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Friday, February 11, 2011

Video: NFL Draft Prospect Cam Newton Works Out For Media

Cam Newton stands to make himself a lot of money. The Heisman Trophy winner and BCS champion is definitely marketable (Cecil Newton knows all about that). Newton held a workout in San Diego for the media on Feb. 11th and CBS Sports' Bryan Fischer caught some video of the event for us all to evaluate/critic. Take a look:

I'll say this; Cam looks very solid in the workout. But the same can be said for almost all prospects in this type of setting. These workouts are tailored to make the kid look good. Here's the thing; Cam Newton's talent has never been question. He has excellent size for an NFL quarterback at 6'6, 250 so he definitely looks the part. He's also fast and extremely mobile and can makes plays out of the pocket that most QB's can't. Newton also possesses a legit NFL arm. Another desirable quality of Newton is that he has shown he's a winner by leading Auburn to a few victories late last season. So there is definitely a lot to like from Newton as a prospect.

A big question regarding Newton is how he would adjust to NFL defensive schemes as he primarily ran a spread offense at Auburn, utilizing short passes and zone reads that allowed Cam to exploit running lanes. NFL defenses are a lot more complex. Can he read coverages quickly enough to accurately get the ball to his receivers at the next level? Will Cam hang in the pocket long enough to allow his receivers to get open before deciding to take off and run? These are things I would need reassurance on before I spend a first round draft pick on Cam.

There are also some character red flags. Newton was in trouble with the law back in his Florida days, most steaming from a stolen laptop that somehow ended up in his possession. Then after a stint at juco, there was the highly publicized recruiting fiasco, where Cam's father Cecil was allegedly soliciting cash payments for his son's commitment. Maybe Cecil was getting a head start and brushing up his agent skills. Who knows. In his defense Cam handled the media attention admirably and appears to be a good kid so the red flags here might not be as big of a concern as they initially appear.

With all of that said, I believe Cam Newton will be a very good NFL quarterback. I would compare him to Randall Cunningham or a pre-injury Daunte Culpepper. As long as he can stay focused on his playing career and avoid distractions (his father, endorsements, the limelight) he can be a good pick for a team in the latter half of the first round.


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