshal for NASCAR’s Aaron’s 499 Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway, Chizik said the former Tigers star and Heisman Trophy winner would definitely go early in the draft.

"I think that Cam Newton will be a great fit for any team — period," he told Sporting News.

"He’s a great competitor. He’s a great teammate. There’s no question in my mind that, if somebody takes him — which somebody will take him, and they will take him early, OK, and there’s no question in my mind that that will happen — they’re not going to regret it."

The coach of the national champion Tigers said he would not be at all surprised if the Carolina Panthers selected Newton at No.1.

"They’re going to look back years later and realize that that was a very wise pick. So if the Carolina Panthers take him first, again, I won’t be shocked, and they won’t be disappointed," he said.

The Panthers have the first overall pick in the draft, which will start with first-round selections on April 28.