After his shaky performance throwing the football at the 2011 NFL Combine, Cam Newton is out to impress NFL scouts and coaches with his performance at his pro day.
Dozens of teams have already hyped up this workout and are expected to be on hand.
At the combine, Newton showed his athleticism and speed in the various drills and even showed off his powerful arm. However, he was uncomfortable with the five-step drop and short throws.
Though one workout may not be enough to determine Newton’s entire NFL career, teams want to see if he can channel his athleticism into becoming a polished quarterback.
With a strong pro day, Newton can move up draft boards at a faster pace than he already has been moving.
Here are 10 factors working in Newton’s favor.
There’s no doubting Cam Newton’s athleticism.
He has size, strength, speed, etc.
The new norm of NFL quarterbacks is a player who is mobile in the pocket and can pick up first downs with his legs if necessary.
Newton will have no problem adapting to that style of offense since it’s what he did so well at Auburn. If he works on his passing and footwork, he will be a threat in all aspects of his game.
Cam Newton’s teammate, defensive tackle Nick Fairley, will also be holding his pro day at Auburn.
This may shift some of the pressure off Newton knowing that his friend and teammate is going through the same process.
Fairley is already projected as a top-five pick, so there might even be more scouts watching his workout than Newton’s.
Cam Newton can simply relax and let the game come to him, knowing that he is not competing against anyone at his pro day.
At the combine, Newton saw the performances of some of the other highly touted quarterbacks so felt he had to live up to his expectations.
Of course, he is in a competition with the other quarterbacks and even other position players about where they are all selected.
However, Newton can show that he can go out and play football without thinking about it too much.
Cam Newton’s pro day will be held at Jordan-Hare Stadium on the campus of Auburn University, also known as Newton’s home turf.
While there will still be a ton of NFL personnel and media on hand, Newton will have the comfort of knowing he’s played in front of large crowds in that stadium before, and there’s no reason he can’t do it again.
Though he will soon suit up in different stadiums each week, it will help that he can experience Auburn one last time.
Cam Newton will be throwing to familiar receivers on his pro day.
Part of the reason he was uncomfortable at the combine was that he was unfamiliar with the receivers and could not get on the same page with them.
While he is likely to work with unfamiliar receivers in the NFL. That’s why there is training camp.
Trying to do that during one passing drill is difficult, so at least this time around he will know his receivers.
Cam Newton is confident in his abilities, and he’s prepared to show that on pro day.
As a quarterback, he is put on a pedestal if the team wins but also has to face the music if the team loses.
He needs to show he is prepared to handle the pressure associated with being an NFL quarterback.
Teams are still analyzing his interviewing skills to determine how he handles the media. He will be one of the top stories of the NFL season—if there is one. Even more hype will surround him if he’s a top-five pick.
Luckily for Newton, many teams selecting in the first 10 picks of the draft are in need of quarterback.
Though some of the other quarterbacks in the draft are said to be more polished than Newton, none of them rival Newton’s overall abilities.
Teams are starting to realize that Newton might be worth the gamble, especially if he pans out like he’s projected.
It would be tough for a team who holds a top-five pick to pass on Newton only to see him thrive in NFL for a team that held a later first-round pick.
The hype is off the hook about this point already.
Carolina Panthers' new head coach Ron Rivera is expected to attend Cam Newton’s pro day.
The Panthers possess the first pick, and though they have been rumored to be interested in Nick Fairley and Da’Quan Bowers, some analysts believe that Rivera’s presence means the Panthers may consider Newton as their top pick.
The Panthers selected quarterback Jimmy Clausen in round two in 2010, and he faced many uphill battles last season.
Carolina has announced that they are prepared to move forward with Clausen, but let’s see if they stick to their guns on draft day.
Though the crop of quarterbacks may not be as talented as in some other drafts, there are enough good young players that may cause Cam Newton to slide into the mid-first round.
Ryan Mallett and Blaine Gabbert have turned a few heads. Gabbert did not throw during the combine, instead opting to wait for his pro day.
None of these quarterbacks have really distanced himself from the others, which has worked in Newton’s favor.
A strong pro day may propel Newton to the top of this list.
Two weeks ago at the combine, Cam Newton was erratic with his throws, overthrowing some receivers by five-to-10 feet.
Despite his throwing issues, Newton’s had two weeks to correct the problem.
A strong performance throwing the ball on his pro day will show he put the time in to get better. NFL personnel will appreciate that, since he will be learning a ton of new things all at once during his first training camp.
Football is a game of improvement, so Newton can prove that he’s willing to learn.