2012 NFL Draft: Darron Thomas Was Crazy to Compare Himself to Cam Newton

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2012

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Darron Thomas #5 of the Oregon Ducks is looking to pass while taking on the Wisconsin Badgers at the 98th Rose Bowl Game on January 2, 2012 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Let's play a comparison game: I'll give you two college quarterbacks, and you tell me which one you think will be more successful at the NFL level.

Player A is 6'3" and weighs 215 pounds. In his final year of college, he threw for 2,761 yards, 33 touchdowns, seven interceptions and completed 62.2 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 206 yards and three touchdowns.

His local paper described him as "not super fast for a dual-threat quarterback, has solid arm strength but major accuracy issues."

Player B is 6'5" and weighs 248 pounds. In his final year of college, he threw for 2,854 yards, 30 touchdowns, seven interceptions and completed 66.1 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Oh, and he won the Walter Camp and Associated Press National Player of the Year award, the Maxwell Award as the nation’s best player and the Dave O’Brien Award as the country’s best quarterback.

Not only would you take Player B, you would think Player A was nuts if he compared himself to Player B, right?


Of course, Oregon's Darron Thomas was Player A and this year's NFL Rookie of the Year candidate (shoo-in), Cam Newton, was Player B.

And after shocking many by declaring himself eligible for this year's NFL Draft, Thomas went ahead and compared himself to Cam Newton during an ESPN interview (via The Oregonian):

Thomas told ESPN he offers "leadership, [a] winning attitude, hard work and I can make big plays. I saw what Cam Newton did this year. He took his raw talent and made a spark. I can do those things, too."

In that same Oregonian article, Aaron Fentress notes that Thomas could potentially be undrafted and is expected to be a late-round pick.

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 1: Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers heads off the field after throwing an interception against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana  (Photo by Scott Cunningham/G
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

So why compare yourself to Cam Newton, Darron?

You aren't as big, fast or strong as Newton. You haven't showed the skill-set as either a passer or runner to take over a game like Newton did. There are far more questions about your accuracy than there were for Newton.

Cam Newton was drafted to be the face of a franchise. You'll be drafted as a third-string quarterback.

Listen, I don't want to pile on Thomas. He's a young man with a lot of confidence in his abilities, and I respect him for that. He had an excellent career at Oregon, finishing 24-3 as a starter and leading Oregon to the BCS National Championship Game in the 2010-11 season.

Where he and Oregon lost to Cam Newton and Auburn.

Darrron, do yourself a favor and prove that you can make a Newton-esque impact in the NFL when you work out for NFL teams or get a chance to play in the preseason. Hit your playbook, work harder than your competition and never lose sight of your goals.

But don't tell us who you compare to. Just telling us that you can make an impact like Newton may get you a few headlines but it rings hollow to those of us who watched you each play in college.

We simply haven't seen anything from you on field that makes your statement seem true.


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