Friday, December 10, 2010

Cam's NFL Future...Bright?

Some “fans” can’t understand why the NFL rates Cam Newton below Stanford QB Andrew Luck. I’m not going to tell them what I’ve read and observed, because it will go in one ear and out the other.

While one of the most amazing athletes in college football history, Cam’s passing is far from pin-point. Little is said by fans when he misses wide open receivers, or how last week’s miracle touchdown pass as time expired succeeded only when the tipped ball serendipitously landed in another receiver’s hands. But scouts take note. It goes without saying that Newton is a much better runner and passer than Tebow. But Tim produced FOUR great seasons at the highest level of college football, while Newton just has one. Tebow was known for his work ethic, leadership skills, and spotless behavior. Though diligent at practice, Newton has left a wake of suspect behavior at every stop.

Similarly, ESPN’s 30 on 30 told how amazing Oklahoma’s Marcus Dupree was…for seven games. A rare talent, but a mere a flash-in-the pan compared to the lengthy college AND pro careers of the likes of Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice, Tony Dorsett, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Jim Brown, or Herschel Walker. Over the long haul, how will Cam Newton compare to the Peyton Mannings or Tom Bradys…much less a Donovan McNabb?

NFL teams will look long and hard before lavishing Newton with $75 million (the going rate for an elite QB drafted in the first round). The League is littered with high-dollar busts. The Tennessee Titans wouldn’t pick him, having been continually burned by the similarly-heralded Vince Young. Same with the Falcons…Michael Vick didn’t mature until his 30’s. JaMarcus Russell was an expensive disaster for the Raiders, as Ryan Leaf was in San Diego.

The Bengals and Lions will hold high draft picks, but don’t need a quarterback. Will the cold-weather Bills want to spend such a princely sum? The Cardinals just released washout Number One Pick / Heisman winner Matt Leinart. Reggie Bush has stayed away from character issues (while keeping up with the Kardashians) but has been hampered by injuries as a pro. Former Auburn QB Jason Campbell is no Cam Newton, and left a poor taste in the mouth of the Redskins (though he’s playing better in Oakland).

Should Newton fall in the draft, will cries of racism be heard? Perhaps Mark Richt had it right, that Cam’s best long-term future is as a tight end.

Only time will tell if Auburn’s magical season will remain unscarred from NCAA penalty. Right now Tiger fans are far too jubilant with their national championship aspirations to worry about such dire possibilities.

Not that it’s a slam dunk he’ll go pro. Cam says he loves Auburn. But he planned on leaving Florida when Tebow returned for his senior season, before Newton was kicked off the team. The Texas junior college was a one year layover. Now that the Mississippi State accusations and charges of cheating at Florida have surfaced, it may again be time for Newton to move on once more.

But will NFL teams be lining up to pay for his services?

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