This article is part of our Football Draft Kit series.
Evaluating rookies from a fantasy perspective is always a crapshoot, this year more than ever, given the NFL's labor unrest and the related fallout. To begin with, until free agency commences we won't have a clear idea of the opportunities available for most rookies. Once that happens, they likely will be hard pressed to get up to speed quickly and grasp their teams' playbooks. Another factor will be the varying degrees of player conditioning - young and old alike - in the wake of the lockout. A rash of inactivity-related muscle pulls/strains/tears could create unexpected opportunities for the Class of 2011.
Cam Newton Panthers – Auburn (6-5, 248) The Panthers swung for the fences on the supremely gifted, but unpolished Newton with the top overall pick in the draft. He's big, strong, mobile and has an excellent throw- ing arm. How well and how quickly he transitions from the college game to a pro-style offense is the wild card here, as are perceived character issues. On physical tools alone, though, he has superstar upside. That's not something that likely will be realized this season, however, and Newton's only worth heavily targeting in dynasty leagues, or as an in-season pickup if he gets the keys to the Carolina offense and can do some damage with his wheels as a rookie.