NFL Scouting Combine 2011: Did Cam Newton Hurt or Help His Draft Status?
Cam Newton came into the NFL combine with hopes of being the number one quarterback taken in the draft and possibly the number one overall pick.
Following Newton's performance in the combine, it looks unlikely he will be the number one pick. However, he still could be the first quarterback taken.
Newton's main competitors to be the top quarterback selected are Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Washington's Jake Locker.
In terms of athletic drills at the combine, Newton shined and did very well, which was expected.
Newton ran a 4.59 40-yard dash, which is a very good time for a prospect of his size. This result will not hurt his status and only help it.
In the other drills, Newton ran a 6.92 second three-cone drill, which ranked 10th amongst quarterbacks.
Newton reached 35 inches in the vertical jump, which ranked third in the quarterback position. He also added a 10'6'' broad jump, which was the furthest a quarterback jumped at the combine.
Finally, Newton ran a 4.18 second 20-yard shuffle, which ranked eighth among quarterbacks.
However, the problem for Newton came when he threw the ball. Newton did not throw very well and was off target and often missed high.
Will Newton be the first quarterback taken?
Keep in mind that another top quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, did not throw in the combine.
Coming into the combine, there were questions about whether Newton would throw or not. It appears that he made a mistake by throwing at the combine.
This was the major question mark coming in, and it doesn't look like he gave NFL general managers the answers that they wanted. However, there is still plenty of time for Newton to impress scouts and coaches before the NFL Draft, which begins on April 28.
With that being said, did Newton hurt or help himself at the combine?
At the end of the day, Newton made it clearer that he is not the definite number one quarterback. Now, he certainly could be, but he left a window open for Gabbert to come take that spot away from him.
Newton has the size and athletic ability to be a very good quarterback in the NFL. However, the problems with throwing are what will determine if he is truly an elite quarterback.
Speed and size are difficult to coach, but throwing is something that can be taught at the next level.
Newton, although he has problems throwing the ball now, could be coached into improving that area.
If teams think that he has the potential and that he can be coached, then it will be hard for that team not to draft him.
This won't be the final time Newton works out for teams preceding the NFL Draft, but he will need to perform better to decrease the doubt that coaches may have.
In the end, the combine hurt Newton's draft status, but he could improve it with better results following individual workouts with teams, as well as Auburn's Pro Day.
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