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Off the board at last...


The most prominent name is off the board.

That's the Day 10 storyline of the 2011 reader mock draft, so while on most days we spend time talking about mock draft day events before revealing the name, we'll forego false drama today:

Cam Newton is off the board.

At last.

It was, as wasn't entirely unexpected, a dramatic 10 days in the's readers version of the draft for Newton.

There were few days when he was a prominent topic of discussion, fewer still he didn't get at least a few votes and a whole lot when many readers believed on a relatively passionate level he would be selected.

But until the Washington Redskins went on the clock with the No. 10 overall selection there never was a day when Newton was really all that close to being selected by our little corner of the world's NFL Draftniks.

But Newton on Monday not only won the day, he did so by a convincing margin.

"When you start Rex Grossman over Donovan McNabb, you clearly need help – not just at the QB position, just help in general," Scott wrote, adding, "(Redskins Owner) Snyder likes to sell tickets and spend money, he could accomplish both by picking the &39;entertainer and icon&39; Cam Newton."

How overwhelming was the consensus for Newton?

Only Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones received support from more than one reader.

"The 'Skins pick with neither need nor value in mind, cuz Snyder has Wide Receiver Fever, and neither Shanahan nor Bruce Allen make the real decisions," mij420 wrote, adding, "Snyder will pick Julio Jones."

Alabama running back Mark Ingram got a bit of support, as did Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett, Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara and Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder. As we move out of the Top 10, look for those players to become the primary storyline in the coming days.

But the final day of the Top 10 was about not only Newton, but about analyzing the reasons – for better or worse – that Washington wouldn't and couldn't pass on the much-scrutinized 2010 Heisman Trophy winner.

"Redskins take Cam Newton," Wevin Keaver wrote, adding, "Why? The Redskins will do whatever it takes to shoot themselves in the foot."

Wrote Schirmdog, "I play fantasy football, Daniel Snyder plays fantasy football. I spend a $100 a year, Snyder spends $100,000,000. Cam Newton is the pick."

And Mandall added, "The Redskins don&39;t entirely know who they are as a football team but as an organization they are definitely big, flashy spenders. They want an icon and an entertainer to be the face of their franchise and they need quarterback help. Cam Newton is the pick."

Others aren't buying into the notion that Newton will slip so far.

"Cam Newton will be long gone by this time, but since this is the Jags fans&39; mock draft, he&39;ll go now," So III Jag wrote.

So, with the No. 10 overall selection in the 2011 reader mock draft, the Redskins indeed go with Newton, making the board look like:

No. 1 | Carolina | Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

No. 2 | Denver | Patrick Peterson, CB, Louisiana State

No. 3 | Buffalo | Von Miller, LB, Texas A&M

No. 4 | Cincinnati | Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

No. 5 | Arizona | Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

No. 6 | Cleveland | A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

No. 7 | San Francisco | Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

No. 8 | Tennessee | Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

No. 9 | Dallas | Tyron Smith, OT, Southern California

No. 10 | Washington | Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

Up next is Houston at No. 11. We'll suggest Amukamara, and hope we're right so the senior writer can stop counting 'a's for a while, but a pass-rusher here to fit with new coordinator Wade Phillips' 3-4 defense wouldn't be a shock, either.

A final quick thought before we close. Several readers were upset Friday when the senior writer went against the majority and took Smith over Nebraska's Amukamara at No. 9 to Dallas. The basis for the outcry was that Smith hadn't received the popular vote.

"You&39;ve just blown apart the whole idea of the write in by overriding the majority," Keith wrote with considerable ire. "If it doesn&39;t count, then it doesn&39;t matter. WHY READ THESE COMMENTS. This is my final entry and final read of this column."

Grrrr . . . . Ye-e-e-e-e-e-ah, baby . . .

The italicized "Grr" and "Yeah, baby" were from the senior writer, not Keith, who also made the obligatory call for the senior writer's predecessor's return, so we'll add a couple of thoughts on this front:

One is we established early – i.e., Day One -- that although numbers mattered in this, they weren't in any way an end all. The idea was to make each selection after the readers had a chance to weigh in. Most days, the majority will rule. Other days, a good argument from the minority might make more sense.

A more pertinent thought: Let's relax. Have fun. We're not solving the world's problems here. We're having a reader mock draft, and the idea is to exchange ideas and get an idea what the  real draft might look like.

All right. Enough of that.

Have at it.

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