NFL Draft 2011: 10 Teams That Need Cam Newton
Cam Newton has the ability to help any NFL team if given the opportunity.
Regardless of the year, there are always a few teams searching for a new quarterback in the NFL draft. This year, there seem to be more than ever looking through the ranks of college football for a new lead man.
Newton offers rare athleticism to the position that can draw attention from any team. With some work with a throwing coach at the NFL level, he can become an elite talent in the modern NFL.
Teams struggle to game plan for quarterbacks who are just as good outside the pocket and open up the field. People like Michael Vick and Vince Young have both seen success at the position. The difference between the two is that Vick honed his passing ability and mental game.
Newton is likely a first-round pick in April's draft. Here are 10 teams—ranked by need—that could use Newton.
10. Dallas Cowboys
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The Dallas Cowboys may be looking for a quarterback for the first time in a long time.
As the Cowboys season fell to shambles last season, owner Jerry Jones was willing to do just about anything to try to turn the team around. This means that no position is safe in Dallas.
If the Cowboys start sliding this season, Jones wants to have a backup plan that he can put into effect earlier to jump-start the team. Newton is capable of being a spark if given the opportunity.
Tony Romo better be sharp coming off his injury or his job could be in jeopardy.
9. Miami Dolphins
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In Miami, quarterbacks come and go as fast as the Heat go up and down the court.
The Miami Dolphins have yet to find a steady replacement since the days of Dan Marino. Quarterbacks who show promise in one game will forget to show up for the next.
Chad Henne has been the closest thing to a worthy predecessor. Still, the Dolphins haven't been able to boast a fear-inducing pass game. Brandon Marshall had the quietest season of his pro career last year. No one in Miami wants to see a repeat of that.
If the Dolphins have any doubt, they would be wise to take Newton and open up their book of QB's to a new chapter.
8. Cleveland Browns
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The Cleveland Browns already have Colt McCoy on their roster, and he could have a great career.
Just in case he turns into a Tim Couch, the Browns should prepare a bailout plan that won't see them struggle for years on end. If they draft Cam Newton, they have another quarterback that can step in and grow up in their offense.
McCoy had his fair share of awful moments this season and the Browns were far from impressive. Ever since one-hit wonder Derek Anderson fell off his high horse, this team has struggled mightily.
Maybe it's drastic to take another quarterback this soon, but they can't rule the option out completely.
7. Cincinnati Bengals
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There was a time not too long ago when Carson Palmer was the NFL's most promising young quarterback. The Cincinnati Bengals were a borderline playoff team and Palmer torched defenses with Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
These days, Palmer makes at least one terrible throw a game that usually becomes six quick points for the other squad. Not to place all the blame on Palmer, but the Bengals were horrendous this year.
Palmer has been the subject of trade talks and the former USC Trojan may be on his way out of Cincinnati. Whether or not he goes does not really affect the decision of the Bengals to take a quarterback in the NFL draft.
If Palmer leaves, Newton would be a great choice for the Bengals as the next starter. If Palmer stays, the Bengals could take Newton to send a message to Palmer.
The message is play better or get out.
6. San Francisco 49ers
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The San Francisco 49ers did more flip-flopping at the quarterback position than any team last season. The only sure thing for the Niners was that their starting QB would have the last name Smith.
Alex and Troy Smith went back and forth all season, seeing each other succeed one game and then fail the next. The 49ers organization showed no true faith in either player, switching them like channels on a television.
With neither quarterback showing a shred of consistency, the 49ers could look to the draft for yet another option at the position. The fans even started chants for David Carr.
If the 49ers are sick of the same old, common last name, why not throw Newton in the mix?
5. Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings have been very hesitant to pass the quarterbacking reins to Tarvaris Jackson.
After bringing in Brett Favre for over a season and a half, Jackson finally saw the field due to an injury to Favre. Jackson played pretty well before getting hurt. Regardless of Jackson's performance, it seems the Vikings do not trust in Tarvaris.
With Favre not expected to re-re-re-re-return (no, I didn't stutter), the Vikings would be smart to give incoming quarterbacks a good look.
An athletic player like Newton could succeed with the Vikings as Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin and Visanthe Shiancoe are all big targets who are tough to miss. Also, Newton's legs could enable the Vikings to draw up longer routes for the speedy receiving corps.
4. Buffalo Bills
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Buffalo is an incredibly hard place to play quarterback. Since Doug Flutie displayed his magic, any man to take on the role of Buffalo QB has been under the microscope.
The latest victim of high standards is Ryan Fitzpatrick. After coming over from Cincinnati, Fitzpatrick played solid football. He showed solid decision making and the ability to make tough throws that some people thought he couldn't.
However, because the team struggled, Fitzpatrick received a heap of the blame. The Bills would be smart to stick to the plan and keep playing Fitzpatrick.
If the Bills decide to give up on Fitzpatrick (which they probably will), Newton would be a popular pick among Bills fans.
3. Carolina Panthers
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Ever since the Carolina Panthers were stunned by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2008-09 NFL playoffs, the train has come off the tracks.
A once solid team is now having a hard time squeaking out a win against anyone. The Panthers currently possess the number one pick in the NFL draft. Some people have suggested that the Panthers take Cam Newton in an attempt to turn around the franchise.
The problem is that's not where the biggest problem lies. The Panthers are much weaker on the defensive line since the departures of Julius Peppers and Kris Jenkins. This year's class has a litter of quality defensive linemen, and the Panthers would be foolish to take a quarterback.
Jimmy Clausen deserves another chance under better circumstances to produce some victories.
2. Arizona Cardinals
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Although Derek Anderson isn't having fun losing and works his tail off, the Arizona Cardinals still can't trust him to be the future for their franchise.
The Arizona Cardinals are admittedly scanning the draft class for a new signal-caller. Anderson and unknown rookie Max Hall split time at the position this past year. Neither quarterback was impressive as the Cardinals limped to a 5-11 record after a 3-2 start.
The Cardinals should take a long look at Newton, who knows what it's like to win. Newton scored more points by himself (306) than the Cardinals did as a team (249).
If the Cardinals are looking to take a chance to fix the franchise, Newton could be a risk worth taking.
1. Tennessee Titans
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The Tennessee Titans have decided that they will no longer move toward the future with Vince Young as their starting quarterback. The Titans have started searching for a new player to lead them to the promised land.
With Young all but out of Tennessee, the Titans can take a look at Newton. Jeff Fisher wouldn't be too fond of the idea of bringing in a quarterback with a similar skill set, but Fisher is gone too.
The Titans are looking for someone who can distribute the ball to the receivers—something Young barely ever did. Also, Kerry Collins is one big hit away from retirement and has been relatively ineffective as a Titan.
If the Titans aren't scared of the Young situation repeating itself, Newton might be lining up under center in Tennessee next season.