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Scout on Newton: “You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t”

Cam Newton AP

Cam Newton’s Pro Day kicks off this afternoon, and most everyone expects him to wow onlookers.

Newton has already shown an ability to dazzle in shorts when he’s throwing to his own receivers on a scripted workout.  No one doubts that Newton is the most talented quarterback in the draft, so he should look great Tuesday.

One NFC scout speaking to Tom Pelissero of espn1500.com summed up the trouble teams face when evaluating Newton.

“If you don’t take him and he does turn out to be a great player, it’s like, ‘Well, you should have known that. The guy fricking came in and dominated college football one year.'”

“And then if you take him and he’s a bust, it’s like, ‘Well, you should have known all the off-field distractions would have caught up to him eventually,'” the scout said.

The scout said he’d grade Newton as the top quarterback in this class, but he doesn’t believe the group contains a “can’t miss” prospect.

“You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t, especially if you need [a quarterback]. As we all know, it’s a quarterback-driven league. That’s the guy that drives you.”

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28 Responses to “Scout on Newton: “You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t””
  1. blackqbwhiterb says: Mar 8, 2011 12:23 PM

    Dan Snyder, Please don’t………Please…….He has Ryan Leaf written all over him……Please don’t…

  2. broncfanor says: Mar 8, 2011 12:25 PM

    Being the top QB in this group is like being the best student in “special” class.

  3. fonetiklee says: Mar 8, 2011 12:27 PM

    It’s a bad year to need a QB

  4. dbellina says: Mar 8, 2011 12:29 PM

    This whole thing with Newton reminds me a lot of Tebow last year.

  5. philsimmsisadouche says: Mar 8, 2011 12:29 PM

    Two words: Akili. Smith.

    Did anyone watch him deliver the ball in the National Title game? He is a tremendous athlete who can’t throw an accurate ball and misses open receivers in the field.

  6. donterrelli says: Mar 8, 2011 12:30 PM

    “No one doubts that Newton is the most talented quarterback in the draft, so he should look great Tuesday.”

    Umm, (raises hand) I doubt it?

  7. wryly1 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:30 PM

    Cam Newton finds himself in the bed of his own (and his father’s) making. As a ‘one year wonder’ with baggage, all the questions are valid and legit – and the burden of proof is on him.

    As a fan, I sincerely hope a kid with his talent does succeed. It would be fun, exciting and good for the game. But for that to happen as a starting NFL QB, it’s gonna tak waaaaay more than athletic talent. It’s going to require a lot more maturity and leadership.

    Anyone else suspect what we are seeing is his handlers trying to position him for a huge contract and commercial endorsements more so than becoming a top flight NFL QB?

  8. medtxpack says: Mar 8, 2011 12:32 PM

    i still think he needs a year under someone to develop his pro game, maybe even start a few games at the end of the year if said team needs a spark, i just dont see him coming in and dominationg or even producing like he did in his ONE YEAR in college.

  9. nflguru12 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:33 PM

    No way I take CamMarcus Newton with the top pick. The NFL requires QB to read complex defenses, there is little to suggest Newton can do that. Run first QB’s in the NFL are on death row.

  10. Dustin Chace White says: Mar 8, 2011 12:34 PM

    From the title I thought maybe the scout had a stutter or something.

  11. lucky5927 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:34 PM

    Someone know what time the pro day begins? I am really surprised the 4 letter network isn’t going to air it?

  12. b7p19 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:35 PM

    QB needy teams:

    Option 1) 26 year old former second round pick with 2 Offensive POW awards in limited # of starts…also learned under a proven offensive coach and two pro bowl QB’s for 4 years.

    Option 2) 21(?) year old player that had 1 great season in college and no NFL games under his belt. Will demand at least an equal contract to option 1 and probably more.

  13. We'reFineThere says: Mar 8, 2011 12:37 PM

    Thanks, NFL scoutguy for enlightening us that Cam could be really good or could be really bad. I’m jealous of your job (no sarcasm).

  14. bucsballer says: Mar 8, 2011 12:39 PM

    I think newton is the next Jamarcus. He has all the tools to be great, it’s all up to if he wants to put in the work to become a great. U don’t have to like wat I say but that’s wat it seems with him

  15. rolltide510 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:43 PM

    Its interesting how athletic, dual-threat QBs like Newton and Tebow tend to gravitate towards spread offenses that better showcase their athleticism, but when college is over eventually face criticism for not having played in a pro-style offense. It seems T Pryor was a rare exception to this and had the NFL in mind when he made his decision. I’d have loved to have seen an athlete like Newton playing a pro style game but with the ability to make something out of nothing, kind of like the current incarnation of Vick with the Eagles.

  16. tblitz25 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:45 PM

    I don’t really get it. Every player entering the league is a question mark. Not only could their games not translate to the NFL but injuries could derail their careers.

    I also don’t agree with the reason Cam could be a bust is because of his off the field issue which i’m still trying to figure out what they are. (Not drugs or run-ins with the law, not work ethic, or lack of desire to play the game)

    To me this is a no-brainer who should be the #1 Pick. Everything they are saying about Newton they said about Freeman (He’s a developmental project, he needs time to learn an NFL system, etc…) Freeman sat on the bench for the first 9 Weeks of his rookie season and it worked perfectly for him. (Arguably the best player in that draft / C. Mathews) Having Cam sit for a season wouldn’t be the worst thing to happen for a team. Pundits were saying Bradford should sit his first year.

  17. snowpea84 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:51 PM

    Of course he’s can’t miss. Just look at him compared to quarterbacks that have had true success in the NFL.
    He’s got the same exact scouting report as guys like Manning or Brees.

  18. souldogdave says: Mar 8, 2011 12:53 PM

    Actually, there are a lot of doubts about this young prospect, and rightfully so. He didn’t play under center, and he looks like a deer in the headlights. He seems to have a “sense of entitlement” as evidenced by his statements regarding his “entertainment value and future”, iconic in his view. He’s a run and gun, not a pocket passer. Seems full of himself, reminds me of Crabtree(Niners).

  19. bunjy96 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:57 PM

    If I had the choice my vote would be no, don’t take him.

    Your vote:
    yes, to draft him
    no, to pass on him

  20. savocabol1 says: Mar 8, 2011 12:58 PM

    Forgive me if I am wrong, but can’t you use this mentality on literally every player in the draft? Good article.

  21. bamaking says: Mar 8, 2011 1:17 PM

    Two words: Donovan McNabb
    He is a tremendous athlete who can’t throw an accurate ball and misses open receivers in the field.

  22. r8rsfan says: Mar 8, 2011 1:22 PM

    The thing that jumps out to me about all this is the greed involved. Everyone around this kid is getting every dollar they can. Daddy, the agents, and even the kid himself ($1M Under Armour deal). The team that takes him may have one heckuva time getting him signed. After all, he’s also an entertainger and icon – what’s that going to add to his contract expectations? BUYER BEWARE.

  23. ubummer says: Mar 8, 2011 1:24 PM

    The best thing about drafting Newton is that most likely there will be a rookie wage scale in effect.

  24. henryjones20 says: Mar 8, 2011 2:20 PM

    haters in the building??

  25. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor says: Mar 8, 2011 2:52 PM

    The scouts will never learn apparently. I would say 60-70% of what goes into making a good quarterback is psychological. The issue would not be the off-the-field distractions. Newton simply does not have the mental makeup, which plays into the “icon” comments. There’s a psychological reason Peyton Manning is both a brilliant quarterback and would never say something like that.

    A great coaching staff as well as time might be able to turn Newton into something, but he will never be Manning or Brees. At best he will be Mike Vick (and that includes everything in the early part of the career…except dog fighting).

  26. brasho says: Mar 8, 2011 3:12 PM

    No one doubts that Newton is the most talented quarterback in the draft, so he should look great Tuesday.

    +++++++++++++++++

    Really? Didn’t Colin Kaepernick have better arm strength on the radar gun (CK registering best at 59 mph and Cam rating 3rd best at 56 mph)? Kaepernick also proved to be faster (4.53 40 compared to 4.59) and on top of that, he is the same height and weighs 15 lbs less (which could be a good thing).

    Kaepernick is the most talented QB in the draft, Newton is the most hyped and celebrated, let’s get these things clear.

  27. pmars64 says: Mar 8, 2011 3:30 PM

    It’s easy to be negative about this kid and he certainly hasn’t helped himself with his public comments, but if I could, I’d draft him in a second. I’d rather take the risk that I may be drafting a superstar QB than risk that I passed on a superstar QB.

  28. savocabol1 says: Mar 8, 2011 4:06 PM

    Cam Newton….The poster child of why a rookie wage scale has to be implemented.

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