Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why I Wouldn't Draft Cam Newton With The #1 Pick

Who is Cam's #1 fan?  Cam, of course.

According to ESPN sources, the Carolina Panthers have narrowed their choices for the #1 pick in tonight's NFL Draft to 4 players:  Patrick Peterson, A.J. Green, Marcel Dareus or Cam Newton, with many believing Newton is the best choice of those four to go first.  There is no way I would draft Cam Newton with the first pick and here's why:

#1 He's too big of a risk to take a $75-90 million dollar flier on.  In my opinion, Cam Newton's measurable statistics are OFF THE CHARTS; SCARY GOOD.  His size combined with his talents form a quarterback that could potentially be unlike any we've ever seen, and I really mean that.  However, it is no guarantee that he could step in and be a NFL capable quarterback in year one, and to pay $75-90 million dollar "project" just isn't happening in today's sports landscape. 

#2 He doesn't have what it takes between the ears.  A lot can be said for how efficiently Newton ran Gus Malzahn's ultra-fast power spread attack at Auburn, but unfortunately, the NFL game is not played at that pace.  In college, teams can overcome you with athleticism and speed, but the NFL game is much more a game of chess, due to the fact that all teams have speed and athleticism.  Preparation, thought and sound decision-making reign supreme, and those are not strengths for Cam.  During John Gruden's QB Confidential (great show by the way) Cam couldn't even name a play that he ran at Auburn!  They ran everything off a wristband using colors and numbers, which doesn't happen in the NFL.

#3 Can he stay out of trouble?  Plenty has been made of his 13 brush-ups with the law, including his theft of a laptop while at Florida, along with his pay-for-play allegations at Auburn.  To say this guy has a good head on his shoulders would be farcical, based on his past indiscretions. 

To make a $75-90 million investment (Sam Bradford got $86 million at #1 last year) on a player with this many question marks would be quite a gamble for an embattled franchise with a new coach.  If the Panthers are dead set on Newton as their guy, they should trade down a pick or two, grab an extra pick, draft him at #3 and save about $20 million.  It seems as though Marvin Lewis is in love with Cammy-Cam, so I doubt he lasts past #4, since Carson Palmer is threatening to retire in Cincy.

This reminds me so much of 2001 when Michael Vick was drafted by the Falcons, and I am convinced the Panthers brass has studied that comparison as well.  Vick was a talent unlike anything we'd ever seen, but his poor decision making and questionable character set the Falcons franchise back.  The same could happen if Carolina takes Newton. 

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