Verdict on Newton: Too early to tell
Posted on: January 13, 2011 9:29 pm
Edited on: January 13, 2011 9:38 pm
If you read this blog regularly, you know how I feel about quarterbacks and their importance.
In recent weeks, I've been asked often about Auburn's Cam Newton and whether I think he can be a quality NFL quarterback.
My answer: I'm intrigued.
Until I actually watch him on tape -- end zone and wide camera angles -- I will say that he has a lot of things to like, but it's too tough to evaluate him based on watching his games. Newton is declaring for the NFL Draft, so now the process will start for real.
I will say this: I think he's a better passer than both Vince Young and Tim Tebow were coming out of college. Some will say that's not hard to do, but both were first-round picks. Should Newton be a first-round pick? Time will tell.
He is big. He is strong. He has a really good arm. But can he read coverage? We have no idea based on what he did at Auburn. In that spread offense, he was rarely asked to sit in the pocket and make throws. I will say this, he made a great throw to the fullback on a wheel route in the National Championship Game Monday night against Oregon.
I don't like run-around quarterbacks. But I'm not sure that's what this kid will end up being. When Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman came out of Kansas State, he was considered by some to be running quarterback. That's what he was asked to do in college, even though he didn't really like it. Who knew he was film junkie who could really read coverages. K-State didn't play to that strength.
I hear Newton loves the game and will put in the work -- something Young didn't do early in his career. If he does that, Newton has a chance. For now, the early evaluation process leaves me thinking that I need to see more.
I am intrigued.