The work is done and now it’s time to relax at Auburn. The main attractions, Nick Fairley and Cameron Newton, now just have minor preparations before they hear their names called April 28. Will either of them be selected No.1 overall is the real question.
Nick Fairley has all but eliminated himself as the Panthers’ choice for its top pick. He is closer to 300 pounds, but here there are just too many questions with him. Mike Mayock calls him a “foot athlete” as he is agile, but Fairley was seen to play high too much and is only suited for a four-man line. He is still seen as second best to Marcel Dareus who is bigger, has great footwork in his own right and is more consistent.
Enough with defensive linemen,the guy everyone wants to know about is Cam Newton. Before the Auburn Pro Day, he was rated behind Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker. Afterwards, he is more like a 1A, depending who you ask.
Newton only missed on six passes out of 60, and those passes were either a touch out in front or too high. It was also windy for the workout and Cam’s accuracy impressed many scouts. Mayock notes that he has great arm strength and athleticism, but lacks footwork. The good news for Newton is that Gabbert is in the same boat with his footwork, comes from the same system and his numbers were very unimpressive.
Charles Casserly doesn’t even consider Newton to be a first round pick. He lacks the vision and instincts required and Gabbert just has better overall football sense.
Which Big Man is Better?
Enough about what the paid experts think, here’s what the unpaid one thinks. Newton is raw, like the other quarterbacks in this draft and has great natural ability. He also will receive more coaching in the National Football League than he did while in college. The question that leaps out is uniqueness. What is so unique about Cam Newton? It seems like every year now there is some 6'4" or 6'5" quarterback that can make plays with his feet and throw the ball.
To reiterate my stance, I am an A.J. Green advocate all the way, but Newton has shown his leadership abilities and is comparable to Joe Flacco. If I could have someone like Flacco in a couple years then I would take the risk and gamble.
This is only the first day of Pro Days and I didn’t even touch on the fact that Ryan Mallet may be the slowest quarterback on record, but he is a passer. I encourage you to keep updated and check out the other prospects as the slightest difference could make that guy a Carolina Panther.