Miami Dolphins, Cam Newton Set Up Private Pre-Draft Workout
The Miami Dolphins have scheduled a private pre-draft workout with 2010 Heisman trophy winner and former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, according to Tim Graham of ESPN.com.
The Dolphins, currently holding the 15th pick in April's draft, are one of eight known teams to have scheduled a private workout with Newton. Joining them (with first-round draft slots in parentheses) are the Carolina Panthers (1st), Buffalo Bills (3rd), Cincinnati Bengals (4th), Cleveland Browns (6th), Tennessee Titans (8th), Washington Redskins (10th), and Minnesota Vikings (12th).
The former Florida Gators quarterback transferred to Auburn from Blinn College in 2010, leading the Tigers to a perfect season and national title over the Oregon Ducks on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and various other postseason honors.
Prior to declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft following his junior season, Newton threw for 2,854 yards and 30 touchdowns, while adding 2,908 yards and 30 touchdowns on the ground.
He was involved in a pay-for-play controversy during the season, when rumors emerged of his father, Cecil, soliciting his son's commitment to Mississippi State in exchange for cash. The NCAA was unable to find evidence that Cam Newton was aware of any requests.
A gifted athlete, Newton's draft stock has ranged from the mid-first round to a potential first overall pick. He recently ran a 4.59 40-yard dash and 10-foot-6 broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine while measuring in at 6-foot-5 and 248 pounds.
The Dolphins are searching for their quarterback of the future after Chad Henne's shaky third season in 2010, so it's no surprise to see they are doing their homework and getting an up-close and personal look at Newton.
That being the case, it's highly unlikely the Dolphins will be able to land Newton, as he will quite possible be a top-three pick and the Dolphins lack the ammo to trade up with no second-round pick in this year's draft.
It's also interesting to note that of the eight teams that are known to have scheduled private workouts with Newton, the Dolphins have the lowest pick in the first round at 15th overall.
Of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing, because I for one have been a constant proponent of avoiding Newton in this year's draft.
While I consider myself a huge Auburn fan and significantly enjoyed watching Newton guide the Tigers in 2010, I am well aware of the problems he'll face transitioning from college to the pros.
Newton's college numbers are indeed astounding, but it's important to remember that his success is predicated entirely on a spread option offense that has no presence nor future in the NFL.
A physical freak with his size, speed, and athleticism, Newton was able to dominate college defenses simply by running over them, then scaring them with the run to the point that he was able to pass with great success. It's also important to note just how much worse the pass coverage is in college compared to the NFL.
While everyone is fawning over Newton for his physical tools and so-called upside, I confidently believe that he lacks the accuracy, intelligence, and ability to read the field to be an elite NFL quarterback.
Newton is a tremendous athlete that has a place in the NFL, and that place might even be as a starter. But as a fan of a team that has lacked a quarterback for so long, I want a guy that has the potential to be a Peyton Manning, a Tom Brady, a Drew Brees, and so on.
As good as Newton was in college and as good as he may seem pre-draft, Newton is simply not that guy. Years from now, the Dolphins will be lucky they weren't high enough to grab him.
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Chris J. Nelson graduated with a degree in journalism from Georgia State University and currently works for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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