In part two of my interview with Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, I had the chance to ask the future Hall of Famer many in-depth questions related to football, at both the college and professional levels.
I would soon find out that Ray Lewis is possibly the biggest college football fan around, who happens to follow the NFL Draft with the same intensity he brings to the football field every Sunday.
With a better understanding of Ray’s love for college football, I asked for his opinion on who’s the top college prospect in the nation, along with some of the practices he engages in while tracking the best players coming out of college up until draft day.
There wasn’t much hesitation from Ray when he gave his opinion on who he thought the best overall prospect entering the 2011 NFL Draft was.
Lewis resoundingly said, “Cam Newton!”
In addition, the 15-year veteran of the Ravens had only the best to say about the former Auburn Tiger.
“I’m a fan. I’m a real fan of Cam Newton’s. We will have to see where he lands. I hope that it’s with a team that really gives him an opportunity to display his talents—but I love the kid and what he stands for," Lewis said. "I love the way he handles all the stuff he’s going through, and I just love the way he plays football.”
There’s no doubt Ray will be monitoring where Newton might land on draft day, given the fact he puts together his own draft board for the big day.
When asked about his board this year, Lewis chuckled and said, “I usually get deep into my draft boards and all that other stuff most of the time. I’m finally starting to put it all together this year.”
In the attempt to avoid throwing other NFL players under the bus, I didn’t ask Ray if he was speculating which city Newton might find himself in for the 2011 NFL season, but with all the knowledge he possesses, one must think he has a good idea.
Doing some speculating of my own about Newton and Ray Lewis’ draft boards, teams like the Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers come to mind. Both teams have yet to find their franchise player—a quarterback who’s able to string together multiple wins over the course of a meaningful career.
With the Bills set to draft a few spots higher than the 49ers in round one of the draft, it’s possible that San Francisco might trade QB Troy Smith away, along with a couple draft picks, in order to snag Newton.
“No matter where Cam lands, he will absolutely have a great career,” Lewis said.
That’s something everyone can agree on.
Now we have to play the waiting game to see which team grabs the best overall talent in this year’s NFL Draft.
Still more to come on my amazing interview with Ray Lewis, including his thoughts on RB Ray Rice, the city of Baltimore, and more post-retirement thoughts coming straight from the man himself!
Todd McGregor is a Baltimore Ravens Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report.
Follow Todd's work on Twitter! Twitter.com/ravens023