2011 Cowboys & Cam Newton?
Posted 01 March 2011 - 02:44 PM
Dallas Sports Examiner.
Drafting Cam Newton would be a good decision for the Cowboys.
"The NFL Scouting Combine is under way and the Cowboys have plenty of needs that can be addressed at the ninth overall pick. Their top needs are in the secondary, offensive tackle, and running back positions. The quarterback position is near the bottom of the list; however, drafting a young arm to develop for the future might not be a bad idea.
Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton has shot up the mock draft charts over the past few weeks. Most predictions have Newton being drafted anywhere between the second and fifteenth selections; therefore, the Cowboys may have a chance to grab one of college football’s most exciting players.
Tony Romo has become a polarizing figure for the Cowboys. Some fans believe he is and will always be just a stat guy; someone who can put up the numbers but can’t put up the trophies. Those folks will be the fans that cheer on the selection of Newton.
The Cowboys are in a good position for this year’s draft. Selecting high in the second round (40th overall) basically gives them an extra first round pick. First round talent almost always falls into the top-half of the second round giving the Cowboys a chance to fill one of their top needs.
For the Cowboys, drafting Newton would be an excellent idea.
Tony Romo has three years left on a six-year, $67 million deal signed in 2007. His base salary will increase in 2013 from $9 million to $11.5 million making him one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL.
Romo’s health is also a concern despite QB’s coach Wade Wilson’s recent comments.
"He's throwing great," Wilson said. "His delivery and velocity and revolutions and all that stuff is really, really good."
Newton gives the Cowboys an explosive player to develop over the next three years. This would give the Cowboys two good options in Cam Newton and Stephen McGee to take over for Romo. Jerry Jones knows that in order to maintain a solid roster you have to continue to bring in young talent.
"I wouldn't dismiss any player that's going to be in that draft ...," Jones said on Friday. "So much happens with the circumstances that are there, not only on draft day but how we continue our process. But I do feel like we're in really top shape.... I'm going to really say outstanding shape at the position (QB). Obviously, a quarterback to draft right now is a future consideration. For that reason, I wouldn't dismiss him or any position."
This roster has one huge problem that would make the drafting of Newton a brilliant decision and that problem is age. The offensive line is one of the oldest in the NFL with an average age of 30. Doug Free is the only player under 31-years old on the line. An aging offensive line and an aging quarterback is not a good mix. We’ve seen that recently with injuries to linemen and our quarterback last season. This makes perfect sense for the boys to grab Newton if there are no better options at that ninth pick, but don’t hold your breath because here’s another one.
Drafting Cam Newton would sell tickets for Jerry Jones.
The preseason would capture the eyes of the national media to watch Newton in action. The television networks would love to have the Cowboys in primetime hoping to catch a glimpse of Newton in action.
Cam Newton in a Cowboys uniform would be a huge story for Newton and the Cowboys. The future of the Cowboys would look so bright and exciting. It would restore optimism which ran out the door after a catastrophic 6-10 season.
Unfortunately, drafting Newton could cause some pretty big problems for the team as well. Constant clamoring to bench Romo in favor of Newton would form a cloud of distraction over the team.
It's a chance I'm willing to take. What about you?"
Posted 01 March 2011 - 03:04 PM
Cam Newton: 10 NFL Teams Who Should Consider Drafting Him in 2011.
By Constantine Madias.
"With the combine underway and the 2011 NFL Draft looming, Cam Newton is rumored to be the most talented player in the draft.
He's somewhat of a hybrid quarterback, with a perfect blend of talents that nobody has ever seen.
Aside from his tremendous athletic abilities and his precision as a pocket passer, Newton brings his winning attitude and great media skills to the NFL too.
These days in the NFL, the current, and most likely permanent, trend is to have a star quarterback if you want to win, with the exception of the New York Jets.
Newton can immediately help several teams in the NFL today, and therefore, these bottom feeders should consider drafting him.
Let's take a look"...
1. Washington Redskins.
"With the Donovan McNabb and Albert Haynesworth drama, 2010 was a season to forget for the Redskins.
Evidently, McNabb didn't work out for Washington, and they have no other options at quarterback. The team still has offensive talent, and they need to develop a franchise quarterback in order to compete in arguably the toughest division in football.
Mike Shanahan has coached Hall-of-Famer John Elway, and he would provide excellent insight for Newton.
Cam Newton would give this football team hope and provide a certain swagger for the 'Skins to go along with Santana Moss and Clinton Portis.
More importantly, Newton knows how to lead a team while dealing with drama, which the Redskins often have.
They will have to trade up a few spots to draft him."
2. Arizona Cardinals.
"Newton isn't exactly the pocket passer that the Cardinals have been used to in recent years, but he's certainly a better current option than Max Hall.
If he's drafted by the Cardinals, he'd have both Larry Fitzgerald and Steve Breaston to make things easier on his decision making in the pocket.
The Cardinals desperately need help at quarterback after the horrible 2010 campaign, and they still want to keep Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is a free agent in 2012.
The Cardinals also have Beanie Wells developing in the backfield, and they would be able to compete in the NFC West right away with the addition of some quarterback stability."
3. Buffalo Bills.
"The Bills think they might have found their man in Ryan Fitzpatrick, but they should still expect him to prove his worth again in 2011.
Wide receiver Stevie Johnson emerged as a star for this team in 2010, but the Bills still have several missing pieces on offense.
Even when considering Ryan Fitzpatrick's success, Cam Newton and C.J. Spiller would combine for quite a young combo in the backfield, and Newton won't be expected to win immediately.
Buffalo has not made a very big splash with recent draft picks, but Cam Newton would be sure to put fans in the seats. He will most likely be available at the third pick, and the Bills should grab him."
4. San Francisco 49ers.
"The 49ers have not had success with Alex Smith, and it might be time to move on without him.
New head coach Jim Harbaugh coached star quarterback Andrew Luck at Stanford, and he'd help Newton's development immensely.
San Francisco has all the offensive pieces in place to win immediately, and considering that they play in the NFC West, this team could win the division in 2011.
There's a small chance that Newton would be around at the seventh pick, and he'd be well worth it for the 49ers. With a core of Cam Newton, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, the San Francisco offense could explode in 2011."
5. Carolina Panthers.
"The Panthers have the first overall pick and also the toughest decision in the draft.
They ultimately couldn't go wrong with either Nick Fairley or Cam Newton, but we saw how bad Carolina's quarterback situation was last year.
Granted, Matt Moore is still young, and they drafted Jimmy Clausen for a reason, but Newton offers so much more than either of those quarterbacks. The Panthers would most likely trade either Moore or Clausen if Newton is drafted.
Steve Smith is a veteran who's hungry to win, and he'd love to speed up the offense with Newton behind center.
The Panthers won't be contending in 2011, but they should consider drafting Newton as their building block for the future.
Perhaps Fairley is the best defensive player in the draft, but he's not as highly-touted as Ndmukong Suh, who went second in last year's draft."
6. Minnesota Vikings.
"The Vikes would be able to come up with some crazy offensive packages with both Adrian Peterson and Cam Newton in the backfield.
They had decent success with Joe Webb, but he's not even close to a franchise quarterback. Cam Newton and new head coach Leslie Frazier would be able to build the offense together.
Minnesota still has a great offensive line too, which would assist Newton in his pocket passing.
The fans expected to contend for a title in 2010 with Brett Favre, but he failed miserably. Newton would help the Vikings community move on from their horrible season and open new beginnings for the team.
The Vikings select 12th in the draft, so maybe swapping first and second round picks would allow them to draft Newton."
7. Miami Dolphins.
"Again, the Dolphins would also have to make a trade to draft Newton, but it might be worth it.
Miami is now known for their wildcat offense, which Newton would definitely electrify. He would have star wideout Brandon Marshall by his side as well, because it's always a plus to have weapons for a rookie quarterback.
The Dolphins didn't get what they expected from Chad Henne in 2010, as he battled inconsistency all season long. Henne will most likely get another shot this season, but if he's not healthy, it would be nice for the Dolphins to have Newton waiting in the wings.
The usually solid rushing attack for the Dolphins was also sluggish in 2010, which Newton could boost as well."
8. Seattle Seahawks.
"If Seattle is willing to make a big trade into the top five selections of the draft (they pick 25th), Newton would make Pete Carroll's offense intriguing.
Apparently, the Seahawks want to give Matt Hasselbeck a shot after he made the playoffs at 7-9 and beat the Saints, but Hasselbeck's ceiling isn't so high anymore.
Newton would compliment wide receivers Mike Williams and Ben Obamanu nicely, and he'd learn from a very successful former college coach in Carroll.
This one might be a long shot, as the Seahawks haven't ruled out signing or trading for Carson Palmer either."
9. Tennessee Titans.
Andy Lyons/Getty Images Newton and Chris Johnson together in the Titans backfield would be great to watch.
Titans owner Bud Adams has stripped the team, including shipping out both Jeff Fisher and Vince Young.
Although the Titans still have Kerry Collins and Rusty Smith, neither of these guys are long-term options. Smith struggled greatly last year.
Cam Newton would offer the Titans a fresh new image, and he'd have time to develop with upcoming star receiver Kenny Britt.
The Titans pick eighth, so they might have to trade up a few spots to grab Newton."
10. Cincinnati Bengals.
"Here's a team that has recently emerged as a candidate to draft Newton.
Despite resigning Marvin Lewis, the Bengals are still a mess right now. Carson Palmer has put his home on the market and has demanded a trade from the Bengals.
A quarterback vacancy is the last thing the Bengals can afford if they hope to keep Chad Johnson (he's changed his name again), and possibly resign Terrell Owens.
Although Cincinnati is rumored to draft A.J. Green, the Bengals should consider taking Newton with the fourth pick. It doesn't appear that Carson Palmer will be back next season."
Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:25 PM
Deion Sanders: If Cowboys take Cam Newton, they're insinuating that Tony Romo will soon be done.
"Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback and Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders was interviewed on KESN-FM on Friday to discuss the draft and possibly drafting Cam Newton. Here are some highlights:
What do you make of Cam Newton throwing at the combine when no other quarterback did?
Great. I love it because he has to; his last game was horrendous. He didn’t play well in the championship game. I mean, trust me; I was really anticipating what I heard because I never really watched college football. So, to see him play, I was anticipating the statistics that I saw throughout the league and the year. And I didn’t see it; I saw nervousness in the pocket and anxiety and rushing throws. It wasn’t no poise. So he has to. He has to go through all the drills to prove himself.
If the Cowboys are up at No. 9 and Cam Newton is available, do you think they should do it?
Nuh uh. Don’t do it. I like [Tony] Romo. Tony is not the kind of guy that you put a dog behind. You can’t do that; he’s going to look over his shoulder back at that dog because Tony didn’t come into the league heralded as ‘this guy’ like Peyton Manning. You could put whomever you want behind him, he doesn’t care. But a guy like Romo, you can’t do him like that. You got to allow him the comfort level, understand this is his job and he’s the leader and let it be.
What if every scout for the Cowboys believes that when Romo is done that Newton will be far and away the best quarterback in the NFL?
If you take Cam now, you’re insinuating that Romo is going to be done really soon. And Romo is going to be thinking, “Man, this guy is right behind me.” Then, he’ll start pressing and trying to make something happen instead of allowing them to happen. That’s not a good pick, for me.
Do you think that Cam Newton has what it takes to be a top three or four pick in the draft?
I got to see it. I didn’t see it in the championship game. It’s tough. That’s a lot of money you’re investing with that top pick. I know the promise…he has all the intangibles; he has the arm strength and all that but the decision-making process…and there’s only one Mike Vick. So you can forget all that running: rushing for a 1,000-yards in college because that’s not happening in the pros. You can ask Vince Young and any other guys that had the ability to run; it’s not going to happen. You have to sit back there and make decisions."
Posted 04 March 2011 - 07:59 PM
NFL Draft: Cam Newton Is No. 1.
Posted by Scott Cushing.
"I’ll say it now. Cam Newton is going to be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL draft. As we know, QB is the most important position on an NFL team, by far. And despite murky forecast for NFL football in 2011, there is one thing that the NFLPA and the NFL agree on, and that’s the need for a rookie wage scale. We don’t have any idea what that might look like, but we do know that one will be instituted and that we won’t see any guarantees of $50M (Sam Bradford) for any rookie ever again. Those ridiculous guarantees made it almost punitive for a team with many weaknesses to pick high in the draft, let alone a QB, the most expensive proposition. I’m sure that the Detroit Lions love Matthew Stafford’s ability and talent, but there is simply no way that he’s worth the guaranteed dollars (over $41M) that he’s been paid because in two seasons he’s only played in 13 total games, has thrown for 2,802 yards, 19 TDs, 21 INTs, and has a QB rating of 67.1. I like Stafford a lot as a QB and think he can be one of the best in the game, but if he can’t stay on the field he’s not worth the money. Hell, he’s not even worth a quarter of the money that they’ve already given him as it sits right now.
My point is this, if the rookie wage takes away the gigantic guaranteed money NFL teams must pay to sign their high draft picks, then the risk to that team goes down substantially and they can “gamble” on picking a QB that may or may not pan out because the financial ramifications aren’t devastating. And if an NFL team thinks that Cam Newton has the skills to be a successful QB in the league, then he’s not a top 10 pick, he’s the No. 1 pick. It’s an easy choice. If any NFL team had the opportunity to draft Josh Freeman or Ben Roethlisberger (knowing what we know about those two QBs right now) in the 2011 NFL they would pick either of those guys No. 1 without flinching and they would have done it last year without the salary restrictions. But this year? Please. QB-hungry teams are playing chicken right now, they want Cam Newton but they are hoping that he falls to them because of the “issues” that he has.
And let’s talk about those for a moment. Here’s what we know:
Cam’s dad, Cecil, shopped his son around to college programs when Cam was at Blinn Community College. He wanted 180k for his son’s signature on a letter of intent. We know that he offered this “deal” to Mississippi State, who turned him down. The NCAA determined that Cam knew nothing about this and therefore didn’t investigate further. Case closed (for now). So what does this tell us? It tells me only this: first, Cecil Newton was incredibly short-sighted. Second, Cecil did not fully appreciate the talents that his son possesses. He was short-sighted because in the long run of Cam’s career, 180k is a preposterously low amount of money, I mean, Bryant McKinnie could blow through that in a day and a half posted up at a hotel bar. He did not fully appreciate Cam’s talents because he wanted to get his money now, instead of waiting until his son blows up nationally. He did not want to risk not getting anything off of Cam’s talents, so he wanted to get some guaranteed money just in case Cam’s career went nowhere. Was it greedy? Of course. Was it stupid? Well that’s a stupid question. Was Cecil looking out for his son? Yeah, probably. Is it Cam’s fault? I don’t think so.
So, the “red flag” here is that Cam’s dad may not have the best head on his shoulders. Should the sins of the father be born by the son? I don’t think that’s fair. Also, isn’t it a good thing that he has a dad who cares about him, even if he is arguably a buffoon? Would it be better if Cam’s dad abandoned him and that he never had a dad around?
Another “issue” he has is that whole weird deal with the laptop when he was a freshman at Florida. The details are fuzzy and it was probably the reason that he decided to leave school (rather than depth-chart issues sitting behind Tim Tebow). Whatever happened at Florida obviously changed him because no one has unearthed any other scrapes with the law. Also, it takes adversity (self-inflicted or otherwise) sometimes for people to figure out who they are and who they want to be. Do you think that he was happy about having to go play at a freakin’ junior college after being on the roster of arguably the best program in the nation at the time? I’d say that experience humbled the hell out of Newton and set him straight a little bit.
The last “issue” that Cam has is that he is more interested in becoming famous than he is interested in becoming a great football player. To that I say shut the f**k up. Newton has a megawatt personality and is an impossibly good-looking guy, so because of that and some off-handed comment he made in the context of promoting Under Armor (“I see myself not only as a football player, but an entertainer and icon”) the media had their justification to pimp this “issue.” The media have implied that this guy is just like the other athletes who want to be famous but don’t want to put in the work to be great. I’d like to know where, exactly that comes from. All I know is what I saw on the field and a dude that is essentially 90% of a national title team’s offense had to have worked hard. Also, I’d ask that you take a look at the man. (If I could figure out the PI’s new publishing system, I’d embed a video, but I can’t, so I won’t). He’s 6’5 248 and looks like an anatomy chart. When I was watching him work out at the combine, I pressed pause when he was standing by himself with no frame of reference around him and asked my wife, “How tall do you think he is?” She said she had no idea and I said, “Okay, do you think he’s over 6’2 or under 6’2.” She guessed under. He simply looks like a 5’10 running back when standing on his own because his body is so proportional, but he’s 6’5! He just looks like he’s out of scale amongst other humans.
The point is you don’t get to be that kind of physical specimen by not working hard. You do not get to look like that if you sit on your couch all day and go to parties and don’t work out. He has a beautiful throwing motion, he has great touch, his arm is definitely strong enough, and he’s built like an Uruk from “Lord of the Rings” (please excuse the dip into dorkism, thank you). I haven’t heard any issues with Cam Newton being lazy or arrogant. I haven’t heard that his teammates dislike him. I’ve only seen him dominate college football and look great doing it. The only issues I see are that he’s got some poor foot mechanics and that he played in a run-oriented spread offense (although less so than say, Oregon). But he was still everything to Auburn. Without him, they are good, but they’re more like LSU-good (e.g. good everywhere except QB) as opposed to national title good.
For Carolina the answer is easy.
The question is: Would you rather have Cam Newton or Jimmy Clausen as your QB of the present and future?
I mean, come on.
If Carolina doesn’t pick him, they’ll regret it forever. The QB position is just too important and Cam Newton is just too talented to fail. He’s just too big, too good, and any flaws that he has can be fixed by a good quarterback coach. Talent like this is too good to pass up, and I think Carolina knows it.
Speaking of QB coaches… Carolina’s new QB coach is Mike Shula. Here’s where Shula spent the last 21 years (with the starting QBs in parentheses)
90 QB Coach– Tampa (Vinny Testaverde)
91-92 offensive assistant – Miami (Dan Marino)
93-95 TE coach – Chicago (Jim Harbaugh, Steve Walsh, Erik Kramer)
96-99 offensive coordinator – Tampa (Trent Dilfer, Shaun King)
00-02 QB coach – Miami (Jay Fiedler, Ray Lucas)
03-06 head coach – Alabama (Brodie Croyle, Spencer Pennington, John Parker Wilson)
07-10 QB coach Jacksonville (David Garrard)
The Jacksonville experience is certainly the most relevant with regard to Cam Newton. Shula’s first year in Jacksonville coincides with Garrard’s first year as a starter and Shula helped turn Garrard into a pro-bowl-caliber player.
Garrard’s stats under Shula…
12,460 yards (avg. 3,115)
71 Tds (avg. 17.75)
41 INTs (avg. 10.25)
89.6 QB rating
Garrard is talented and mobile, but he’s nowhere near the athletic marvel that is Cam Newton and if Shula could turn Garrard into a pro bowler, I’m guessing that he can do the same with Newton.
I suppose the bottom line is this, are the off-the-field concerns legitimate enough to warrant passing on a talent like Newton?
I say h*ll no.
Draft him and be happy you did so, Carolina."
Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:01 PM
2011 NFL Mock Draft: No. 8) Tennessee Titans: Cam Newton (Auburn).
By Patrick Clarke.
"The pick that everyone has been waiting for. Cam Newton. Several experts have Newton going No. 10 to the Washington Redskins.
However taking into account the Titans current situation, cutting ties with head coach Jeff Fisher and quarterback Vince Young, it would seem they are in the running for the Newton sweepstakes. Newton has been moving up since the BCS Title Game and don't be surprised if he goes early to a team desperate for a spark."
Posted 04 March 2011 - 08:04 PM
NFL Draft 2011: Cam Newton's Draft Stock Bubble Is Ready To Pop.
By Robert Ivaniszyn (Correspondent).
"Eligibility controversy or not, no player in recent memory has been more hyped in one year of Division I football than Cam Newton. He has gone from playing at a junior college in Texas in 2009 to winning all 13 games of Auburn’s 2010 schedule and the Heisman Trophy along the way.
To some, this would be a Cinderella story. Newton, the talent overlooked by Florida—during Tim Tebow’s tenure—and so many other powerhouse schools plays a year at a junior college to become the No. 1 QB recruit and then wins it all with a school that hasn’t won a National Title since 1957.
On the other side of the coin, Auburn had been the most successful SEC West school since the conference split into divisions in 1992. However, they always seemed to be missing the final piece of the National Championship that due to unlucky rankings and NCAA violations had been held just outside their grasp in recent years. Newton, then, seemed to be a match made in heaven for Auburn.
In true SEC dominance form Newton was a dual threat QB with a big arm and even bigger personality. The “other” major Alabama football school fell in love with Cam and even throughout allegations that his father had attempted to sell him to the highest bidding school, he persevered.
All that said, the college football season is over, and if we remove all the talk surrounding him, we can plainly see why his stock should’ve been dropping since he declared for the draft almost two months ago.
The media has overhyped his athleticism and his tenacity, while not mentioning his ego or lack of work ethic. However, with his terrible showing at the combine behind us, some experts continue to say he could go No. 1 overall to Carolina.
Why? Carolina hasn’t given up on Jimmy Clausen. Ron Rivera has hinted that he doesn’t see Clausen as a franchise QB, but will they really take the gamble with Newton with that first overall pick? I doubt it.
That being said, the next likely team to pick a QB is Arizona with the fifth overall pick. However, they have more pressing issues and the current organization doesn’t have time to wait for a rookie to develop. They would be much better suited to grab a free agent or trade for another team’s solid backup than draft a QB here.
Now we slide down to the seventh and eight picks of the 49ers and Titans respectively. With Alex Smith seeing what he can get in free agency, San Francisco may be without a starting QB, but are much more suited to a pocket passer like Gabbert.
Many Titans fans are calling for Vince Young to be traded or cut, but the reality is that Tennessee would be crazy to cut him, and with a new CBA still not completed, a trade gets harder and harder every day. That trade possibility is made even harder by the $4.25 million bonus that Young is owed on the 10th day of the new league year that started today.
Blaine Gabbert and Ryan Mallett have more upside and are more pure passers. The only true scrambler to have proper NFL success plays in Philly and not many believe that Newton is the next Mike Vick.
Now Newton drops to the Vikings at 12th overall, but seeing as they have a solid line who kept even the geriatric Brett Favre upright most of the season, they are more likely to go after a more pure passer. Enter Ryan Mallett. He has character flaws, but is a true leader and could mature into a strong passer in the very tough NFC North.
The concern then is that if he drops past No. 12 overall, where does he eventually go? With the exception of possibly the Miami Dolphins and the Seattle Seahawks, no one else scheduled to pick in the first round has any reason to draft a QB, much less such a controversial one who could be a big project like Tim Tebow just as easily as he could be a day one star like Sam Bradford. No, Bradford isn’t winning league MVP anytime soon, but he was the most solid rookie the league has seen in the last five years at QB and looks to be for years to come.
The fact is, unless he truly wows the scouts on his pro day and learns how to keep his foot out of his mouth and his ego in check, Cam Newton could easily be the next Brady Quinn. The cameras will be focused on him at the Radio City Music Hall when the coverage begins on that fateful Thursday night in April, and his face will sure be red—and full of fear—if he’s still around come Friday."
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:44 PM
Cam Newton in His Words, Subject to Interpretation.
By TONI MONKOVIC.
"Cam Newton’s news conference at the scouting combine on Saturday was subject to interpretation — a Rorschach test for the news media. Was he too rehearsed? Was he sincere? This video gives you a chance to judge for yourself.
Last week, Newton, the Auburn quarterback and Heisman winner, raised some eyebrows by saying he saw himself as an “entertainer-slash-icon.”
Here is part of Newton’s opening statement, in which he addressed the comment:
First and foremost, I understand that my obligation is to be the best possible football player I can be. I know and believe that. The recent comments that were made during the announcement of my recent endorsement partnership.
I was making the point that I want to be the best possible ambassador for them, just like I want to be the best possible ambassador for whatever team I’m lucky enough to play for. I’m excited to compete this week, and you will see me doing everything possible to become the best player I can possibly be.
And here is some of the reaction from around the Web:
Dan Graziano, FanHouse:
Newton is confident. He is engaging. He has a superstar’s smile and a well-earned belief in himself that should make teams feel better, not worse, about making him their quarterback. He wears the mistakes of his past with a grown-up’s wisdom and perspective.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com:
Asked about the interview process, Newton said, “I’m pretty sure everybody in the combine is going through that process asking themselves the question, ‘Is this really what I want to do.’” What? Is this what you want to do? Doesn’t that contradict his statement that he wants to do everything he can to be the best? You can’t be a star without the scrutiny — no matter how much he might want it.
Jason Cole, Yahoo Sports:
In about an hour’s worth of interviews with the media, Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett saw his draft stock crumble and Auburn’s Cam Newton kept his soaring.
Don Banks, SI.com:
I guess that was just Cam being Cam. The explanatory opening statement read rather stiffly. The multiple references to himself in thI ird person: “Everyone knows Cam comes from a spread offense.” And the Mark McGwire-like insistence that “the past is in the past.”
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:44 PM
Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett both have pro days Tuesday.
PRO FOOTBALL TALK : "For any NFL team considering both Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett in next month’s NFL draft, there’s going to be a bit of a logistical problem on Tuesday. Auburn and Arkansas both have their pro days on Tuesday, so scouts and coaches on teams considering both players will have to choose to watch either Newton or Mallett throw, not both.
One college scout told Peter King of SI.com that the way schools schedule pro days, often in conflict with each other, “Really drives me nuts.” It wouldn’t be possible to schedule pro days so that there’s never a conflict, but the scheduling could be better coordinated so that there aren’t some days with 13 different schools having pro days and others with none.
For Mallett, the pro day will be another chance to show off the rocket arm that impressed coaches at the Combine. For Newton, who wasn’t particularly impressive in passing drills at the NFL Scouting Combine, the pro day will be even more important."
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:45 PM
Cam Newton Is Moving Up in Mock Drafts.
By TONI MONKOVIC
"Cam Newton is climbing. Real Clear Sports averaged seven mock drafts that were updated after the scouting combine, and Newton was the top pick in four of them.
Defensive end Da’Quan Bowers held on to the No. 1 spot, but a strong pro day workout by Newton on Tuesday would probably push him to the top spot. Mock drafts are there to be mocked, of course, but they do give a feel for the landscape. The Carolina Panthers are on shaky ground at quarterback after Jimmy Clausen’s poor rookie year. The new Panthers coach, Ron Rivera, is not giving Clausen any guarantees. And Gil Brandt has said he’d be shocked if Newton wasn’t the No. 1 pick.
Here’s the complete Real Clear Sports mock draft compilation, with the top five below.
1) Carolina Panthers, Da’Quan Bowers, Clemson defensive end
2) Denver Broncos, Cam Newton, Auburn quarterback
3) Buffalo Bills, Nick Fairley, Auburn defensive tackle
4) Cincinnati Bengals, Patrick Peterson, L.S.U. cornerback
5) Arizona Cardinals, A.J. Green, Georgia wide receiver
At No. 19, the Giants wind up with Colorado offensive tackle Nate Solder.
At No. 29, the Jets wind up with Ohio State defensive end Cameron Heyward."
Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:46 PM
Caution on Cam Newton From Mayock.
By TONI MONKOVIC.
"No sooner had the ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer gushed over a “phenomenal” workout by the Auburn star Cam Newton on Thursday than the backlash began.
Maybe backlash is too strong a word, but dropping in a JaMarcus Russell reference? The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, a top draft analyst, was trying to say, Let’s not get carried away.
“I really didn’t need to see the workout, nor do I need to hear about the workout because I can tell you what that workout entails. I’ve watched five of his game tapes; he’s got a classic over-hand delivery, he’s got a big arm. You and I in gym shorts at the local high school can throw pretty accurately, so I would guarantee you he would look great in a pair of gym shorts, he would throw with accuracy and arm strength. His mechanics are very good but I would also [offer] one cautionary note, and that is the best pro day for a quarterback I ever attended was JaMarcus Russell. That same day, even though I admitted it was the best pro day I ever saw, I also said I wouldn’t take him in the first round. For me, it’s not about him throwing in shorts; it’s about a lot of other things.
“A choreographed day like today is fine, but the N.F.L. is not really even allowed to be there, so they’re looking at the clips, the same that you and I are. They want to see him throw the ball at the Combine with the other quarterbacks, and then they want to see him at the Auburn pro day. And even then, that’s really not going to tell the tale because he’s going to throw the football beautifully in those controlled environments. To me, there are two issues with this kid. Issue number one is he came out of a shotgun, and if you watch the tape it’s basically a very simple offense. One read and either the ball was out or he was out. Can he adapt to, can he process and assimilate a very structured and complex pro offense against a complex pro defense? And secondly, and most importantly, when you get to a certain skill level in the N.F.L., which this kid certainly has, at the quarterback position what kind of kid is he? Is he going to be the first guy in the building? Is he a gym rat? Is he football smart? Is he a leader of men? All of those things to me are way more important than any workout in shorts.”
Matt Bowen of The National Football Post chimed in:
What did you expect from Cam Newton yesterday in an orchestrated workout in front of the media? A show put on by his father that didn’t include a single scout, coach or GM from the N.F.L. For a player that is projected as a top talent in the draft, what he did in shorts shouldn’t come as a surprise. He looked the part, according to reports, threw the ball like a pro QB and got the post workout reaction he wanted — complete with the extra hype. But that wasn’t an N.F.L. workout.
Extra point: Some teams are said to have Newton rated as the No. 1 overall pick. But he’s not even among Mayock’s top two in his quarterback list. Do you agree?
1. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
2. Jake Locker, Washington
3. Cam Newton, Auburn
4. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
5. Andy Dalton, TCU."
Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:11 PM
ESPN's Mel Kiper compares Cam Newton to all-time bust Akili Smith.
By Michael McCarthy, USA TODAY.
"That's got to hurt. During a conference call today, ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.compared Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton of Auburn to Akili Smith, one of the NFL's all-time draft busts who started only 17 games for the Cincinnati Bengals before finishing his disappointing career with the CFL's Calgary Stampeders, according to ProFootballTalk.com
"He was a one-year wonder. Akili Smith was a one-year wonder," said Kiper about Newton who didn't wow the scouts at the NFL Combine.
Said Kiper: "If you hit (on Newton), you could have a sensational quarterback for ten years. (But) if you miss, it sets you back three, four, five years."
Lest we forget, Smith, a standout quarterback at the University of Oregon, was the first round pick of the Bengals in 1999. He went third overall behind Tim Couch (Cleveland Browns) and Donovan McNabb (Philadelphia Eagles)."
Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:17 PM
Panthers staying in Newton's 'hip pocket.'
Comments By Pat Yasinskas.
"As the Cam Newton saga continues to play out, I can’t help but think of this item written back in February in which ESPN draft guru Todd McShay shared a quote from an NFL general manager.
McShay said the general manager told him if his team was in the market for a quarterback and was considering taking Newton that he would "be in the kid’s hip pocket every day between now and the end of the draft."
Looks like that’s exactly what the Carolina Panthers are doing just that. One day after coach Ron Rivera and several members of the Carolina staff attended Newton’s pro day at Auburn University, there's a report that the Panthers will have a private visit with the quarterback. That part’s no surprise at all.
The Panthers have made it clear they’re looking to solidify their quarterback position and knowing the way general manager Marty Hurney operates, I’m sure they’re looking at all their options. Newton certainly is one of the options on the table. He and Missouri’s Blaine Gabbert are considered the top two quarterbacks in the draft.
Newton has tremendous upside, but there are some questions in his background that I’m sure Hurney and his staff are looking into very seriously and a private visit is the next logical step in that process.
But don’t assume the Panthers are already locked in on Newton. Like I said, Hurney is methodical. I’m sure the Panthers also will schedule a visit with Gabbert. I’m not sure I’m sold on either quarterback and I’ve been saying all along the Panthers should get their quarterback in a trade or via free agency and use the top draft pick on a defensive lineman or maybe even cornerback Patrick Peterson.
I’m not so sure Hurney and Rivera are feeling that way and I’m starting to at least be more open minded to the possibility of them drafting a quarterback. I talked to Scouts Inc.’s Matt Williamson on Wednesday afternoon for another draft-related story I’m working on for Friday and he made a good point.
“They have to take a quarterback,’’ Williamson said. “You don’t get the No. 1 pick in the draft very often. When that window opens and you need a quarterback, you have to take one.’’
That said, Williamson said he’d take Gabbert over Newton. We’ll have more of Williamson’s thoughts Friday, but it sure looks like Hurney and Rivera are staying in Newton’s hip pocket so far."
Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:18 PM
Cleveland Browns will work out Auburn QB Cam Newton.
By Tony Grossi, The Plain Dealer.
Are the Browns seriously considering Cam Newton with the sixth pick? Would he even still be on the board by then?
CLEVELAND --"The Browns are one of eight teams that will hold a private workout with Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, according to NFL.com.
This should come as no surprise.
At the NFL Scouting Combine two weeks ago in Indianapolis, Browns President Mike Holmgren committed to Colt McCoy as the Browns' starting quarterback, but he also told The Plain Dealer that he anticipated interviewing all the highly rated quarterbacks in the draft.
"Oh, I'm going to talk to them," Holmgren said. "I like to watch the quarterbacks, anyway, you know. But those fellas probably will be drafted pretty high. But I think we have to talk to them all. We'll probably bring them in, do our work and see what happens."
Holmgren was the only member of the Browns' football operations who did not attend Newton's pro day workout in Auburn, Ala., on Tuesday.
The date of Newton's workout with the Browns has not been disclosed.
Newton, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner who led Auburn to the BCS Championship, is one of the most polarizing players available in the NFL draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. called him a "one-year wonder" on a national conference call on Wednesday.
The Plain Dealer has projected Newton to be drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals at No. 4 -- two notches ahead of the Browns.
Based on Holmgren's comments, it's likely the Browns also will hold private workouts with Missouri's Blaine Gabbert, who is vying with Newton to be the first quarterback chosen in the draft.
Holmgren has said he intends to draft a quarterback in the draft, but probably not early. Other quarterbacks rated after Newton and Gabbert include: Jake Locker of Washington, Christian Ponder of Florida State, Ryan Mallett of Arkansas, Andy Dalton of Texas Christian, Ricky Stanzi of Iowa, Colin Kaepernick of Nevada, Pat Devlin of Delaware, T.J. Yates of North Carolina, and Greg McElroy of Alabama."
Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:03 PM
Cam Newton: Browns not likely to take a QB at No. 6.
"The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Terry Pluto believes the recent talk coming out of the Browns' front office about possibly drafting a quarterback is likely just a ploy to get teams interested in their No. 6 pick.
The Browns seem more or less sold on Colt McCoy under center, so unless team president Mike Holmgren falls in love with somebody in the next month, they won't be drafting a quarterback early. If they do a good enough job of creating the appearance they may, however, someone below them like the 49ers or Titans that really needs a signal-caller may indeed feel compelled to trade up."
Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:04 PM
Cam Newton: Panthers likely to consider trading down.
"The Panthers are likely to give serious consideration to trading down from the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.
Coming off of a nightmarish 2-14 season, the Panthers currently have just five total picks in this year's draft. If they decide there's no player they have to have at No. 1 overall, it would make a lot of sense for them to trade down and stock up on other picks to help address their myriad needs. Of course, trading out of the top five is much more easily said than done."
Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:13 PM
Draft 2011: The Quarterbacks.
Sunday, March 20, 2011.
"The 2011 quarterback class is commonly regarded as weak amongst NFL fans, ostensibly because it lacks a surefire plug-and-play starter. The clear-cut top two prospects come from college spread offenses, Auburn's of the read-option variety and Missouri's resembling a Mike Leach system.
Draft weekend (April 28-30) will prove fans wrong, however, as at least seven quarterbacks are virtual locks for the first three rounds. In a quarterback-needy year, as many as five or six could be drafted in the top 32 picks. For perspective, just once in the last 11 years have seven QBs gone in rounds one through three. The average number of first-round signal callers taken during that span is 2.5.
The 2011 QBs are far more well regarded in the NFL community. What this class lacks in certain Week 1 starters it makes up for in long-term star potential.
1. Cam Newton, Auburn
College Experience: Fourth-year junior
40 Time: 4.59
Comparison: Donovan McNabb
2010 Stats: 185-of-280 (66.1%) for 2,854 yds (10.2 YPA), 30 TD/7 INT; 5.6 YPC, 20 TDs
Draft Prediction: Panthers, No. 1 overall
Positives: Newton went 25-1 as a college starter, including one JUCO season, and all told his teams were 30-1 in games Newton appeared. A three-time national champ ('08 Florida, '09 Blinn College, 2010 Auburn), Newton is an established winner around whom teammates rally. Newton's career FBS completion rate (65.41) and yards-per-attempt average (9.91) are easily the best in this quarterback class. As a junior, Newton's 30 touchdown passes averaged 31.5 yards in length. He has a powerful arm and off-the-charts athleticism, averaging 5.56 yards per career rushing attempt with 24 scores. Last season, Newton dominated football's toughest conference en route to a 14-0 record, 51 all-purpose touchdowns, a BCS title, and the Heisman Trophy.
Negatives: Auburn's option offense is dissimilar from the NFL, allowing its quarterback to immediately scramble if his first read is covered. Though Newton draws high marks for arm strength and his overhand delivery, he developed a bad habit of "fading away" on intermediate-to-deep throws, and needs plenty of coaching. Newton only started 14 games at the FBS level. At Florida early in his career, Newton accumulated character red flags for stealing a laptop and allegedly cheating on multiple exams in the winter of 2008. He left UF at the end of the following semester, reportedly to avoid suspension or expulsion. Newton's accuracy is a work in progress. He struggled in passing drills at the Combine, although Newton was a bit better at his Pro Day.
Outlook: Donovan McNabb had a leg up with 49 college starts, but his natural skill set is comparable to Newton's. Raw in his own right out of Syracuse, McNabb was brought along slowly as a rookie, often playing behind Doug Pederson. Newton would figure to benefit from similar handling. As a finished product, he has more upside than any player at any position in the draft.
2. Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
College Experience: Third-year junior
40 Time: 4.62
Comparison: Kyle Orton
2010 Stats: 301-of-475 (63.4%) for 3,186 yds (6.71 YPA), 16 TD/9 INT; 5 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Bengals, No. 4 overall
Positives: The nation's No. 2 quarterback recruit behind Terrelle Pryor in 2008, Gabbert replaced Chase Daniel as Mizzou's starter after one year on the bench. He compiled a career 40:18 TD-to-INT ratio in the Tigers' passer-friendly offense, breaking out in his first season as a starter with career highs in TDs (24) and yards per attempt (8.07) while throwing to deep threats Danario Alexander and Jared Perry. Gabbert's intangibles (work ethic, passion for the game) have drawn comparisons to Matt Ryan's, and he was a first-team Academic All-Big 12 selection. Gabbert's a top-notch athlete at the position, and is considered to possess ideal arm strength.
Negatives: Gabbert played in a Texas Tech-style shotgun offense requiring its passer to "catch, rock, and throw" to one read rather than drop 3-5 steps and go through progressions. His footwork is raw. Gabbert's production slipped dramatically after Alexander and Perry graduated, morphing into a checkdown machine with smallish slot man T.J. Moe as his primary receiver. Gabbert's 2010 YPA was the worst in this quarterback class, and he completed a startlingly low 30 percent of his throws of 15 or more yards. Gabbert has shaky pocket presence and flashes a tendency to tank under pressure. Three of his nine 2010 interceptions occurred in the fourth quarter, two more with three minutes or less left in the half, and six killed six-or-more-play drives.
Outlook: Unlike Newton, Gabbert did not dominate in college. And Gabbert was far less dominant against far weaker competition. However, more skilled college-to-pro talent evaluators than exist at Rotoworld believe Gabbert projects as a just as good, if not better pro than Newton. We'll defer to them while keeping in mind that something doesn't quite add up logistically here.
3. Colin Kaepernick, Nevada
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.53
Comparison: Randall Cunningham
2010 Stats: 233-of-359 (64.9%) for 3,022 yds (8.42 YPA), 21 TD/8 INT; 7.0 YPC, 20 TDs
Draft Prediction: Bills, No. 34 overall
Positives: Prolific statistically, Kaepernick accounted for 2.96 all-purpose touchdowns per college start, which compares favorably to fellow athletic QBs Jake Locker (2.05), Andy Dalton (1.86), and Tyrod Taylor (1.59), and ranks behind only Newton (3.57 - in a much smaller sample). Kaepernick's career record was 32-16, including a 21-2 finish. Accumulating a Sam Bradford-like 82:24 TD-to-INT ratio and 6.85 yards-per-carry average, Kaepernick was a big play waiting to happen in the WAC and co-conference player of the year as a senior. No quarterback threw with more velocity than Kaepernick at the Combine, and only the smallish Taylor ran a faster forty. Incredibly durable, Kaepernick never missed a college start despite 600 career rushing attempts.
Negatives: Kaepernick played in Wolf Pack coach Chris Ault's Pistol offense, in which he lined up 3-4 yards behind center and took quick shotgun snaps. He did not take snaps from center, though the Pistol involves play-action fakes. Kaepernick has nearly 34" arms and a pro-caliber baseball background, contributing to an elongated delivery. Though his completion rates have risen every year, it's been speculated that Kaepernick's unique motion will affect his deep-ball accuracy. His passing precision in the short and intermediate areas is still a work in progress.
Outlook: The top three QBs on this list are all "developmental," and Kaepernick may be to the highest degree if an NFL staff tinkers with his delivery. Working in Kaepernick's favor is a rare blend of arm power, athleticism, coach-ability, and smarts (he scored 37 on the Wonderlic). It's fair to wonder if Nevada's offense ultimately limited Kaepernick late in his college career. He can power the football downfield, and was rarely given that opportunity in the Pistol.
4. Ryan Mallett, Arkansas
College Experience: Fourth-year junior
40 Time: 5.37
Comparison: Kerry Collins
2010 Stats: 266-of-411 (64.7%) for 3,869 yds (9.41 YPA), 32 TD/12 INT; 4 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Bengals, No. 35 overall
Positives: Mallett has just as strong an arm as Kaepernick with much more established long-ball accuracy. Among quarterbacks in the 2011 class with at least 15 college starts, Mallett's 8.78 career yards-per-attempt average is second to none, and no NCAA quarterback completed more passes of 30-plus yards in 2009 and 2010. Mallett played in pro-style offenses at Michigan and Arkansas. He has an over-the-top delivery and is considered a natural thrower of the football. Mallett went 21-8 in 39 career starts, compiling a 69:24 TD-to-INT ratio and setting the Razorbacks' all-time records for passing touchdowns, passing yards, and 300-plus yard games.
Negatives: Mallett's character red flags are well documented, but he is similarly flawed on the field. No quarterback in the draft took more sacks over the past two seasons, nor is any as lacking in mobility. Mallett has drawn comparisons to Dan McGwire and a late-career version of Drew Bledsoe for poor escape ability. A subpar athlete, Mallett posted a 26" vertical and ran a 5.37 forty at his March 8 Pro Day. Rumors of drug abuse and addiction plagued Mallett in Fayetteville, perhaps explaining his surprising decision to not enter last year's draft. Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino has a history of deceiving the NFL with quarterbacks he's coached up in college. Petrino has tutored Brian Brohm, Chris Redman, Stefan LeFors, Jason Campbell, and Doug Nussmeier, and all either failed to pan out or fell well short of expectations.
Outlook: Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders recently described Mallett as "a statue with a cannon attached," likening him to Derek Anderson and saying Mallett would require "a top-five pass-blocking line" to fulfill his potential. It's probably a good thing, then, that Mallett's off-field issues will push him down draft boards, giving him a better chance to land with a good team with a good line.
5. Christian Ponder, Florida State
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.65
Comparison: Chad Pennington
2010 Stats: 184-of-299 (61.5%) for 2,044 yds (6.84 YPA), 20 TD/8 INT; 4 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Jaguars, No. 16 overall
Positives: Ponder's 61.8 career completion rate ranks second among elite draft-eligible quarterbacks, behind only Cam Newton. (Old pal David Lewin would like Ponder). Ponder's high percentages are especially impressive because he played in a pro-style offense, making much tougher throws than those required of spread QBs. Ponder may be the most NFL-ready quarterback in this year's class. He's highly intelligent (3.73 GPA, graduated in 2 1/2 years), considered technically sound with outstanding footwork, and an above average athlete. Possessing an ideal skill set for a West Coast offense, Ponder has followed up a red flag-filled Chick-fil-A Bowl with a perfect offseason, winning Senior Bowl MVP and generating glowing reviews at the Combine.
Negatives: Ponder's junior season ended after nine games due to a Grade 3 separated throwing shoulder suffered on a post-interception tackle. He had surgery, and needed two more on his throwing elbow to repair burst bursa sacs as a senior. Ponder's arm looked shot in the aforementioned bowl game. He lasted one quarter and several of his passes sailed well above his intended target's head or into the dirt. Ponder has recovered, but his arm strength was never elite. His 7.12 career yards-per-attempt average is among the worst in this class, and Ponder struggles to connect outside the numbers. His 49:30 career TD-to-INT ratio is average at best.
Outlook: Ponder isn't an elite talent, and his production never matched his hype at FSU. But as a heady, accurate passer with a pro-style background, Ponder is the perfect example of a prospect who could move up draft boards in an extremely quarterback-needy year. Without free agency on the horizon, teams will be in a rush to fill out their QB depth charts in late April.
6. Andy Dalton, TCU
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.87
Comparison: Matt Flynn
2010 Stats: 209-of-316 (66.1%) for 2,857 yds (9.04 YPA), 27 TD/6 INT; 6 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: 49ers, No. 76 overall
Positives/Negatives: A "winner," Dalton finished his career with 42 victories and just eight losses, collecting Mountain West Player of the Year honors in both his junior and senior seasons. No quarterback in this class has started more games. TCU's all-time passing leader, Dalton is a sound decision maker (71:30 TD-to-INTs) with underrated athleticism (5.1 YPC). Like Ponder, however, Dalton is short on arm strength and struggles to "make all the throws." Unlike Ponder, Dalton played in a dink-and-dunk spread offense, operating strictly from the shotgun. He is the smallest quarterback in the top ten, and was unremarkable at the Senior Bowl and Combine.
Outlook: For the reasons stated above, it should be no surprise that NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock recently moved Dalton behind Ponder in his updated quarterback rankings. Dalton projects as a game-manager type, and may be best suited as a long-term backup.
7. Jake Locker, Washington
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.59
Comparison: Drew Stanton
2010 Stats: 184-of-332 (55.4%) for 2,265 yds (6.82 YPA), 17 TD/9 INT; 3.4 YPC, 6 TDs
Draft Prediction: Vikings, No. 12 overall
Positives/Negatives: A two-time major league baseball pick, Locker has rare athleticism and ideal arm strength for the position. He is considered particularly accurate on throwing outside the pocket. Locker showed toughness playing through a hairline rib fracture as a senior, although that goes both ways. He missed all but four games as a sophomore with a broken thumb and has been injury prone. Locker also failed more than he succeeded in his Huskies career. His 15-25 record is easily the worst among QBs likely to be drafted, and Locker's 53.9 career completion rate and 6.65 yards-per-attempt average are even more startlingly poor. Locker apologists point to a poor supporting cast, but elite quarterbacks typically make their teammates better. Locker has flirted with the idea of returning to baseball during the lockout, making him a risky investment.
Outlook: Locker played for quarterback guru Steve Sarkisian in his final two seasons at Washington, and regressed from year one to year two in Coach Sark's system. It's fair to wonder whether Locker will ever get "it" as a thrower. Some team will draft Locker early in April based strictly on potential; he has not been a successful passer. He's another boom-or-bust prospect.
8. Ricky Stanzi, Iowa
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.93
Comparison: Chad Henne
2010 Stats: 221-of-345 (64.1%) for 3,004 yds (8.71 YPA), 25 TD/6 INT; 2 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Redskins, fifth round
Positives/Negatives: 26-9 as a three-year starter, Stanzi took major strides as a senior. He considerably cut his interception total (15 to 6) and sack rate (one per 14 passes to one per 19), while making leaps in completion percentage, yards per attempt, and touchdowns. The Hawkeyes run a pro-style, West Coast offense under Kirk Ferentz, and reading defenses is considered one of Stanzi's strengths. His arm is regarded as above average, and Stanzi's work ethic is unquestioned. Stanzi was inconsistent throughout his career, however, often lacking aggressiveness and "it" factor. In his best year, Stanzi was not even recognized as an honorable mention All-Big Ten performer. He is an average athlete and struggled in Combine passing drills.
Outlook: Stanzi isn't as NFL ready as the other QBs with pro-style backgrounds, and he has plenty of physical limitations. Ultimately, he's going to be drafted with a fourth- or fifth-round pick. This should give Stanzi a decent chance at long-term success, but he lacks a high ceiling.
9. Greg McElroy, Alabama
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 4.91
Comparison: Brian Hoyer
2010 Stats: 222-of-313 (70.9%) for 2,987 yds (9.54 YPA), 20 TD/5 INT; 1 RUS TD
Draft Prediction: Browns, sixth round
Positives/Negatives: Highly intelligent, McElroy recorded the best Wonderlic score (43) in this year's QB class and is a Rhodes Scholar-caliber student (3.9 GPA, graduated in three years). This shows up in his decision making; McElroy's career TD-to-INT ratio was 39:10. McElroy has a long track record of winning, going 43-3 dating back to his senior season in high school. All three losses came as a college senior. McElroy demonstrated toughness playing through cracked ribs in the Crimson Tide's January 2010 BCS Championship Game win over Texas. However, McElroy's passes lack ideal velocity, and he was annually surrounded by one of the nation's most talented supporting casts. McElroy's ball placement is impressive in the short passing game, but his deep balls flutter and float, and he cannot consistently power throws 18-25 yards downfield.
Outlook: Much like Alabama predecessor John Parker Wilson, McElroy projects as a long-term backup with the ability to manage games if injuries force him into action. It's worth noting that McElroy is a better prospect than Wilson, however, and should ascend to the No. 2 spot on a depth chart more quickly. He'll be an attractive draft pick in rounds five through seven.
10. Ben Chappell, Indiana
College Experience: Fifth-year senior
40 Time: 5.07
Comparison: Patrick Ramsey
2010 Stats: 302-of-483 (62.5%) for 3,295 yds (6.82 YPA), 24 TD/9 INT; 3 RUS TDs
Draft Prediction: Chargers, sixth round
Positives/Negatives: Chappell is a big-armed passer with an aggressive, gunslinger-type mentality. Essentially playing in a Pistol offense in Bloomington, Chappell took just 11 sacks as a senior and finished his career with a 61.1 completion rate in 27 starts. His primary strength is making downfield throws. A bright student, Chappell was an annual Academic All-Big Ten pick and graduated in 2010 with an accounting degree. Chappell was often overweight in college, however, ballooning into the 250s before getting down to 224 for his Pro Day. His style of play seemed lackadaisical, possibly because he was out of shape. Chappell went 10-17 in his career.
Outlook: Chappell's physical tools are intriguing from a developmental standpoint, and he is not considered an especially inaccurate passer. His commitment level may be a concern. Ultimately, Chappell grades as a late-round or priority free agent flier who could earn a roster spot after time on a practice squad. He's got a better arm than many passers ranked ahead of him.
11. Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech - 6'1/216 ... Former five-star recruit ... Unfairly stereotyped as a "running" quarterback, and a highly underrated passer ... Has some Seneca Wallace to him.
12. T.J. Yates, North Carolina - 6'4/221 ... Took way too many sacks at UNC, not much of an athlete ... Aggressive passer with 44 career starts ... Most draftniks are not high on Yates.
13. Scott Tolzien, Wisconsin - 6'2/209 ... Described as "ideal Mike Martz quarterback" ... 32:18 career TD-to-INT ratio ... Lacks intriguing athleticism and arm, but is accurate thrower.
14. Pat Devlin, Delaware - 6'3/226 ... Vastly overrated dating to high school ... Couldn't beat out Daryll Clark and Anthony Morelli at Penn State before transfer ... Exposed this offseason.
15. Ryan Colburn, Fresno State - 6'3/218 ... Played in pro-style offense for coach Pat Hill ... 16-10 career record with 42 TDs, 20 INTs ... Southpaw passer succeeded Tom Brandstater.
Other QBs with an outside shot to be drafted:
Scott Riddle (Elon),
Jerrod Johnson (Texas A&M),
Josh Portis (Cal, PA),
Mitch Mustain (USC),
Nathan Enderle (Idaho),
Taylor Potts (Texas Tech),
Adam Weber (Minnesota),
Jeff Van Camp (Florida Atlantic)."
Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:19 PM
"Auburn QB Newton scores 21 on the Wonderlic Auburn QB Cam Newton reportedly scored a 21 on the Wonderlic Test at last month's Scouting Combine.
Other notable Wonderlics: Greg McElroy - 43, Christian Ponder - 35, Ricky Stanzi - 30, Andy Dalton - 29, Ryan Mallett - 26, Jake Locker - 20. The average score for quarterbacks, historically, is 24. Newton was probably going to avoid being "dinged" as long as he didn't score in the teens, so this is good news for the potential No. 1 overall pick. For perspective last year, Tim Tebow scored a 22 and Jimmy Clausen 23. Sam Bradford had a 36."
Cam Newton | Quarterback
Team: College Player
Ht / Wt:
6'5' / 244
Age / DOB:
(21) / 5/11/1989
"The Panthers are likely to give serious consideration to trading down from the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.Coming off of a nightmarish 2-14 season, the Panthers currently have just five total picks in this year's draft. If they decide there's no player they have to have at No. 1 overall, it would make a lot of sense for them to trade down and stock up on other picks to help address their myriad needs. Of course, trading out of the top five is much more easily said than done.
Charlotte Observer--The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Terry Pluto believes the recent talk coming out of the Browns' front office about possibly drafting a quarterback is likely just a ploy to get teams interested in their No. 6 pick.The Browns seem more or less sold on Colt McCoy under center, so unless team president Mike Holmgren falls in love with somebody in the next month, they won't be drafting a quarterback early. If they do a good enough job of creating the appearance they may, however, someone below them like the 49ers or Titans that really needs a signal-caller may indeed feel compelled to trade up.
Cleveland Plain-Dealer-Former megabust Akili Smith believes that Auburn QB Cam Newton will be "a very good NFL quarterback."The kiss of death. ESPN's Mel Kiper recently compared Newton to Smith as a one-year wonder, but Smith doesn't see it. "If they feel he's a one-year wonder, then, please, let him break in behind a veteran," Smith said. "I love his game. I think he'll be a very good NFL quarterback. If he does what I didn't do and not get caught up in the clubs and the entertainment thing."
bengals.com-Ten of the last 13 first overall picks in the draft have been quarterbacks.Neither Cam Newton nor Blaine Gabbert is considered a "safe" pick -- the latter to a lesser degree -- in all fairness, neither was Sam Bradford (shoulder, spread offense), JaMarcus Russell (you name it), Alex Smith (people couldn't decide if he was better than Aaron Rodgers), David Carr, Michael Vick, or Tim Couch. The Charlotte Observer has suggested that the only way the Panthers would not take a quarterback No. 1 overall was if, by late April, the lockout looked like it would extended deep into the summer and the time to develop the "project" signal caller was dramatically reduced.
NFL.com--The Panthers are likely to give serious consideration to trading down from the No. 1 overall pick in the draft..The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Terry Pluto believes the recent talk coming out of the Browns' front office about..Former megabust Akili Smith believes that Auburn QB Cam Newton will be "a very good NFL quarterback."..Ten of the last 13 first overall picks in the draft have been quarterbacks."
Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:22 PM
2011 NFL Mock Draft: Buffalo Bills Take Cam Newton, Gabbert Has to Wait.
By Brian DiTullio (Featured Columnist).
The Bills Take Cam Newton And Hope The Project QB Develops
The Buffalo Bills will be sitting in the draft room drooling in anticipation of their pick once the Panthers pass on Cam Newton.
The Bills know Ryan Fitzpatrick is not the long-term answer at quarterback, but he is good enough to run the offense while Newton develops. Newton will need a year to hold the clipboard and run the offense in practice before taking the field. If he is forced into action right away, it could permanently damage his chances of being successful.
As long as Newton is on the board, this is the pick the Bills make. It is a very good move. This may not be the best situation for Fitzpatrick, but if he plays well, he either creates a quarterback controversy or a market for his services in 2012.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix has stated he wants a quarterback out of this draft, so with Newton on the board, I believe he makes this pick.
That being said, if the Bills take Von Miller, I would not be surprised.
For Another Look at the NFL Draft, Check out this Two-Round Mock Draft with Shocking Trades.
1. Carolina Panthers: Marcell Dareus
2. Denver Broncos: Da'Quan Bowers
3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton
4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green
17. New England Patriots: Aldon Smith
18. San Diego Chargers: Muhammad WIlkerson
19. New York Giants: Tyron Smith
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Adrian Clayborn
5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller
6. Cleveland Browns: Nick Fairley
7. San Francisco 49ers: Patrick Peterson
8. Tennessee Titans: Blaine Gabbert
21. Kansas City Chiefs: Justin Houston
22. Indianapolis Colts: Anthony Castonzo
23. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Sherrod
24. New Orleans Saints: Corey Liuget
9. Dallas Cowboys: Prince Amukamara
10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones
11. Houston Texans: Cameron Jordan
12. Minnesota Vikings: J.J. Watt
25. Seattle Seahawks: Akeem Ayers
26. Baltimore Ravens: Torrey Smith
27. Atlanta Falcons: Aaron Williams
28. New England Patriots: Cameron Heyward
13. Detroit Lions: Nate Solder
14. St. Louis Rams: Robert Quinn
15. Miamia Dolphins: Mark Ingram
16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Ryan Kerrigan
29. Chicago Bears: Gabe Carimi
30. New York Jets: Phil Taylor
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Pouncey
32. Green Bay Packers: Titus Young."
Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:24 PM
1. Blaine Gabbert 6-4, 234, Missouri
2. Cam Newton 6-5, 248, Auburn
3. Jake Locker 6-3, 231, Washington
4. Christian Ponder 6-2, 229, Florida State
5. Ryan Mallett 6-7, 253, Arkansas
Complete Ratings: 2011 · NFLDraftScout.com Mock Draft
1. Blaine Gabbert , QB 6-4, 234, Missouri
2. Marcell Dareus , DT 6-3, 319, Alabama
3. Cam Newton, QB 6-5, 248, Auburn
4. Julio Jones , WR 6-3, 220, Alabama
5. Von Miller , OLB 6-3, 246, Texas A&M
Cameron Newton, QB
Position Overall Pos. Rank Proj. Round
-"Despite the big media splash over Newton's comments last month about wanting to be an "icon and entertainer," I have no doubt that Newton is much more grounded than people think. His stability has a lot to do with his family. And after visiting with his mother and father, who have been together for 25 years, I can see Newton has a great deal of stability. The one thing most people will agree on is that Newton has a ton of talent, both as a passer and a natural athlete. The biggest concern is perhaps his lack of experience, having only played one season of major college football. But when you factor in his work habits and his character, the experience becomes less of a concern. There have been a lot of comparisons to Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell. It's true that Newton is athletic like they are, but Newton plays more under control than those guys did coming out of college. He won't make the careless plays, thinking he can rely on his athletic ability to get him out of trouble. Will he be as productive as Sam Bradford was in his first year? No. But he will be a big-time quarterback in the NFL within a few years. This is a special guy. About 75 percent of media felt he was good and confident at combine. Others thought cocky. I side with the 75 percent that said confident. Hour-long media session, followed by a session with Sirius. Sirius was on a break before going live, Newton never complained, and wowed the people." - Gil Brandt, NFL.com.
2011 NFL Draft: Can Cam Newton Overcome Latest Attack on His Character?
By Wes O'Donnell (Featured Columnist)
Cam Newton Is Attacked Once Again For His "Character Concerns."
"He has overcome all odds on the football field.
A 24-point deficit in the Iron Bowl, in Tuscaloosa, was not enough to hold him down.
A 17-point deficit against Clemson, 13-point deficit against South Carolina (regular season meeting), 14-point deficit against Georgia and a tie-game with Oregon going into the last two minutes of the BCS Championship Game, were not enough to hold him down either.
The NFL Draft is not played on a field but it certainly has as many back-and-forth battles between players. Workout numbers, interviews, news (a.k.a rumors) leaks and team issued "feelings" in some (whether true or false) can change our perception of players very quickly, at least in the public eye.
No player in the 2011 NFL Draft faces more scrutiny than Cam Newton.
He is the Heisman Trophy winner, a BCS champion and often has the unfortunate distinction of being in the news for all the wrong reasons despite his many accomplishments on the field.
As if his impending workouts with teams (10 scheduled with nine different teams) were not enough to get us from now until the draft, a draft preview publication has now pushed out attention on the negatives once more.
Nolan Nawrocki produces player analysis for Pro Football Weekly's draft magazine and he " decleated" Newton in the issue writing:
"Very disingenuous -- has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup ... 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."
Newton's camp did not take very kindly to that and NBCSports.com's Gregg Rosenthal wrote an article on the retaliation of Newton's quarterback coach, George Whitfield, and his tweets:
"Nawrocki spent 10 min with Cam? Drunks can say that,” Whitfield wrote. “Even the Pope has detractors! Diff is that trying to crush the Pope doesn’t help a sportswriter’s career like crushing Cam. . . . Cam won & succeeded in SEC stadiums that had 95,000 frustrated, nasty, helpless fans like Nawrocki. Sure it’ll get worse!”
Fortunately for Cam, Nawrocki will not be sitting in the war room of any of NFL franchises on draft night and the country's most popular sport has not gotten to where it is by letting writers dictate their decisions.
Each organization will have done their homework on Cam and if I were a betting man I would expect to see Newton off the board in the top five, if not No. 1 overall."
Posted 29 March 2011 - 07:25 PM
NFL players to judge: Lockout causing 'irreparable harm.'
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) --"NFL players are defending their decision to disband the union, saying employers cannot force workers to unionize, and dissolution is "not akin to turning off a light switch."
The players made the statements Monday in a court document filed in response to the NFL's assertion decertification was "a sham."
"It is established law that a union can renounce collective bargaining to enable its workers to protect themselves from antitrust violations," lawyers for the players wrote in the filing.
Lawyers for Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and six other NFL players are asking a federal judge to halt a lockout imposed by owners, saying an injunction is needed to "stop the irreparable harm being inflicted today." A hearing on the issue is scheduled for April 6 in St. Paul, Minn.
The players say that prior court decisions have made it clear the right of workers not to unionize is absolute. The players disclaimed their union, gave up the right to strike, to collectively bargain and to have union representation.
"The players sacrificed these labor law rights for one reason: to gain the ability to assert antitrust claims against anticompetitive restrictions imposed by defendants," lawyers for the players argued on Monday.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said, "There are no surprises or arguments we did not expect. The union's lawyers still fail to come to terms with the jurisdictional principles that bar an injunction in this case."
Last week, the NFL wrote in response to the lawsuit to ask that the lockout be kept in place, accusing the players of trying to manipulate the law with what the league deems a baseless antitrust claim. The NFL also argues that any legal decision on the lockout should wait until the National Labor Relations Board rules on an unfair labor practice charge against the now-dissolved players' union.
The players argued that the NLRB proceedings could take years, thus there is no basis for the court to wait to tackle the issue.
The "claim that it was bad faith for the NFLPA to renounce its union status is absurd," the court document said. It added that the NFLPA was re-formed as a union because of a court settlement, and that it existed as a union for nearly 20 years, "with renunciation occurring only after two years of fruitless collective bargaining."
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson is scheduled to hear arguments on the injunction next week.
The current players say they can't afford to wait for the NLRB to conclude its investigation and issue a ruling. The lockout has shutdown free agency, prevented player movement and kept players from working out at team facilities.
"Players are suffering irreparable harm now, before games are lost ... Absent immediate injunctive relief, it will be impossible to turn back the clock or quantify in damages these lost opportunities," the filing said.
A group of retired players filed their own lawsuit as well on Monday, seeking to gain class-action status with the current players against the NFL. Hall of Famer Carl Eller, three-time All-Pro Priest Holmes and two other ex-players want the lockout lifted to ensure their pensions and health benefits remain funded.
According to the lawsuit, those benefits can end if a collective bargaining agreement is not renewed by next March 11 - a year after the last one expired."
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