NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock says he wouldn’t take Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the first pick in the draft. Or a Top 10 pick. Or even a Top 20 pick.
Mayock is counting down his Top 32 players in the draft today, and Newton checks in at No. 21.
“I believe in this kid. I believe in him as an athlete, I believe in his arm strength, but I don’t believe he’s in the top 10,” Mayock writes. “He’s got top-10 ability, but he’s a developmental prospect. As a general manager, I would be comfortable taking him somewhere in the 20s.”
Somewhere in the 20s is a whole lot lower than just about every mock draft has Newton going. In fact, there seems to be a lot of momentum for the idea that when Roger Goodell announces the first pick on April 28, he’s going to call Newton’s name. But what makes Newton so intriguing as a prospect is that no one has any idea whether he’s the league’s next great quarterback, or whether he’s going to set the team that takes him back.
At 21, Mayock has Newton one spot below Washington quarterback Jake Locker, whom Mayock says also has Top 10 ability but holes in his game.