2011 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons the Redskins Should Avoid Drafting Cam Newton

Josh McCainSenior Writer IApril 22, 2011

2011 NFL Draft: 5 Reasons the Redskins Should Avoid Drafting Cam Newton

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    As of right now almost every expert expects Cam Newton to go to the Carolina Panthers at the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, so the points in the article might be moot.

    However there is a strong contingency of Redskins fans who want to see if the team can trade up to get him or if he falls to ten want the team to take him.

    Obviously I do not fall into that category of fan. 

    From the moment the Redskins entered into the category of possible landing spots for Cam I've been against it.

    And believe it or not it has nothing to do with character issues.

    Just about every team in the league has a guy at a skilled position with character issues.  That's just a way of life in the NFL

    However, if the guy shows up every Sunday to play I'll overlook those issues (as long as he's not breaking laws).

    And if there is one thing I am certain about Cam, it is that he shows up to play.

He Has a Run First Attitude

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    A common knock on Cam is that he comes from a spread offense and that he won't grasp the pro-style of play.

    Honestly, so do most of the quarterbacks in this years draft, as well as the majority of quarterbacks for the past five season.

    I can't knock a kid for the style of offense his coach implements.  After all the job of a college coach is to win college games and the spread offense works so well in college because there are a lot more players in college than the NFL and therefore you get a lot of slower and more inferior players that the elite teams, like Auburn, can exploit with the spread.

    However, in the spread Cam has become a run first (or at least a quick second) style of quarterback.

    A lot of the times if his first read isn't there he takes off instead of checking down.

    Where that mindset can win you the National Championship in college (especially against slow and inferior defenses) that will get you killed in the NFL.

    Cam is a lot faster than your average collegiate defensive end and linebacker, but not much faster than your average NFL end or linebacker.

    They'll close the gap a lot faster and deliver more devastating hits.

    There is no doubt that when Cam leaves the pocket to run he'll create plays but that will also up the chances of him getting injured.

    The Redskins have zero depth at quarterback right now, so bringing in a high injury risk running quarterback could be devastating if he were to get hurt.

He Was Only a One-Year Starter at a Division I School

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    Cam isn't the first and won't be the last QB to only start one year and bolt for the NFL.  Mark Sanchez is doing quite well for himself.

    But there is a difference between Sanchez and Newton here.

    Sanchez went to a good team that underperformed the year before that had a good defense and decent offensive line.

    The Redskins have neither.

    Cam will probably do fine if he's draft by either a good team or a team with a veteran QB he can sit behind. 

    The Redskins aren't that team.

    If McNabb were going to be a Redskin for at least the next two years this wouldn't even be a knock against Cam (for the Redskins), shoot this article might be titled Five Reasons the Redskins Should Draft Cam Newton.

    However, in all likelyhood McNabb will be either traded or let go before the season starts.  Therefore he won't be there to groom Cam.

    And even if Cam sits behind Rex Grossman it won't take long (unless Rex has the type of season he had with the Bears when they went to the Super Bowl) for Cam to usurp him.

    So they'll be throwing a relatively inexperienced quarterback to the wolves.  A quarterback who likes to run and will therefore increase his chances of getting injured.

    I know what you're thinking right now.  But Josh, what about Troy Aikman and Peyton Manning?  They started in their rookie years for bad teams.

    They did indeed do that, but the difference there is they both have lead feet and weren't going to be running anywhere. 

    So if there was nothing there they either forced a throw or threw it away.  Cam will do those things, but he has the athleticism to escape and will run the ball if need be.

    That's something the Redskins don't need now because of the lack of depth at the position.

    This could be a different case if this weren't a lock-out year and the Skins could sign a QB to start for the season and help bring Cam along.  But that's not going to happen. 

He Needs Time on the Bench to Develop

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    Cam would be bettered served next season by carrying a clip-board instead of trying to carry an entire team.

    He's got everything you could want in a quarterback except for experience, especially in a pro-style offense.

    I'd only draft Cam if I had someone he could sit behind.  This goes back to the last slide where if the Skins had someone who could mentor him I wouldn't mind seeing them take him, but Rex Grossman would only mentor him in the ways of mediocre.

He Was Only Okay in the BCS Title Game

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    In big games last season (specifically the BCS and SEC Title games) Cam was okay.

    He made plays with his feet that help them comeback against Alabama and helped keep them ahead of Oregon, but as far as passing is concerned he missed a lot of opportunities.

    On several occasions while in a good pocket and under some pressure he missed wide-open targets.

    In the first half of the BCS Title Game his tightend would have gone untouched for a touchdown but the throw came up way short. Auburn settled for a field goal on that drive.

    Of course this isn't to say that he's a bad quarterback, but it just shows the flaws in his game when he's playing the more elite defenses. 

    In the NFL those two games will be multiplied by 8, and if he were to be taken by the Redskins he'd face some of the fiercest defenses in the league six times each season.

    I hate to harp on this subject, but his play on the field just shows he needs more developmental time if he's going to be an elite quarterback, time that the Redskins can't give him.

The Redskins Have a Ton of Holes to Fill

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    I know Rex Grossman at quarterback is indeed a huge hole, but no quarterback is going to come in and make the Redskins a contender this season.

    This year's draft have several elite players the Redskins need more than a quarterback and adding them will make them better than adding Cam.

    Running back, receiver, nose tackle, defensive end, safety, cornerback, and offensive line are all places where either using the tenth pick or trading back with the tenth pick will greatly help the Redskins.

    Shoot, even as bad as this team was last season, had the defense played slightly better in a couple of games they could have been a play-off contender.

    And as far as trading back, I think the Skins can find a few suitors, and if Cam is there at ten I don't think the team will have a problem at all fleecing a team for multiple picks.


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    I don't think Cam Newton is a bad pick, just not a smart pick for the Redskins.  For that matter I don't know if any quarterback in this year's draft would be a wise pick for the Skins at ten.

    The team has too much work to do to risk so much on a quarterback that won't be ready to be a starter for week one (whenever that may be).

    Like I said Cam will probably go No. 1 overall to Carolina, which by the way isn't the best landing spot for him either since they have all the same problems the Skins have, plus they have a new head coach.