Ever since the Auburn Tigers won the National Championship, one of the hottest topics in draft circles has been the potential of Cam Newton. Some people see him as the next “Mike Vick” others see him as just another guy that has been over-hyped and won’t make it in the league.
Let’s take a deeper look at Cam’s tangibles and how they fit in the NFL game. First and foremost he is a very tall guy at 6-5 or 6-6 and he is well over 240 lbs. He seems like he can definitely take the pounding of the NFL. The arm strength is definitely there, as is the ability to maneuver a little in the pocket and give himself some more time when the pressure gets there. A lot of NFL scouts are going to look at him as a raw prospect that they hope they can mold into the next “Big Ben.” Cam has that sort of skill-set.
However there is one HUGE knock on Cam Newton and that is his integrity. This knock is so big I definitely believe that several teams will take Cam Newton completely off their draft boards because of it.
Let’s look into what has already gone on. First Cam “ends up in possession of a stolen laptop” at the University of Florida and transfers to Junior College for a year. According to the NCAA investigation, Cam Newton’s father then negotiates a $150,000 “pay for play deal” with Mississippi State. Allegedly Cam knows nothing of this and decides to transfer to the University Auburn on his own merit. To me, Cam’s story still makes no sense and neither did the University of Auburn’s. Something went on there, and it is an NFL team’s job to decide if they trust this man to be the face and leader of their franchise for years to come.
There is no test, interview, or amount of film that can tell us what goes on in the mind of Cam Newton. Is he a habitual liar? Is he just a good son? Is he just an innocent “Instrument of God?”
Another question with Cam is will he put in the work needed to become a good NFL quarterback. We have seen two similar players to Cam in Vince Young and Tim Tebow show us what work ethic can do for a mobile quarterback who doesn’t have the best accuracy in the world. Vince Young was unable to keep Jeff Fisher from benching him for Kerry Collins, and Tim Tebow went in the first round because Josh McDaniels was impressed with his work ethic despite having a third round grade. Like I said before, there is no telling what really goes on in the mind of Cam Newton, and if I am an NFL owner I am downright afraid of giving this young man $40+ million guaranteed.
If I had to compare Cam Newton to an NFL player past of present I would say he favors Daunte Culpepper. Daunte like Cam was a bigger guy who had enough mobility to get out the pocket and make something happen. Daunte also had that big arm that propelled him into MVP conversation when combined with the best deep threat in the game at that time in Randy Moss. Later in Culpepper’s career when he was without Moss things went downhill fast, his suspect accuracy plagued him and on top of it all he tore his knee up and lost his mobility. I definitely see a lot of the young Culpepper in Newton.
Others compare Newton to Tim Tebow and Vince Young but I have to disagree as Tebow and Young were further ahead in their development coming into the draft. Cam Newton has only played one season despite playing well enough to win the BCS and Heisman.
I believe we’ll hear Cam Newton’s name called around the 15th pick and see him putting on a Miami Dolphins hat on draft day.