NFL Draft 2011: Cam Newton and Top 10 Prospects with Character Concerns
If former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton were a different skin color, it's hard to imagine that there would be this much hoopla surrounding the talented prospect.
With just three weeks left until the draft, it's crunch time, and teams are making final decisions as to who will become a new member of the franchise.
These 10 prospects have a lot to prove before the teams are officially on the clock.
10. Greg Little, WR North Carolina
When are prospects going to learn that it's not a good idea to lie to the NCAA board?
It's not crazy to compare Greg Little's case to 2010 fourth-rounder Mike Williams, but by no means is Little a lock to come in and produce like Williams did in his inaugural campaign.
To put it nicely, he's been less than honest in his pre-draft interviews and he's doubtful to be selected before the third round.
9. Robert Quinn, DE North Carolina
Similar to Little, there are some serious concerns with Quinn's honesty after sitting out the 2010 season, but this kid is an absolute specimen.
The majority of teams shouldn't put too much stock into his receiving of improper benefits, as the issue is far more prevalent than either the NCAA or the teams themselves would like to admit.
He's also got a brain tumor that might scare some teams off, but that hasn't been an issue for him in quite some time.
8. Da'Quan Bowers, DE Clemson
Bowers has medical red flags galore, and his work ethic and motor for the game are both in serious question.
It's no wonder that the former "lock" to go inside the top five is no a candidate to fall well out of the top 10 and into the back-end of the first round.
7. Adrian Clayborn, DE Iowa
The issue with Clayborn was his poor 2010 season, leading many to believe that he doesn't have the love for the game that's necessary at the next level.
Some are also concerned that his small-ish shoulders may not be able to support his overly inflated head, and those type of attitudes tend to wear out their welcome very quickly within the veterans on a team.
6. Jonathan Baldwin, WR Pittsburgh
5. Jimmy Smith, CB Colorado
Smith doesn't tell the truth, has had trouble with drugs and run-ins with the law.
What NFL team wouldn't be attracted to an impressive résumé like that?
It's a shame, because without all of the red flags, he'd be a bona fide top 15 pick.
4. Marvin Austin, DT North Carolina
Three North Carolina players on a list of 10 prospects: are you noticing a pattern here?
Luckily for Austin, his natural talent will almost certainly crush any potential concerns regarding him, as he was referred to as one of the top linemen in the country before being banished off of the UNC campus in 2010.
He's been "unstoppable" this offseason, and the interest in him is only moving up by the day.
3. Nick Fairley, DT Auburn
Once considered the heavy favorite to go first overall, Fairley is not even in the conversation anymore.
While some of that is due to his inconsistent play, there are also some serious concerns about Fairley's work ethic.
It seems like he only wants to play when he's got the fire in his eye, and he's going to need to have that fire lit permanently if he wants to keep succeeding.
2. Ryan Mallett, QB Arkansas
He's still not getting the attention that Newton receives, and frankly, that's astounding.
Mallett has it all: trouble with the law, drugs and a poor work ethic.
He's the perfect trifecta of concern, yet he only ranks at number two here.
1. Cam Newton, QB Auburn
The kid is great, and I'm a big fan of his shtick, but he's bringing it on himself to an extent.
Newton is both an entertainer and an icon, there's no doubt about that, but perhaps it's for the wrong reasons.
He's drawing the spotlight, which is exactly what he wants, but if he fails in the face of the public eye, it's going to be an awfully hard fall for young Cameron.