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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What's Next for Cam Newton?

Last night Cam Newton capped off one of the best singular seasons in College Football history with a National Championship victory.  Just about a month ago Cam won the Heisman award for the best player in College Football.  In total, he passed for 31 TDs and rushed for 20 more.  He became only the 2nd player in NCAA history to pass for 20 TDs and run for 20 TDs after Tim Tebow did it in 2008.  Most people think he is a lock to enter the NFL after accomplishing just about everything there is to do in College Football along with all the pay for play allegations swirling over him, however Cam is only a Junior so he could return to Auburn.

I happen to be one of those people who think Newton is definitely bound for the NFL though.  He has already won everything and if he stayed and continued to dominate there would be a lot more scrutiny on whether his Father ever paid for Cam's commitment to Auburn.  The only upside in staying is another year of incredible fun on a beautiful campus where he dominates lesser competition.  Yeah, that does sound pretty nice actually.  But he won't.  If Cam's Father was trying to score $180,000 last year imagine how excited he'll be when Cam has the opportunity to get $20 million.  Most Mock Draft projections have Cam going in the Top 10 and that qualifies for a good chunk of change.
From a physical standpoint Newton is just about everything an NFL scout could want in a QB.  He is 6'6" and weighs 250 lbs which is JaMarcus Russel-esque but I don't think there is any question that Newton is more of a work-out freak than Russel ever was.  Although I was hoping to end the Russel comparisons with the size thing, they do happen to share rocket arm strength too and that enamored Al Davis enough to take Russel with the first pick in the draft. Unfortunately for Cam, the Raiders traded their pick to New England.  

If Cam does come out he'll have to work through a few negatives.  He has only played one season of major college football, he played in a spread option run first offense, and his accuracy is questionable.  The accuracy thing can be answered to some degree in Pro-Day workouts and his knowledge of reading defenses can be rested by good interviews at the combine.  However, he needs to play through the experience thing and that  could mean that teams drafting him will take him with the expectation that he'll sit for a year or two.

Ultimately, I think Newton will declare for the draft in the next day or two.  Then he'll have to really focus on clearing up some of those doubts about his ability over the next few months.  However, based on his pure physical talent and play-making ability I don't see him dropping past the Minnesota Vikings with the 12th pick in April's NFL Draft.

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Justin said...

He's going pro! To Minnesota???

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