As the NFL Combine approaches, there are always a few high profile players who opt not to attend or to only partially participate. For some of the elite players, they feel they can only hurt their draft stock by a bad workout so they decide to let their play and pre-draft hype speak for itself self.
Cam Newton, who held a “media only” workout recently, announced this week that he plans to fully participate in the upcoming combine which is a surprise to many. Many experts believed that the “media only” workout may have been Newton’s opportunity to showcase his talents and that he wouldn’t want to participate in the combine to avoid being potentially exposed in some of his weak areas and to avoid the pervasive interviews about the scandal surrounding Newton at Auburn.
For Newton, the workout he had for the media accomplished what it was meant to accomplish. It generated a great deal of hype and those at some prominent media outlets immediately began to gush over his workout and move him up the mock draft boards. So, with the incredible hype already surrounding him, is it a good idea for Newton to fully participate at the combine?
When asked about his decision to participate, Newton said that he wants “to be transparent” through the whole draft process. He also added:
“I don’t have nothing to hide, and I’m a competitor. I’m going to go out here and do what I’ve been working on this whole time and preparing for this moment right now.”
Cam Newton has been working with a QB coach in San Diego and has received mentoring from Hall of Famer Warren Moon. Newton is already projected to be a top 10 pick, but there are many landmines between now and the draft that could significantly hurt his draft position.
Personally, I think it’s a great idea for Newton to participate in the combine despite some of the dangers. Physically, he’s an imposing individual and I believe that once NFL scouts and executives actually see him in action up close and personal they will struggle to hold back their excitement. Newton is already a more polished passer than Vince Young or Tim Tebow and Sam Bradford helped to dispel the myth that QB’s coming from spread offenses cannot adjust to an NFL scheme.
It is troubling, however, the number of fans and analysts that immediately say that Newton will struggle to pick up an offense and may lack the football IQ due to the system in which he played. No such questions surrounded Tebow or Bradford and so they should not be tagged on Newton. Will it be a long process for Newton to learn to play under center and learn an NFL offense? Of course. But not necessarily any more so than with any other QB prospect in the last 10 years, including Bradford.
Physically, I find it nearly impossible for Newton to have a bad outing. He is just that athletic that I am willing to assume that he will perform well as far as the physical tests. My biggest concern is the interview process. If NFL executives get the feeling that Newton isn’t fully invested in the game of football or that he’s not being completely honest and forthright with them regarding the scandal, it could scare a lot of teams away.
To this point, Newton offered the following:
“That’s nothing I’m worried about. I understand that everybody’s entitled to their own opinion, and I just feel like if I have an opportunity to speak with a person or let a person evaluate me as a person, not something that has been stereotyped, I think their perception about me will change, and I’m willing to take that risk.”
Even despite the massive drama surrounding Newton and Auburn this past season he performed brilliantly each and every week. He said all the right things in all the interviews and even though he refused to answer certain questions in a Mark McGuire type way, he handled the scandal relatively well. He continues to say all the right things, but only he knows the truth about the situation with his father.
I believe he will continue to say the same things and I think participating in the combine will significantly improve his already high draft stock. I think it is a great decision on his part to participate especially given that rival draft prospect Blaine Gabbert has already decided not to throw at the combine later this week.
Let’s just see how high this kid goes…
Now that Super Bowl XLV is behind us, there are only a few NFL related topics to be discussed. Obviously the Super Bowl lawsuit and the increasingly troubling labor dispute are currently on the forefront. But the NFL Draft is what most fans are most interested in at the moment. Heisman Trophy winner and National Champion, Cam Newton held a “media only” workout yesterday in California where he worked out in shorts for various members of the media.
There are couple things that should be taken in consideration when evaluating the workout. The first being, it was for the media only meaning that actual NFL talent evaluators were prohibited from attending. Translation, it was a media event conducted for the purpose of creating hype as we enter the NFL draft season. Secondarily, it was in shorts. Savvy NFL scouts will tell you that one of the biggest mistakes they can make is to get too enamored with a kid based on what he does in shorts. Whether that be at a pro day, at the combine, or at some event like Cam Newton participated in yesterday.
With that being said, the event appears to have been a complete homerun. At least when comparing it to it’s initial purpose. The purpose was to create hype and it succeeded on all accounts. Trent Dilfer who is known as being highly critical of various NFL QB’s was absolutely GUSHING over Cam’s workout and other media outlets have highly praised the workout. What we don’t know however, is how NFL scouts are reacting.
So with his tremendous talents, physical stature, and the ESPN hype machine apparently behind him, just how high can we expect to see Cam Newton selected in the NFL Draft?
Lets look at the things that working for and against Newton to try to determine his likely draft position.
History is working strongly in favor of Cam Newton. NFL executives have a long history of falling in love with measurables and Cam is certainly not lacking in that department. Cam is 6’5, 250 pounds and by all accounts runs at least a legit 4.5 40. He has a big arm and has shown the ability to lead a team to a championship.
Think about it, if NFL executives (albeit it was Al Davis) was so enamored with Jamarcus Russell who showed much lesser attributes than Newton to select him #1 overall, that speaks well for Newton. If Tim Tebow, who was projected to go in the 2nd or 3rd round was taken in the mid first round, that speaks well for Newton.
Alex Smith is another QB will far lesser talent and track record for success who climbed to the top of the draft due to a late run of hype and because of his impressive workouts. Cam Newton is likely a much better athlete and QB than any of these players I just mentioned which leads me to believe that someone will roll the dice and reach a bit for him.
Another thing working in his favor is his mechanics. While not polished, he is certainly more advanced in terms of his throwing motion, dropping back under center, and overall footwork than Tim Tebow or Jamarcus Russell were. Make no mistake about it, he is and will be a project for some team, but he has all the physical tools to not only be successful in the NFL, but to thrive. Just based on his physical tools alone, he is a far better prospect than Sam Bradford and maybe even Matthew Stafford depending on your system.
Team needs could potentially work heavily in his favor in the draft. I could make a case that the Panthers, Bills, Bengals, Cardinals, Browns, 49ers, Titans, Redskins, Vikings, Dolphins, and Jaguars all need a QB. Most mock drafts have him going by at least this point in the draft so unless something changes dramatically, it’s unlikely that he could fall any further.
The composition of the draft will also help him tremendously. What I mean, is with the absence of Andrew Luck, there really isn’t a consensus sure fire franchise QB in the draft. Ryan Mallett and Jake Locker have as many question marks, if not more, and probably a lower ceiling than Newton. For this reason, it’s entirely possible to think that Newton will be the first QB selected and with that being said, his draft position immediately skyrockets.
Even though he’s more polished than some of the recent QB’s selected high in the draft, he is still a significant work in progress. In addition to the footwork required to play in the NFL, the reads are far more complex than he is used to making in the spread offense at Auburn. Now one thing that will mitigate this issue a bit for him is Sam Bradford’s immediate success in transitioning from a spread offense to an NFL offense. I’m not saying that Cam Newton will be able to duplicate this transition, but it is something that NFL scouts will consider and potentially use to justify the gamble.
Obviously Cam has had multiple off the field issues dating back to his time in Gainesville. Some will place the majority of the blame on his father, and it’s just my opinion, but I don’t buy it. Cam knew what was going on if you ask me based upon the information available and his answers and demeanor in interviews. I’m not sure that this will give pause to NFL teams or not, but it is certainly something that has caused players to drop in the past.
Being “more polished than Jamarcus and Tebow” isn’t exactly singing his high praises either. He may be better off than those players at this point in their development, but he is still very weak in terms of footwork under center. The good news for him is that he is further along than most and that can only get better as he works with NFL coaches.
Now this is just a crude breakdown of some of the things working for and against Cam Newton as he approaches the NFL draft and obviously the draft is a very fluid beast. Things change on a dime and who knows what information may or may not come out and how he continues to perform in workouts relative to other players projected to go in the 1st round.
There are numerous teams in the top 10 that could potentially be looking for a QB and many things will factor into the final selections. Obviously any team high in the draft needs a lot of help and the selection of one player isn’t going to change the franchise. But as we approach the draft and if the hype continues to build around Cam Newton, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if someone reached extremely high on him to make sure they don’t miss out.
The top 3 teams are largely projected to take defenders, but they all could use a franchise QB. Cincinnati, if they deal Carson Palmer will be looking for a franchise QB and they are the exact type of team that would roll the dice on Newton at the #4 position. At this point, I’ll be a little surprised if he doesn’t go in the top 8 if not the top 3 or 4. At this point I would think he’ll be the first QB selected and I can’t remember an NFL draft that did not include a QB in the top 3 picks with the exception of the 2000 draft.
Don’t be shocked to see Cam Newton selected in the top 3 and there is a very real possibility that he could go #1 overall to either Carolina or to someone moving up to get him.
As if we didn’t have enough reason to despise the current state of NCAA Football, this morning gave us another. Sure, there are the usual things to rail on like the NCAA’s constant hypocrisy, the BCS, all the greed, lies, and more greed… the ridiculous amount of Bowl games, the ridiculous time delay in the national championship game, the greed, the lies and more greed…
But this morning, the final AP Poll of the year gave me more reason to disgust the institution that is the NCAA. Sure, they have no direct control over what the AP writers do or how they vote, but it’s just another example of why the entire system is broken. Last night the Oregon Ducks lost to the Auburn Tigers by 3 points on a last second field goal. They played the #1 team in the country evenly and lost on a last second field goal. And yet, they were somehow leapfrogged (pun completely intended) by TCU.
Did Oregon do anything last night to lose their #2 ranking? I mean, all they did was come within a fluky run by Dyer from potentially winning the national championship. You’re telling me that a loss to the national champions by a last second field goal caused the writers to drop them from #2 to #3 behind TCU? Is Oregon better than TCU? I have no idea! Without a playoff system no one knows. But I can tell you if Oregon was #2 going into last night, they sure as hell are #2 this morning!
Does it matter? Of course not. What’s the difference between #2 and #3? Nothing. TCU doesn’t get a special runners up trophy or more money from the NCAA or BCS. It doesn’t matter at all. But it’s annoying, ridiculous, and unfair.
By the way, since Vegas had the over/under last night at 74 and there were a combined 41 points scored, doesn’t that show you just how ridiculous the 36 day waiting period is for the BCS title game? They are ruining the most important game in the sport’s season by waiting so long to play the game.
Wouldn’t college football be infinitely more intriguing and enjoyable (not to mention profitable) if we spent the last 3 or 4 weeks navigating through a playoff system to ultimately crown the national champion? I don’t know, I guess that would take away the one thing that these douchbags in charge of this whole mess love even more than money…. power and control.
Since the Heisman Trophy ceremony is over and because there is quite a bit of time between the end of the season and the BCS National Championship game, there hasn’t been a whole of discussion about the Cam Newton saga. There has been absolutely zero news from the NCAA on the matter and it would certainly seem that they’re doing their best to ride this out and hope that the season can end without any more controversy.
I’m not a Cam opponent, although I do think he’s lying. But I have reason to believe that he has done nothing more than dozens, if not hundreds, of other college football stars have done and will continue to do. The NCAA rules and regulations are quite frankly, a joke and I think that only a select few are singled out to make an example of rather than addressing the core issue.
But regardless of my thoughts, we are where we are and it doesn’t look like anything is going to change. In light of the Cam Newton “Pay to Play” scandal, I came across this video presumably created by “cwashpt” on youtube. It’s an original take on the Newton saga and I thought it was worth sharing.
The Oregon Ducks have rocketed up the NCAA Football hierarchy over the past few years from being an occasional PAC-10 contender to earning a bid to the BCS National Championship game against the Auburn Tigers. In case you aren’t aware, Phil Knight, founder of Nike, is an Oregon Alumna which gives Oregon access to incredible resources as it relates to uniforms and equipment. Oregon is (in)famous for its multitude of uniforms with sometimes bizarre color combinations.
So once the Ducks clinched their spot in the title game, I and perhaps several other sports fans wondered just what kind of crazy uniforms Nike and the Ducks would cook up for this game. Well, we have our answer as they unveiled the uniforms they’ll wear for the title game against Auburn. Take a look, but I’ll say this… they’re certainly not my favorite and they’re certainly not my least favorite like some of the retina burning uniforms we’ve seen in the past.
In case you’re wondering what relevance the cheerleader picture has…. none whatsoever. Just a bonus
Cameron Newton is almost assuredly going to win the Heisman Trophy tonight and by a landslide. He has been hands down the best football player in the country this season and he has even invoked debates about whether or not he’s had the best single season in college football history.
But don’t tell that to the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) members who vote on an All-America team. They sent a message to Newton who has been surrounded by great controversy due to a “Pay to Play” scandal by leaving him off the team. The 12 members of the FWAA instead voted Kellen Moore of Boise St. to the team. The other selections were Michigan standout Denard Robinson who had an incredible start to the season but his production fell off dramatically in the last half of the season and Oregon RB and Heisman candidate, LaMichael James. Each were selected as a “Designated Offensive Back”.
Newton led the SEC with 1,409 rushing yards and 21 TDs and was the highest rated passer in the country with 2,589 yards and 28 TDs. He had incredible individual stats and lead Auburn to an undefeated season through the brutal SEC and earned a bid in the BCS National Championship Team.
Just judging Newton on the field, there is no way he’s not the best QB in the country.
It is important to clarify that this is not THE All-America Team, but rather just one of several All-America teams. The All-America Team as recognized by the NCAA will be released later in the year and in order to be considered a “consensus pick”, a player must be named to 3 of the 5 All-America Teams (one of which is the FWAA). This is significant, because it will decrease the likelihood that Newton will be considered a unanimous or “consensus” selection.
Wow, Terrelle Pryor‘s arrogance, ignorance, and overall lack of awareness never ceases to amaze me. We know Pryor got his feelings hurt when he not only wasn’t given Heisman consideration, but he wasn’t even named to the Big 10 first or second teams. Apparently after all the hype Cam Newton has received this season and leading up to the Heisman Award Ceremony, Pryor felt it necessary to say “Hey look at me!”
Pryor was recently quoted as saying that if he played in a different system, like Auburn or Northwestern, he would “Dominate the Nation”. Other than the obvious “Look at me” moment here, he’s obviously taking a shot at Jim Tressel and the other players who are getting more recognition than he is. But what he forgets to mention, is that HE is the one who wanted to play in a pro-style system so he could develop into an NFL QB. HE is the one who has repeatedly failed to live up expectations. HE is the one who lacks any semblance of maturity or leadership.
Ohio State’s 6th straight Big 10 title and bid to the Sugar Bowl to face Arkansas is clearly the furthest thing from his mind. He only cares that has been largely ignored this season and he hasn’t been handed any hardware. I guess he doesn’t feel that he needs to earn it because if he did, he would sit tight and keep his mouth shut because he should be embarrassed with his performance and development (or lack thereof) thus far in his career.
He can say what he wants and whine that he’s not getting the hype that he “THINKS” he deserves, but the reality is clear. He’s not as good as he was advertised and I don’t care what system he plays in. Would he put up more rushing numbers in a different system and have more flashy plays? Sure. But he’s not a good passer, at all and he lacks leadership and maturity. He’s nowhere near the passer that Cam Newton is and from what I can see, he’s nowhere as good of a football player and QB.
For Pryor to complain about the system he’s playing in now only shows you the vast level of immaturity we’re dealing with. He chose Ohio State and Tressel’s pro-style offense over Michigan and Rich Rodriguez’s spread offense. Would he put up better numbers and get more attention in that system? Maybe. But for him to demean the rest of the players in the country by suggesting that he would dominate if his system and coach weren’t holding him back is ridiculous.
Unfortunately, we have another year of dealing with this immature, ignorant, and overrated punk before we get to see Braxton Miller take over.
In what ended up being a blowout in the SEC Championship game between the Auburn Tigers and the South Carolina Gamecocks, perhaps one of the better moments came off the field.
Hottie sideline reporter, Tracy Wolfson thought it would be a good idea to chug down some “Cammy Cam Juice” on TV. Well, I’m sure the geniuses at CBS set it up. But in the world of the interwebs, everything is captured and, of course, taken out of context!
Take a look…. pretty funny!
The BCS standings have been stagnant for weeks but with the losses by Boise St. and LSU, there are some serious shakeups in the big bowl games. Obviously, everything is still very fluid at this point and the projections can change as soon as tonight with the Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma St. game and they change significantly next week as well.
But as of today, I thought I would try to sort through this the best I can.
BCS National Championship Game:
Oregon vs. Auburn
If everything remains the same, and we get a “chalk” national title game, it would obviously give us an Oregon vs. Auburn matchup. The two teams have been atop the BCS standings for weeks and they are well positioned to remain undefeated in their final games. However, Auburn had to pull out a miracle come from behind victory against Alabama yesterday and they face a very talented and underrated South Carolina team in the SEC championship game next week. It wouldn’t even surprise me a little if South Carolina knocked them off. If they do, then the BCS will be turned upside down as TCU would be the logical next option to face Oregon, but I don’t know if the BCS and pollsters would actually allow TCU to play for the title. Especially when there is a very strong 1-loss Big 10 team in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin vs. TCU
TCU was expecting to get leapfrogged (no pun intended) by Boise St. following Boise’s win over #19 Nevada. Boise’s loss to Nevada perhaps benefitted no team more than TCU as they are now able to remain at #3 and they’re perfectly positioned to earn a Rose Bowl bid which would otherwise be occupied by Oregon. The BCS bidding allocations state that if the Pac 10 champion is eligible to play for the national championship game then the Rose Bowl is required to take a non AQ (Automatic Qualifying) school, which in this instance would now be TCU.
The Big 10 champion which makes up the other side of the Rose Bowl will be represented by Wisconsin who is in a 3 way tie with Michigan St. and Ohio St. Wisconsin is the highest ranked BCS team within the 3 way tie, so they get the Rose Bowl nod.
Arkansas vs. Ohio State
Until tonight’s loss to Arkansas, LSU was positioned as a 1-loss SEC team to receive the Sugar Bowl Bid. Similar to the Rose Bowl rules, the Sugar Bowl calls for the SEC champion to be represented in the Bowl. But since Auburn (at this point) would represent the SEC in the national championship game, the next SEC team would get the bid. With the win over LSU, Arkansas would be the choice.
The other selection is an at-large choice for the Bowl and with the two other Big 10 champions left available, Ohio St. will be the first choice. I’m not saying they’re a better team than Michigan St., but Ohio State brings loads of fans and money and they’re on the top of every bowl’s list when it comes to at-large bids.
Virginia Tech vs. UConn
One half of the Orange Bowl is represented by the ACC champion, which at this point, appears to be Virginia Tech. What an incredible turnaround by Beamer and company after losing their first two games of the season to Boise St. and James Madison!
The other half is represented by an at-large bid which could be either Stanford or UConn. The Orange Bowl gets to choose before the Fiesta bowl so they will have their choice of the two. Geographically, UConn is a much better fit than Stanford and affords the possibility for more of a fan following and, of course, more revenue.
Nebraska vs. Stanford
The Big 12 representative here is a coin flip in my opinion. Nebraska is locked into the title game already while Oklahoma St. and Oklahoma play tonight in a very tough rivalry game. The winner would go on to face Nebraska in the Big 12 title game and that winner would then represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl. It wouldn’t surprise me if any of the 3 teams made it through, but at this point, I’m picking Nebraska just to mix things up (other projections have Oklahoma St.).
Stanford COULD be snagged up by the Orange Bowl as the at-large selection, but geographically UConn is a better fit for the Orange Bowl. Stanford is obviously a better fit for the Fiesta Bowl as well, but they won’t get the opportunity to choose. The Fiesta Bowl will be left with whoever isn’t picked by the Orange Bowl and at this point it would appear to be the Cardinal.