The Denver Broncos hope Gil Brandt is right.
"It would shock me... if he's not the first player picked," Brandt said. "If I was drafting and I had Carolina's [No. 1] pick, I'd feel really good about who I was getting as far as ability. “
That would be the best-case scenario for Denver, which has the No. 2 pick. If the Panthers do pick Newton, it would basically open the entire draft to Denver. The Broncos are fully expected to take a defensive player. So, if Newton goes to Carolina, the Broncos will be guaranteed of getting their first choice.
Denver is expected to consider Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley and LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson. There’s a chance Texas A&M pass rusher Von Miller could also get in the conversation.
A lot could be determined at the upcoming NFL combine. Whatever happens in Indianapolis, the Broncos will surely be hoping that Newton has a tremendous showing to further entice Carolina.