I am pretty confident that the Carolina Panthers are going to draft Cameron Newton.
I am confident no matter what happens that Newton won’t be JaMarcus Russell.
Beyond that, I would be very uneasy with handing the franchise keys over to him. This has nothing to do with his smile, him getting his hands on other people’s laptops, getting the answer key to tests, or his father being Creflo Dollar.
My main concern is strictly on the field. In the NFL, athletic ability at the quarterback position can only get you so far. Your ability to process information, read defenses, move inside the pocket, keep your head up while being rushed, being poised and confident are much more important than your 40 times.
A lot of those skills can’t be taught— you have to want to learn them, you have to have the desire to put in the work and you can’t already assume you are good enough.
Time will tell if Cameron has those intangibles, but Jon Gruden illustrates in this video one thing: that Cam has a long way to go just from the logistics side of it to being an effective NFL quarterback (nice outfit Cam is rocking if you want to look at it glass half full).
It is much more complicated than just seeing the number “36” and running a play. This isn’t something that just Cam will have to deal with, but a lot of rookie quarterbacks will have to deal with. It is one of the reasons it is so difficult for college quarterbacks who come from spread and simplistic offenses to have immediate success in the NFL.
They are used to one read and run, whereas an NFL play may have up to five reads with multiple hot routes and adjustments on the fly.
I have a better analogy than Jon Gruden’s going to France one.
Imagine dating a pretty girl in college and your favorite restaurant as a couple is Johnny Rockets. The menu is pretty easy to digest. After college, your girlfriend goes on a Mormon mission (BYU Honor Code), and you meet an older more mature one who takes you to Che Che Lebeouf restaurant.
You are still hungry, but you don’t know what to order— so your first instinct is to drink water, get a salad and as soon as your drop her off, you go to Johnny Rockets.
But you can only eat burgers, fries and shakes for so long— if you are the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, you better learn to eat creme brulee.