(The Spread) - Auburn will be without two of their starts from their championship season, as quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley have decided to bypass their senior seasons and enter the 2011 NFL Draft.
Newton finished his junior season with 2,854 passing yards, a 66.1 percent completion percentage and 30 passing touchdowns. He also rushed for 1,473 yards and added 20 more scores on the ground while winning the 2010 Heisman Trophy. He’s just the third player in a major college football history to pass for 20 touchdowns and rush for 20 touchdowns in a single season.
Fairley was the defensive MVP of the BCS title game with a sack, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble. He led SEC with 24 tackles for loss and finished with a school-record 11.5 sacks. He may very well wind up being the No. 1 pick in April’s draft.
As far as Newton, he’ll probably wind up being a first round pick, although some pundits believe he’ll have to transition to tight end in order to make it at the next level. That said, he certainly has the arm strength to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, and he has the size and speed as well.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com installed Auburn as a 1.5-point favorite over Oregon in the 2011 BCS Championship Game. The Tigers beat the Ducks in a thriller, and covered the 1.5-point spread.