I knew that people would fall in love with Cam Newton after they got to see him work out. I knew that his draft stock was going to do nothing but go up as we march towards the NFL draft. There's no doubt that Newton is a great athlete.
That being said, I don't buy into the NFL combine, especially when it comes to the position of quarterback. You're throwing a football indoors in shorts and a t-shirt. How in the hell does that show what you can do against NFL defenses on Sundays?
Now, that's not Newton's fault, but raising his draft day stock because of his workouts is a big mistake, and we see this mistake every year.
I saw Newton's performance at the combine and was hardly impressed by the way he threw the ball and found it rather mediocre. His accuracy is below average. I also think it will take Newton a few years to learn how to read NFL defenses.
Newton played in a spread offense at Auburn and was terrific in it, but he's not going to run past and/or over players in the NFL like he did in college. He's going to have to be able to read defenses and throw the ball accurately. I don't see him being able to do that.
Along with his arm, I'm also concerned about Newton's character.
Newton spent much of the second half of the 2010 football season embroiled in a controversy regarding allegations that his father, Cecil Newton, had sought substantial sums of money in return for his son playing for a major college team, in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules.
In early November, officials with Mississippi State University charged that Cecil Newton said that it would take "more than just a scholarship" to secure his son's services.
This demand was apparently communicated by Kenny Rogers, a recruiter who formerly played for the Bulldogs, to John Bond, his former teammate at MSU. Rogers later said in a Dallas radio interview that Cecil Newton said it would take "anywhere between $100,000 and $180,000" to get his son to transfer to MSU.
Not only does Newton carry that baggage, but now he has teams concerned about his intelligence.
CBS Sports' Rob Rang reports that Auburn Newton drew poor grades for "football character" from at least two teams during interviews at the scouting combine.
He reportedly "struggled answering football questions" and "had a difficult time drawing up plays...on the white board." Newton doesn't come off as lacking in smarts, and it's not surprising that he might struggle with pro concepts after playing in Auburn's option offense. Details are murky, but it's possible this is a rumor spread by NFL teams to sabotage Newton's stock.
So Newton is a great athlete with a big arm who has accuracy, intelligence, and character issues? That sounds awfully familiar (Vince Young, JaMarcus Russell).
I know that there are teams that need a franchise quarterback. Some desperately need one, but Newton will most likely be a bust. He has Russell and Young written all over him.
I'm sure some team is going to take him way too high, and it will probably be a team that is constantly drafting in the top 10. Do yourself a favor and pass on Cam Newton, at least in the first round.