Where does Cam Newton rank among No. 1 overall picks of the 21st century?

Cam Newton revolutionized the quarterback position.

Cam Newton
Cam Newton / Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Where did former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton rank among the No. 1 overall draft picks throughout the 21st century so far?

The Carolina Panthers haven't had many legitimate game-changing quarterbacks throughout franchise history. There remains hope that Bryce Young can become one with a better supporting cast moving forward. Whether he can replicate the impact made by Cam Newton is another matter.

Newton had the loftiest expectations on his shoulders after the Panthers chose him No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. He spearheaded Auburn to a national championship en route to a Heisman Trophy during his final college campaign, displaying a level of dual-threat power that hadn't been seen at the position before. He brought this to the next level immediately.

The Panthers put a decent enough cast around Newton, but his electrifying playing style and unmatched charisma galvanized an entire region. He made fans feel a sense of belonging that was sorely missing before his arrival. It didn't come with an elusive first Super Bowl, but the dynamic signal-caller will always be regarded as one of the team's greatest-ever players despite how things ended.

Cam Newton ranked No. 4 in best No. 1 picks of the 21st century list

His career might have faded into the proverbial abyss quickly, but Newton's influence on the next generation is evident. One only has to look at the stylistic changes to playing the position that have occurred in recent years. The 2015 NFL MVP was a significant part of that transition as young players looked to emulate his accomplishments.

Nick Villano from FanSided recently lauded Newton's contribution by placing him No. 4 in his power ranking of No. 1 overall picks throughout the 21st century. Only Matthew Stafford, Myles Garrett, and Eli Manning were ahead of him, which is a testament to his phenomenal impact over a glittering career.

"He was a player that beat expectations, even the ones that come with a first-overall pick. We might forget that now after years of Newton trying to hold onto his superstar days, but Newton was a phenomenon when he joined Carolina in 2011. His best season came in 2015, when Newton threw for 3,837 yards and 35 touchdowns while leading the team to a 15-1 record. He kept winning, driving the Panthers to their second Super Bowl appearance. He did lose to Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos, but it seemed like the start of a special career. It was a weird end to his tenure in Carolina, as he was still taking the risks he always did but they weren’t paying off nearly as much. He never came close to the touchdown numbers, but his rushing numbers stayed high and kept him relevant. Now, it appears his career might be over. It was a meteoric rise and a pretty flat ending."

Nick Villano, FanSided

This was deserved recognition for Newton, who remains beloved among Carolina's loyal fanbase as he embarks on a fledgling media career. Most fans acknowledge the fact his days in the league are done. The sooner he officially confirms his retirement, the sooner he can receive adulation and perhaps enter Pro Football Hall of Fame consideration when the time comes.

There will never be another Newton. Many have tried and failed to match his flamboyance, production, and leadership. Very few have been able to reach anything like similar feats.

Had Matt Rhule not cut ties with Newton in favor of signing Teddy Bridgewater in free agency to kick off his tenure, things might have been different. The beleaguered former head coach was playing catch up from that moment, leading to a series of rash trades for Sam Darnold, Matt Corral, and Baker Mayfield that failed to bear fruit.

Now, the mantle has been passed to Young. The jury is still out after a rookie campaign that won't live long in the memory, but the exceptional mitigating circumstances attached to his underperformance means he should get another year at least to become the man.

Newton believes Young has what it takes. If he could achieve even half of what he managed throughout his stint in Carolina, all the investment would be worth it.