Cam Newton: Why Carolina Panthers' New QB Is the Worst NFL Draft Pick Ever

Jim FolsomContributorMay 9, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  Cam Newton receives a hug from his mother Jackie on stage after he was selected #1 overall by the Carolina Panthers during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Cam Newton is a sure-fire bust. I am so certain of this that if he is the Panthers' starting quarterback in 2016, I will buy a Cam Newton jersey and stand in the stadium parking lot in my underwear when the Panthers come to Tampa Bay and hold a sign proclaiming that Auburn rules over Florida and Carolina rules over Tampa Bay.

This guy will be long gone by then. Here are just a few of the reasons why I believe he will make Ryan Leaf only the second-biggest draft bust in history.

1. Cam Newton has not had enough experience as a starting quarterback to warrant a No. 1 pick. He only really played one year of meaningful college football. Yes, it was a fantastic year. Yes, his team went undefeated and won it all. But it was still only one year. How do we know that it wasn't a fluke? How do we know that Auburn didn't win because of a fantastic supporting cast? We don't.

2. Cam Newton has never lost a game as a starting quarterback. Wouldn't it be nice to know how he will react when he does lose a game? Because in the NFL, it won't take long. Is he going to learn from his mistakes? Is he going to repeat them? Will he go all "Vince Young" and threaten to hurt himself? Will he lose all confidence? We don't know. Sure would be nice to know these things before using a No. 1 pick though.

3. Cam Newton is no brainiac. From all accounts, he came off as an idiot on Jon Gruden's show on ESPN. He looked as if he had no idea what was going on. He was stumped by Gruden's questions. Some even said he looked bored.

Did he get by at Auburn on sheer athletic ability? Of course he did. He's a freak athlete. Most of his yardage was gained by running the football. But this is the NFL. You had better be able to read defenses, pick up blitzes, recognize different coverages, etc. or you will not last long.

There are many people alleging that the real reason Cam Newton left the University of Florida was not because he was caught with a stolen laptop computer, but because he was caught with papers written by other students. Now, I don't know if this is true or isn't true. But before I used a No. 1 pick on this guy, I'd sure want to consider the possibility that it could be true.

If so, what does it tell us? It tells us that he is not smart enough to do his own work and get a passing grade. But you expect him to outsmart guys like Dick LeBeau?

4. Cam Newton's character has been repeatedly called into question. We have accusations of him and his father shopping him around to the school with the fattest wallet. We have accusations of academic fraud, grand theft, obstruction of justice and destruction of someone else's laptop. That's a whole lot of red flags.

When things are going rough for the team, Cam is going to be the guy the other players are going to look to for leadership. How is that going to work? He has no credibility. His word means nothing.

5. Cam cannot hit the broad side of a barn with a football. All other issues aside, isn't the number one job of an NFL quarterback to complete passes? Did you NFL guys not watch the BCS title game? How many touchdowns did Cam leave on the table by missing receivers who were running free? That game should not have even been close.

On Newton's pro day at Auburn, there were reports of him missing receivers badly while throwing against air. What will happen when he has NFL defensive linemen with bad intentions bearing down on him?


How can an NFL franchise waste a No. 1 draft pick on a guy with this many question marks? Last year all we heard was how Tim Tebow was not worth risking a first-round pick because of his throwing motion—not just the top pick, but anywhere in the top 32. Name another issue with Tebow. Character? Please. Intelligence? No. Accuracy? Not really. Yet somehow because he came from a spread system he was deemed unworthy of a top pick. Guess what system Cam came from.

So how is it we go from "Tebow sucks" to "Cam is awesome" in one year? When these two guys played on the same team for two years, Cam was the one riding the bench while Tebow was breaking records and winning championships. So how is it that the treatment of Cam by the "draft people" is 180 degrees different than Tebow's? I don't know.

Let's ask Denver Broncos fans if they would like to trade Tebow for Newton straight up. They would laugh in your face. Football fans know even if the experts have no clue. We can spot a fraud when we see one.

In five years, when Tebow is leading Denver into the playoffs and Cam Newton is riding someone's bench, remember this article.