2011 NFL Draft. 50 in 50: Cam Newton - QB - Auburn (33 of 50)

Some folks may feel that athletic quarterbacks rarely succeed in the NFL. Most feel that the Michael Vick's of the league only come around once in every blue moon. I tend to agree. 

If you take a look at recent history of quarterbacks in the NFL, you would see that the percentages are extremely low in an athletic quarterback who also has the ability to pass the ball accurately. The percentages of starting quarterbacks that have that talent that are currently in the league are around 6%. I'd argue that only Vince Young and Michael Vick are worthy of mention in both the athletic department as well as the accuracy in throwing department. And it wasn't until just last year that Vick became an accurate passer.

Some of the major recognized media draft gurus have quarterback Cam Newton going as the number one overall selection to the Panthers almost based on his moxie alone.

After the jump, we'll take a deeper look at the quarterback from Auburn.

As you can clearly see as evidence from the video, Cam Newton is a read once and then run type of quarterback. Typically it is hard for quarterbacks like this to make a smooth transition. But let's look at the good things that Newton does here. His ball placement seems to be a bit above average. His arm strength is on par with what an NFL quarterbacks should be. And his athletic ability is obviously there. Where Newton is going to have trouble is reading defenses and making sound decisions which happen to be vital to a pro quarterbacks success. The there is the Heisman factor. Not too many Heisman-winning quarterbacks have had success at the next level. Curse? Myth? Too much hype? Who knows? But the percentages stand as they are.

Here are Newton's career stats at Auburn:

Stats Overview Passing
YEAR CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA LNG TD INT SACK RAT
2007 5 10 40 50.0 4.00 14 0 0 0 83.60
2008 1 2 14 50.0 7.00 14 0 0 0 108.80
2010 185 280 2854 66.1 10.19 94 30 7 23 182.05
2010 Regular Season Game Log Passing Rushing
DATE OPP RESULT   CMP ATT YDS CMP% LNG TD INT RAT ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
9/4 Arkansas State W 52-26 9 14 186 64.3 48 3 0 246.60 15 171 11.4 71 2
9/9 @Mississippi State W 17-14 11 19 136 57.9 39 2 1 142.23 18 70 3.9 17 0
9/18 Clemson W 27-24 7 14 203 50.0 78 2 2 190.37 17 68 4.0 16 0
9/25 South Carolina W 35-27 16 21 158 76.2 20 2 0 170.82 25 176 7.0 54 3
10/2 Louisiana-Monroe W 52-3 14 19 245 73.7 94 3 1 223.58 1 -11 -11.0 0 0
10/9 @Kentucky W 37-34 13 21 210 61.9 39 0 1 136.38 28 198 7.1 35 4
10/16 Arkansas W 65-43 10 14 140 71.4 28 1 0 179.00 25 188 7.5 40 3
10/23 LSU W 24-17 10 16 86 62.5 17 0 0 107.65 28 217 7.8 49 2
10/30 @Mississippi W 51-31 18 24 209 75.0 28 2 0 175.65 11 45 4.1 17 0
11/6 Chattanooga W 62-24 15 21 317 71.4 80 4 0 261.08 8 24 3.0 16 1
11/13 Georgia W 49-31 12 15 148 80.0 26 2 1 193.55 30 151 5.0 31 2
11/26 @Alabama W 28-27 13 20 216 65.0 70 3 0 205.22 22 39 1.8 12 1
12/4 @South Carolina W 56-17 17 28 335 60.7 62 4 0 208.35 14 73 5.2 25 2
2010 Postseason Game Log Passing Rushing
BOWL OPP RESULT   CMP ATT YDS CMP% LNG TD INT RAT ATT YDS AVG LNG TD
TOSTITOS BCS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME @Oregon W 22-19 20 34 265 58.8 39 2 1 137.82 22 64 2.9 18 0

Summary: It's possible that the Panthers are indeed serious about looking at Newton for the very first pick overall. Recently on NFL Live, reports have been that Panthers personnel department has been doing some serious digging on the background of Newton. They've been talking to his former coaches before Auburn and checking in with a lot of the folks who surround the former Tiger. It's not to say that it is a for sure thing that he will go number one, but the facts cannot be disregarded. Most likely Newton will go in the first round even if the Panthers pass on him. Four of the top five teams selecting this year are in the market for franchise quarterbacks. Between the Panthers, Bills, Bengals, and the Cardinals, all were a bit on the thin side at the position during the course of the 2010 season. And then we cannot discount the Browns at six and the Niners at seven. Even though the 49ers have not come close to Newton in the offseason process, it doesn't negate any possibility of them going there and shocking the world.

PREDICTION: 1st - 2nd Round

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