So what do you do if you're the Vikings, you're on the clock and Cam Newton is available?
That's a good question. Who knows if Newton will even be on the board at the 12th pick. I see some have said he may end up being No. 1 overall. Others are saying many other things. And you can bet that between now and the end of April, every possible scenario for Newton and the other top QBs will have been thrown out by the 25 bazillion mock drafts still to come. (Question: Would anyone keep reading mock drafts if they didn't change from week to week, day to day, hour to hour?)
I'm not saying Newton won't be a good NFL quarterback. Heck, we're all guessing as to whether a draft pick is the next Peyton Manning or the next Ryan Leaf. But Newton doesn't excite me all that much. I see a great athlete and an OK passer who's raw and has an overall game that may not transition well to the NFL. In a lot of ways, I see Joe Webb. Joe's a great, but raw athlete with a big arm.
I also worry about Newton's character. ESPN draft expert Todd McShay was asked about this on a conference call this week. Here's what he had to say about Newton's off-the-field issues and how it will affect his draft status:
"That’s the biggest question and issue in the Draft right now. I don’t think anyone knows. It’s a matter of diving deeper into his background. …One GM I talked to recently said, ‘Our team is not in the quarterback hunt right now, but if we were I’d be in this kid’s hip pocket every day between now and the end of the draft.’”
As for Newton's skills, McShay said:
“Ben Roethlisberger and (Donovan) McNabb are the two you’re going to hear over and over compared to Cam Newton. I think it’s going to really help Newton. (Missouri's Blaine) Gabbert is more of an Aaron Rodgers type. He has the understanding of the position and will continue to improve in that area…Gabbert has the chance to become really technically sound and really shows great football intelligence. Also, at the end of play, if his reads don’t go well, he can take off and run. I think that’s the most underrated part of his game. He’s a good athlete with a big body and can make some really difficult throws on the run.”