Washington Redskins Should Pass on Auburn QB Cam Newton

Matt JamesContributor IIMarch 9, 2011

Cam Newton tries to impress at the NFL Combine
Cam Newton tries to impress at the NFL CombineJoe Robbins/Getty Images

Cam Newton has been the center of a lot of off-season hype, as well as some controversy. This 2010 SEC Offensive Player of the Year, and Heisman Trophy award-winning QB, has gathered the attention of many teams this off-season, but is he the best choice for the Washington Redskins? 

With the controversy surrounding key players, such as Donovan McNabb (QB) and Albert Haynesworth (DT), Washington finds themselves in one of the most vital off-seasons in recent memory. Their ability to fill key positions on the roster, while finding players that will create synergy for Shanahan’s playbook, will be all the talk in Washington, and something that fans will be monitoring closely. 

The Redskins have not had a marquee starting quarterback since their 1991-1992 season, where QB Mark Rypien led the fiercely dominant team to their last Super Bowl victory. What would transpire over the next two decades would leave fans disappointed, and ultimately frustrated. 

In 1994, the Washington Redskins drafted quarterback Heath Shuler (Tennessee) in a coveted and highly anticipated first pick (third overall).  What followed was ranked as the “fourth biggest NFL Draft bust” of all time by ESPN. Shuler, confident in his ability as a lead NFL quarterback, held out of training camp until he got a choice 7-year, $19.25 million contract.

Shuler would flounder for the next two seasons. After the 1996 season, the Redskins had enough and traded him away with nothing to show. The Redskins could have drafted other key players, instead of Shuler, but hindsight is 20/20. 

If the Washington Redskins want to become a viable and competitive team for a series of seasons, their draft choices should be made to complete this vision. Picking up a strong defensive lineman would appear logical. With the troubles that Albert Haynesworth is providing, the Redskins will need to fill a gap—one that was just as present during the 2010 season as it is now. 

What are your thoughts on this crucial first round draft pick? Should the Redskins go for the (perceived) gold and pick up Cam Newton? Or, should they start to rebuild other areas, focusing on conservative choices to build their next dynasty? 

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