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  • Contributors

    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
    Dave Lapham
    Has called game for the Bengals radio network for 25 years. Analyst for Big 12 games on Fox Sports Net. Played 10 years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals.
    Turk Schonert
    NFL quarterback for 10 years with the Bengals and Falcons. Has served as quarterback coach for the Buccaneers, Bills, Panthers, Giants and Saints and Offensive Coordinator for the Bills.
    Phil McConkey
    Played 6 years in the NFL as a WR, punt returner and kick returner for the Giants, Packers, Cardinals and Chargers. Played college football at the Naval Academy and served in the U.S. Navy before joining the NFL. Best remembered for his oustanding game in Super Bowl XXI.
    Josina Anderson
    Josina "JoJo" Anderson is contributing reporter on Showtime's Inside the NFL and is a weekend co-anchor/reporter/producer for FOX 31 Sports in Denver, Colorado. Josina produces the nightly sportscasts and covers the Denver Broncos, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rockies.
    Jerry Jones
    NFL Draft Expert, has published the acclaimed Drugstore List since 1978.
    Russell S Baxter
    Researcher, writer and editor covering the NFL for over 30 years.
    Andy Freeland
    Statistician and researcher for NBC's Sunday Night Football.
  • Would I have the Guts to Pass on Cam Newton?

    I just got finished watching a highlight tape of Cam Newton. He has a little freak in him. When I saw Blaine Gabbert, it was clear that he is a NFL ready type QB. I think he is smart enough to be a legitimate player in this league. He will go before Newton, but once Gabbert is gone, now it gets really interesting.

    If Carolina takes Gabbert, there will be some gulping going on around the league. Every team that passes on Newton will have to live with what he might accomplish in the NFL for the rest of his career. Newton could make you look like an idiot if you draft him OR if you don't. He is the only QB left that can make you say "WOW" when you watch the tape. He is also the only QB left that could generate enough interest in these transition years that will follow the lockout, to sell tickets to a bitter fan base in Buffalo, Cincinnati, and Arizona. I am still not totally convinced that Denver won't take him either.

    Personally, I think there is about a 40% chance that Newton becomes a legitimate QB in the NFL. I am a believer in accuracy more than anything else in a QB and that is where Newton appears to be lacking. But, his skill set is unique, and a 40% chance of getting one of those QBS that could save a franchise would probably put me over the top and force to draft Newton if I were picking in Buffalo, Cincinnati, or Arizona. As I have said, I have a hard time watching him and not having the name Ben Roethlisberger come to mind.

    Comments 32 Comments
    1. hobbes27's Avatar
      Why do you think Denver would consider taking him? Even if you don't believe Tebow is your guy right now, why would you risk setting your franchise back on two failed QBs. I mean if we are talking about Andrew Luck here, then there is less risk involved here. But Newton is a big gamble on very little body of work to make an intelligent judgment on. Especially since he thrived in a college style offense which doesn't translate well at the NFL level.

      As for Buffalo, Cincinnati or Arizona, I don't know if I would draft him either. Someone who drafts Newton doesn't want him to start right away because he isn't NFL ready and he's gonna fall flat on his face if you put him right in. So if you draft Newton, you need to have a capable started to hold the mantle for at least one year, and probably two years. Of those three teams, I guess Buffalo has the best option in Fitzpatrick, although I think he's way overrated.

      So if I was a GM, I would only draft Newton high if I had a capable starting QB who could help Newton grow as a QB and also give me a couple of good years.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      It'll either be the Panthers, Bills, or Cardinals that will pick up Newton. The Broncos need to realize that Orton wasn't the reason that they lost so many winnable games. And if they do pick a QB, they'd be admitting to making a mistake on drafting Tebow so early.
    1. bengalhoel's Avatar
      It always hurts to miss on a star QB. I like to look at the '83 draft for example. Every that needed a QB missed out on Dan Marino, which could have changed the luck of some franchises.

      Did the Bengals talk about drafting Marino that year, or was it Dave Remington all the way?
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      I wouldn't take him as a QB in the twelfth round. The character issues are too big. QB who tends to always make the horrible personal choice first and then tries to explain it away for a while before being forced to accept responsibility for his actions after failing to pin it on someone else (despite his best efforts to do so) is not the QB for me. Character is pretty much set by fifteen years old.

      I put hiis chances at being significantly better than Leaf, Russell, Marinovich (who was admittedly ruined by his dad,) George, and Leinart at about six percent, because while accuracy is the most important physical ability in a QB, this young fella is lacking a few other important characteristics as well.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      This raises another question. Does anyone ever put together Devil's Advocate tape on players?
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      More importantly, "Do you have the guts to PICK Cam Newton?"

      He's the ultimate boom or bust pick. And you don't take those types of picks in the top 10 of the draft, or really the first round at all.
    1. Bengals1181's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by ScottDCP View Post
      This raises another question. Does anyone ever put together Devil's Advocate tape on players?

      I'd imagine they do, and I feel like I've heard of it. Tape of all the things a player CAN do, and a tape of the things he struggles with the most.
    1. darvon's Avatar
      This raises another question. Does anyone ever put together Devil's Advocate tape on players?
      That's a superb question.

      I am looking at this through a Marketing Prism. Buffalo and Arizona have reduced ticket prices. Of Buffalo, Cinn, Ariz only Ariz has a waiting list. When the deadline comes for season tickets, unless Ariz does a NYG and says "Wait until the CBA" then you are going to start to LOSE your season ticket. Giving season ticket holders a reason to Re-UP is important. And you can only do that through the Draft, not FA. To kick out season ticket holders is bad, REAL BAD PR. Plus Fitz is waiting.

      Arizona takes him for Marketing and HR reasons. Or to actually answer the OP question. Arizona GM DOES NOT have the guts to pass and kick people off Season Tickets at the deadline.
    1. buzmeg's Avatar
      Cris said: "Personally, I think there is about a 40% chance that Newton becomes a legitimate QB in the NFL."

      Is 40% enough to pull the trigger and draft him? I think not. Therefore, I think you answered your own question.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      I think Cris is right and the Panthers take Gabbert. Denver does not have an immediate need at QB as they have an established, serviceable guy in Orton, and a project in Tebow. I also agree with hobbes27, you can't risk having 2 QB's, taken in the first round of successive drafts, not work out.

      This is where it gets interesting. Someone will fall in love with Cam and look to move up. Buffalo has too many needs to draft a guy this high, only to have him sit for two years. The Bills move down a few spots and pick up additional picks.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      I have a hard time believing the Broncos would take a 1st round QB for the 2nd year in a row. I can think of 2 teams that have taken two 1st round QBs within two years in the Super Bowl era. The Colts took Art Schlichter in '82 and John Elway in '83. The Cowboys took both Troy Aikman and Steve Walsh in '89 (Aikman in the regular draft, Walsh in the supplemental).
    1. GoBigOrGoHome's Avatar
      Character matters more at QB than at any five other positions combined. Newton has a distinct lack of character. I would not draft him in any round.
    1. ScottDCP's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
      I'd imagine they do, and I feel like I've heard of it. Tape of all the things a player CAN do, and a tape of the things he struggles with the most.
      I imagine scouts do, but I mistyped when I wrote "anyone." I should have said "anyone... who will then make said tapes available to a public audience, or at least Cris."
    1. jwill5587's Avatar
      With the recent success of rookie QB's like Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Sam Bradford, are we seeing the demise of "project" QB's? Have those guys set the bar so high that teams will now expect their rookies QB's to be ready on day one? How does that bode for Cam Newton?
    1. KabaModernFan's Avatar
      You say you look at Cam Newton and see Ben Roethlisberger, I look at him and see a very poor man's Vince Young. The book on Newton last year at Auburn was simple, "Read primary option, if open throw the ball, if covered tuck it and run". I just don't believe that Newton is smart enough or capable of being an NFL quarterback. These concerns aren't even factoring in his sloppy mechanics, work effort concerns, and off the field issues. Bengals said it best when asked if you would have the guts to actually PICK Newton, and if you say he only has a 40% chance of making it, which I believe to be generous, there's no way I'm taking him in the first round, let alone the Top 10.
    1. Turk Schonert's Avatar
      With your 40% make it statement, I think the question is: Would you have the guts to pick Cam Newton in the top 10? A top 10 player better have more than a 40% prediction of being a good NFL player!
    1. Dave Lapham's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Turk Schonert View Post
      With your 40% make it statement, I think the question is: Would you have the guts to pick Cam Newton in the top 10? A top 10 player better have more than a 40% prediction of being a good NFL player!
      I agree Turk. With a top 5 pick there has to be a better than 40% chance he will be a big contributor. Coaches always talk about preferring to draft players "on the come", with upside potential they can develop. Cam definitely has upside potential, no question about it. But how high is his ceiling when you project his style of play to what QBs are asked to do in the NFL? I agree Cris, I see Big Ben when you watch Cam running over smaller college players. Both of them are bigger than most of the defensive players on the field except the DTs. Cam is more athletic, quick, and has better speed than Ben. BUT he doesn't throw it as straight. I agree Cris his inaccuracy is a HUGE concern. Turk....how much can accuracy be coached and improved?
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Newton has red flags and a quality some people think will be Vince Young all over again. I think he won't be the first QB taken in this draft. Gabbert is going to become more trusting for teams than Newton. He'll be Good but he'll be waiting a bit on Draft Day 1.
    1. Jerry Jones's Avatar
      If one puts aside all the outside stuff, there is still one very significant difference between Roethlisberger and Newton.
      Experience as a college QB-
      14 games, 2,854 passing yards, 30 passing TDs
      38 games, 10,829 passing yards, 84 passing TDs
      That's about 3 times as much QB experience.

      Newton might be the the standard-bearer for a new breed of NFL quarterbacks but a lack of experience and technique plus the outside questions make him a big time risk. Some team will take that risk. We just don't know how soon.
    1. msclemons's Avatar
      Newton is a huge boom-or-bust prospect. He could be the next Rothlisberger or the next Leinart.

      One thing nobody seems to be able to peg is how hard this kid is willing to work.