Scouting Report: I have been hesitant to post this report, not because I doubt myself, but because the Auburn Tigers Cam Newton has become such a polarizing figure. No matter what I say, I'm going to anger someone. First, the good news. Newton is a physical marvel with what has to be considered prototypical NFL size, and his athleticism is on par with any dual threat that has entered the league since Ron Mexico. He has probably the strongest arm of any quarterback in the draft, and his strength really is on the deep ball, not only in terms of velocity but in accuracy as well. On his short and intermediate stuff, he struggles, primarily because he's not been taught what to do with his lower body on those throws, it ends up being all arm. He's going to have to learn to step into those throws in the NFL, so they aren't a pick 6. I have looked pretty close at Newton's footwork, mainly because he comes from a system where he spent less than 10 percent of his time under center. His delivery is nice, compact and quick, but as I said, his upper body and lower body aren't on the same page. Some of this is likely due to the fact he plays only out of the shotgun, so he's going to need to learn his drops, playaction fakes, turning his back to the defense and all that. Going along with that is his ability to see the field and make reads. He really hasn't had to, so he gets an incomplete on this for me. But it brings me to a point about Newton I have to mention. His football IQ. It's hard to judge after only a single season of DI football in a spread system that, and I don't mean to be harsh, dumbs down the role of the QB. There are no physical shortcomings in his game that cannot be taught. But can he learn them? We've seen in the past, with these dual threat QBs it's a mixed bag of success. I am hesitant to say Newton has a ton of potential for developing into an NFL QB, because until he's in an NFL camp, trying to run an NFL offense, we just won't know.
Draft Status: At this point, the lure of his athleticism, paired with a rather pedestrian QB class, sprinkled with the promise of a small financial risk is going to almost assure Newton a place among the top ten of the first round.
Final Analysis: If you haven't gotten a good feel on what I think of Newton, don't feel bad, because I'm in the same boat. What I see in his game, reminds me a lot of many successful college QBs who failed in the NFL. He doesn't anticipate well, doesn't make great reads, and he's a guy who's been conditioned to run first when he breaks contain. You see that in his lack of accuracy outside the pocket. On the other hand, you see this huge, athletic physical package with this massive arm. But I think any team that drafts Newton is going to need to be very patient with how they bring him along and they'd better hope they determine in his offseason just how high his ceiling is. Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention his potential off field transgressions. Who cares? The NFL certainly won't. There I mentioned it.
Reminds me of: Vince Young QB Tennessee Titans. I know Newton is bigger (but only slightly), and I assume Newton is less prone to a psychotic break, but in college their final seasons almost mirror each other as well as the style of their games. VY burned a lot of us, because he had a ten cent head and the coin slot was taped over. I got a chance to meet Newton while he was at Blinn briefly, so I feel like he's not that guy, but he's going to have to really work hard to learn all he's going to need to know to be successful in the NFL.
Red Flags: None
Scouting Report written by Curt Popejoy