Tag:NFL Draft
Posted on: November 17, 2010 1:30 pm
 

Scout: Newton a 1st rounder, but with "questions"

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

If the NCAA investigation into Cam Newton concludes (or concludes in the somewhat near future, anyway) with the Heisman front-runner ruled ineligible for the 2010 season, it's likely going to cost Newton a lot: his Heisman chances, his team's shot at a BCS title, possibly his chance to play in an SEC championship game, various other sundry awards and honors that are surely on their way.

If there's any silver lining to a possible NCAA-dictated suspension, it's that eligible or not, Newton will be free to play in the NFL as soon as he leaves Auburn. But that's where the scandal has already cost him something: the benefit of the doubt with NFL scouts :

One director of scouting for an AFC team said Tuesday that Newton will be a first-round pick should he decide to skip his senior season but added that not every franchise will be interested because of his off-the-field issues.

“There are going to be questions about the kid,” said the scout, who requested anonymity. “You’re going to want to sit down and do a lot of interviews with him, because he never makes a check or a call at the line of scrimmage. He gets everything from the sidelines, so all that stuff is going to be new to him.

“We’ll want to see how smart he is, and then there is the naive part. He let his dad pick his school for him and all this kind of stuff. If this situation gets really bad, there might be teams that just don’t want the PR nightmare.”

Of course, the scout makes clear that things can only get so bad for Newton from an NFL standpoint; even if "not every franchise" will want to take a flyer on a prospect with Newton's off-field baggage, if the scout is correct that Newton won't slip out of the first round, even going 32nd overall isn't a bad consolation prize by any means. The scout describes Newton as a "big ball of clay" with an "NFL body" whose ability to shed tacklers and deliver throws could make him a "matchup nightmare" in the "right system." Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the scout's comments is that between his first-round stock and the inevitable eligibility questions that will dog him, it appears highly unlikely that Newton will want to spend another season under the microscope at Auburn .

The scout does, however, also worry that Newton could fall in with "the wrong crowd" or be overly influenced by his father Cecil Newton , who (as you know) has been accused as negotiating Newton's enrollment at Mississippi State in exchange for money. Nothing other than acing his eventual pre-draft interviews will make those question marks go away, and for that, Newton has the investigation to thank. That much damage, it appears, has already been done.


Posted on: November 2, 2010 3:08 pm
 

Newton considering leap to NFL?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Given the Heismanesque (and probably Heisman-winning) junior season he's enjoying and his NFL-ready physique (did you know he's 6'6", 250? Have you heard that mentioned anywhere?), the question was inevitable: could Cam Newton go pro after his one and only season at Auburn ?

When asked that very question Tuesday, Newton demurred in his typically press-savvy fashion , but also left the door decidedly open for a potential early departure:
Newton, one of the leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy, said he will come to a decision about whether he returns for his senior year once this season is over.

"There's a time and place for everything," Newton said Tuesday. "I'm not sitting up here and giving you a definite decision on how I'm feeling right now. How I'm feeling right now is UT-Chattanooga" ...

"I'm trying to partake and trying to grasp something that hasn't been done here in a long time," Newton said. "And we have a chance right now to seize the moment and we can't have those type of selfish thoughts to run through our mind, because it can be contagious and we don't want that around here."
Citing the need for team focus is a skillful rhetorical dodge (even the week of a homecoming game against an FCS punching bag), but reading between the lack of comments makes it clear Newton sees the NFL as an option, at least. That's also the situation as detailed by Auburn quarterback commitment and frequent Newton contact Kiehl Frazier of Springdale, Arkansas, who spoke to the Sporting News and confirmed the NFL is definitely on Newton's radar:

After Newton leaves, Frazier is expected to be a serious candidate to start at quarterback – whether it’s as a true freshman in 2011 if Newton leaves for the NFL after this season — or as a redshirt freshman or sophomore in 2012.

“(Newton and I” talk after just about every game, and he tells me the highlights are every game and his situation and what he’s thinking about the NFL,” Frazier told Sporting News over the weekend. “He’s not definite about anything yet. There’s definitely a chance that he’ll go. If he wins the Heisman, that would probably increase his changes of leaving. Right now I think he’s more focused on getting to the national championship.”

None of this is a surprise, of course; given the potential for Newton to earn megabucks as a first- or even second-round choice, the increased difficulty of returning to a 2011 Auburn team without huge chunks of its offensive line and starting defense, the wear-and-tear of running the ball as often as he does in the SEC , and inevitable emotional comedown in the event Newton's season ends in a Heisman Trophy and conference or national championships, he'd be a fool not to at least take a good long look at the NFL.

As Newton himself said, there's still so much information to gather before making a decision that now would not be the time even if he felt so inclined. But Auburn fans will have to live with the fact that, at the minimum, there will be a decision to be made when Auburn's exhilarating 2010 run is finished.

 


 
 
 
 
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