NFL Draft 2011: Is Cam Newton's Draft Stock Up or Down?

Christopher HowlandCorrespondent IIIMarch 3, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 27:  Cam Newton looks on during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 27, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Since Cam Newton showcased his skills at the NFL Combine on Sunday, his draft stock has been all over the board—in both directions.

Many mock drafts I’ve seen have Newton going as high as number one to Carolina, or as low as number 12 or 16 to Minnesota or Jacksonville, respectively.

This is exactly what we have come to expect from a prospect that performs as poorly as Newton at the NFL Combine this past weekend.

Many scouts who watched Newton throw said they saw many inconsistencies with his plant leg as he threw the ball, and this can lead to much greater problems down the road.

When asked to thrown the deep ball, Newton can get away with being a bit sloppy and stepping in the bucket. His arm strength is unmatched by any other quarterback in this year’s draft. It’s his intangibles that need work.

There are still multiple questions surrounding Newton before we can confidently determine if his draft stock is up or down, and many talent evaluators have been vocal to the media about what Cam needs to work on.

It begins with Newton’s accuracy.

This needs to improve if he wants to be the pocket-passer most NFL franchises want in their quarterback.

He can consistently put the ball on the numbers of his wide receivers, but due to his sloppy footwork, he is sometimes forced to throw the ball across his body—the main reason why so many passes sail on him.

His footwork needs to be tweaked if he wants to throw more accurate passes—something that didn’t look NFL-ready at the Combine.

We all know Newton has the ability to leave the pocket and make huge plays with his feet, but it’s his footwork in the pocket that raises concerns for many NFL scouts.

This is an easy fix for any coach working with Newton. Coming from a spread offense at Auburn, Cam already has to work on new techniques. So the footwork should fall into place as he learns to throw from under center.

The last issue some scouts have with Newton is if he has the ability to lead an NFL team at such a young and tender time in his life.

Can he come into an NFL huddle and demand the attention and respect of seasoned veterans he will be working with?

Only time will tell, but judging from the mature way he has handled all the scandals, Newton may be on the fast track to becoming a team leader. As Matt Bowen from National Football Post puts it, “It only takes one team to fall in love with a player.”

With all this said, where is Cam Newton’s current draft stock post-Combine? Up or down?

When looking at Newton on paper, we see a 6’5”, 250 pound, 4.6-second 40 runner, and a quarterback with an explosive arm.

Of course he has things to work on, but with some good coaching and maturity, Newton can become an excellent player.

Newton has all the abilities of a franchise quarterback. I can see the fans in Carolina salivating already.

Cam Newton’s draft stock is nothing but up at this point on his road to the NFL.