Cam Newton vs. Andrew Luck: Which QB Has More NFL Upside?

Eric SmithCorrespondent IIIDecember 20, 2011

STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 26:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal in action against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Comparing these two quarterbacks is like comparing apples to oranges. The only real similarities are: both have strong arms, both play quarterback and both will be the most recent No. 1 draft picks.

When you compare their style of game, there are many differences.

Luck is such a smart quarterback that has the ability to change the play to what he feels will work and is a highly accurate passer. Newton, on the other hand, lacks the football knowledge that it takes to change the plays at the line, and isn’t as accurate.

I know you really can’t compare what they did in college to the pros, but Luck is doing more with less in Stanford than Newton did with Auburn. Luck is making wide receivers look better than what they are.

If you really want to compare Luck to anyone, it’s definitely Peyton Manning. Luck has been running a similarly complicated offense in Stanford, and like Manning, the offensive coordinator gives Luck three plays and he chooses at the line which play to run. Luck’s athleticism makes him every more valuable and harder to sack due to his ability to scramble.

Another reason why I think Luck will have more upside is the team he will be playing for. Let's be realistic, the Colts may have won on Sunday, but trust me when I say the Colts will lose one of their final two games to clinch the No. 1 draft pick in April.

Let's state another fact, Manning is throwing again and no matter what the national media is saying, if Manning is even the slightest bit healthy, he will be on this Colts team next year. That means Luck will be his backup for a few seasons. What’s wrong with that?

The new collective bargaining agreement will help this work. In the previous years, the Colts would owe Luck a ton of money upfront. Now, they can get him for a lot less and still afford to keep Manning and other weapons.

If Luck can learn the offense and develop his skills behind the best quarterback in NFL history, he will be deadly once Manning retires. The Colts will have no drop off. Plus, the Colts are going to surround Manning and Luck with so much talent to get another Super Bowl in the coming years that Luck will have weapons like Aaron Rodgers did when he took over the Packers.

Luck will be set for his career.

On the other side of the coin, Newton plays for a lousy Carolina Panthers team. They’re going nowhere in the near future, and have one playmaker, but he doesn’t have much time left in the league.

The Panthers are in a tough division with young and very talented teams to compete with. The Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints aren’t going anywhere in the next five-to-seven years so unless the Panthers stock up on free agents or in the draft, they will never compete for the NFC South division title.

Plus, Newton isn’t the type of quarterback to lead them there. His numbers are misconstrued. This is a passing league now, so yes, those 300-yard passing games look nice, but that’s the norm now.

What’s reality are their three wins this season. That’s about where they will be for the next few years at least.

With all that being said, it’s a no-brainer that Luck will definitely have more upside than Newton.