Even while the NFL and NFLPA*’s litigators litigate, the draft evaluators evaluate – it is only 30 days away. And with all of the names projected to go high, Cam Newton’s still evokes the most conversation. That conversation will get a little more heated after Nolan Nawrocki’s evaluation of the former Auburn star that appears in the recently published Pro Football Weekly Draft Preview – courtesy of Tom E. Curran of CSN New England.
But Nawrocki bludgeons Newton when he starts talking about his personality.
“Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup,” writes Nawrocki.
But Nawrocki was just warming up.
He continued, “Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”
Nawrocki doesn’t back off any of those statements in his video evaluation of Newton on PFW’s website, calling Newton an “undependable, non-trustworthy, ‘rah-rah’ leader” and warning fans not to be surprised if in five years “he’s looking for another job”.
This isn’t the first time we’ve heard questions about Newton’s character, there have been plenty of rumblings about it amongst scouts. Not shocking considering the litany of off-field issues that have dogged Newton during his college career – including the on-going investigation into any alleged “pay-for-play” recruitment.
But there’s a venom attached to Nawrocki’s comments that one would only expect from an Alabama fan. Certainly character is a big part of what NFL teams are looking for – all the better to not deal with the Personal Conduct Police – but much of the description reads as petty.
Having a “disingenuous smile” and being “scripted” are only issues for reporters and photographers. And knowing “where the cameras are”? The list of pro athletes with that quality are too numerous to count.
There are definite red flags when it comes to Newton’s makeup. The idea that he is immature and will struggle to command a locker room are things that should make NFL general managers think twice. In many ways, Newton runs the very real risk of being Vince Young 2.0 – both on and off the field. But there’s a better way to describe it that makes you sounds like an impartial evaluator instead of a guy who lost his girlfriend to the star quarterback.