The past few days all I have heard are the so called experts tell football fans why the Carolina Panthers should not take Cameron Newton with the first overall pick in the draft. One guy loves him and his upside, and then the next guy gives you 100 reasons why he shouldn’t be the number one overall pick. My question is, why wouldn’t you want this kid? Everything about him says winner. When he was in high school he won. He was a member of the 2008 Florida National Championship team before his suspension. He took his talents to Blinn Junior College in 2009 and won a Juco National Championship. Then in 2010 he shows up at Auburn and wins another BCS National Championship.
Sure there are the intangibles. Can you trust the guy? Is he a legitimate franchise quarterback? Does he posses the skills needed to compete in the National Football League? My question is why so many questions? Tim Tebow was a pretty good college quarterback. He was drafted in the first round. Newton has already outperformed him as a passer in college and in workouts. Tebow showed everyone at the end of the year that he can be a legitimate passer and player in this league.
There is no doubt that the Panthers need a quarterback. They need one in the worst way. However, if Newton is not the kid you really want, go ahead and tank another season and wait for Andrew Luck. The way I see it is that Newton is the best quarterback on the board and if he doesn’t measure up to expectations, then pass on him. This situation bothers me a little anyways as it just reminds me too much of other great "savior" QB's to get drafted high and then not become what was expected.
There is no doubt in my mind that Newton will be fine in the NFL, just maybe not in Carolina because of the shape they are in. I feel the same way about Blaine Gabbert. If either is drafted they would be expected to start right away and neither of them will be ready for that. The learning curve for a rookie is far too high and transitioning from spread to traditional takes time.
The more I think about this, I arrive at the same conclusion. I’m positive that everyone in the league knows that Newton’s upside is through the roof. And despite what many think there is a racial element to his scrutiny as well. The league needs for Cam Newton to be successful and reach his true potential just as it needed Matt Leinart, Jamarcus Russell, and Vince Young to do the same. (The evidence is clear as all of the franchises that drafted these kids are in the market for QB now)
No one wins if players squander their potential and opportunity. So to put Newton through this type of scrutiny now would hopefully make him cherish this opportunity to be the best NFL player he can be and not become the next Jamarcus. Russells lack of work ethic robbed the fans of the NFL from watching an immensely talented kid from reaching his potential and making the league and game stronger. I wouldn’t be surprised if Goodell was pushing the media toward Gabbert knowing all along that ultimately teams simply don’t pass up on a kid like Newton who dominated the best conference in College football while picking up 4 of the top player awards, and leading his team to an undefeated national championship season. When I put it into perspective, all of Cam Newton’s “off the field issues” dealt with money or taking tests, none of which he will have to worry about in the NFL.
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!