Of the 35 mock drafts we’re tracking, 10 have the Vikings taking Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the 12th overall pick.
Positives: A mammoth presence at 6’6″, 250 lbs., he’s got elite size and strength and mobility to go with. He’s strong enough to shake off defenders much as Daunte Culpepper used to do routinely and is very tough to bring down. He can make any throw with great accuracy when he sets his feet and keeps his eyes down field when on the run.
He’s got the arm strength to put the ball in tight windows and has great accuracy on the deep ball.
His 4.55 40 speed gives him the ability to pick up serious yards after he decides to tuck the ball and run.
Has pocket poise, doesn’t panic under pressure and will throw the ball away to avoid a sack.
Negatives: Was arrested for stealing a laptop while at Florida and there were allegations of cheating there, as well; his father allegedly asked for a salary from Mississippi State before signing with Auburn.
On the field, he doesn’t always set his feet before throwing, relying on his arm strength to the point where his accuracy sometimes suffers. Does not often stride into his throws, relying on the strength of his whip-like delivery.
Newton ran out of a spread-option offense at Auburn, so he doesn’t do a great job at reading defenses. There’s a big question as to whether he can make the transition to the pro game , which requires quicker reads, more accuracy with a wider variety of passes, and drop-back skills. Newton took snaps primarily from the shotgun position and is a one-look guy who will lock on receivers and tuck and run when they don’t get open. He wasn’t required to make complicated pre- and post-snap reads in the Auburn offense.
Doesn’t look off receivers, allowing defenders to more quickly break on the ball. Needs to do a better job of leading his receivers, as well. [WATCH CAMERON NEWTON HIGHLIGHTS.]
Minnesota Vikings Chat Take: A big, raw kid with elite speed and athleticism but who needs development because he’s a one-look quarterback who is prone to tuck and run when his receiver isn’t open.
Don’t we already have that quarterback on the roster? Joe Webb may be two inches shorter and fifty pounds lighter but a lot of the rest is very similar to Cam Newton.
The difference with Webb is we’ve seen him play a few actual NFL games and we’ve seen him improve his game over the course of those few games. Webb has the added benefit that no one questions his character.
I think Newton will probably be gone by the time the Vikings pick at number twelve but if he’s there, I’d say let him slide.
Select Cam Newton Profiles:
- National Football Post – A raw player with extraordinary upside but plenty of risk as well.
- Sporting News – Same old story: Raw with upside.
- FFToolbox – Plays down the off-field issues as well as negatives others mention about his game. FFToolbox says Newton’s a can’t-miss pick.
- CBS Sports – Has a nice breakdown of his passing game.
- DraftAce.com – Have him ranked 9th among quarterbacks. A raw, supreme talent with just as much risk as upside.
Happy Birthday today to Patrick Ramsey (32)!