Around the NFL
Media raves about Cam Newton
Posted Feb. 10 at 11:33 PM
Heisman Trophy winner and former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton didn't earn himself any points with scouts or NFL teams yesterday; if anything he hurt his stock with them. But he definitely earned some fans among media types and ex-NFL players.
"I couldn't be more impressed," said Trent Dilfer, after Newton held a private workout for media members -- but not NFL teams or scouts -- yesterday. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks, for his part, said, Newton was "absolutely sensational."
Feel free to roll your eyes; obviously Newton wasn't going to put himself in a position to look bad, and he wasn't letting NFL decision-makers who might have a more critical eye on hand, either. Holding a pre-Combine private workout isn't typically done; it no doubt turned off plenty of teams, and casts an ominous note for future contract talks once he actually is drafted. The kid, or those helping him with his decision-making, seem to bring plenty of ego and entitlement to the table.
Apart from that, Newton operated primarily out of the shotgun, running a spread offense, in college; it won't be an easy transition to the pro game.
But even if it takes a while for Newton to develop into a top-quality NFL quarterback (if he ever does), fantasy owners may need to consider him a lot sooner than that. As Tim Tebow proved down the stretch last year, even a struggling NFL passer can help fantasy teams with their legs. As a dual-threat quarterback, Newton (who ran for nearly as many touchdowns in college, 24, as he passed for, 30) could prove to be an important fantasy quarterback a lot sooner than he's a top NFL passer.
Athleticism, arm strength, quickness -- physically, Newton appears to have it all. He'll no doubt be a first-round pick in April, and the number of teams looking for a quarterback suggests he might also find himself in a situation where he's thrown onto the field as a starter right away. Don't be surprised if he's a fantasy starter nearly as soon.
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