NFL Combine Results 2011: Cam Newton's First Weekend Performance

Jim MancariCorrespondent IFebruary 28, 2011

NFL Combine Results 2011: Cam Newton's First Weekend Performance

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    Former Auburn quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner, Cam Newton, has been the talk of both the 2011 NFL Combine and the 2011 NFL Draft so far.

    However, his performance from the first weekend of the Combine was unimpressive to some scouts.

    Still, he did show off his tools as he attempts to propel up the draft boards.

    He will have another chance to throw on March 8th and will continue to answer questions from the NFL teams.

    The Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins could all be in the market for a quarterback, so Newton should entice one of these teams.

    Here are Newton’s stats and intangibles through the first weekend of the Combine.

10. 10th Place Finish in Three-Cone Drill

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    Newton posted a time of 6.92 seconds in the three-cone drill, which put him in 10th among quarterbacks.

    This drill is important for quarterbacks because it can show how they scramble around the pocket.

    Despite the finish, one of Newton’s main strengths is his speed.

9. Tied Eighth in 20-Yard Shuttle Run

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    Newton ran a 4.18-second time in the 20-yard shuttle run. That was good enough for an eighth-place tie with another explosive quarterback, Colin Kaepernick from Nevada.

    Christian Ponder from Florida State and Tyrod Taylor from Virginia Tech tied for first with 4.09 seconds.

8. Inaccuracy on the Five-Step Drop

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    Newton overthrew his receiver on several occasions when performing the five-step-drop out route.

    He was unfamiliar with the five-step drop, but he should develop more accuracy on those throws with more practice.

    Part of the reason for his poor showing could have been unfamiliarity with the receivers, but some of the other quarterbacks didn’t seem to have a problem.

7. Intelligence/Ability To Adapt

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    According to former Baltimore Ravens head coach Brian Billick, Newton possesses the intelligence to be able to adapt to his surroundings.

    Billick believes that ability will come in handy at the next level.

    Though he may have had some off-the-field issues, he has a strong head on him and will use it to his advantage.

6. Interviewing Skills

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    Despite his intelligence, some analysts believe Newton did not leave that lasting an impact in his interview sessions.

    As a premier quarterback, he will have to say the right things at the right times.

    He will have to show some more confidence, but this too can be improved with more practice and recognition of questions.

5. Tied Third in Vertical Jump

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    Newton further showed his athletic ability by recording 35.0 inches in his vertical jump.

    He tied Jake Locker of Washington in this test.

    Very few scouts and analysts question Newton’s athletic ability. It’s the intangibles that will set him apart.

4. Tied Third in 40-Yard Dash

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    Newton ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash, which was third among quarterbacks.

    Once again, that mark was tied with Jake Locker.

    Tyrod Taylor finished first with a 4.51, while Colin Kaepernick finished second with a 4.53.

3. Strong Deep Throws

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    Newton did impress with his deep throws.

    He showed his tremendous arm strength with these throws. At times, he seemed to be just flicking his wrist, but the ball just exploded out of his hand.

    The big thing with the deep throw is timing, and Newton showed he’s got it.

2. Finished First in Broad Jump

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    Newton recorded an impressive 10’6” broad jump, which was the best by a quarterback.

    The broad jump measures lower-body explosion and strength, and Newton passed with flying colors.

    The question marks with Newton are mostly mental, not physical.

1. Time Is on His Side

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    Newton had an up-and-down performance this weekend, but he will still have some time to impress the scouts.

    Through his interviewing and his throwing date on March 8th, he can still raise his stock in comparison to the other quarterbacks.

    He still has the chance to be a top 10 pick.

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