Gil Brandt, former Dallas Cowboys personnel guy turned NFL.com analyst, believes Auburn University quarterback Cam Newton should be the No. 1 overall pick. Not only that, but Brandt fully expects Newton to be a Carolina Panther.
“It would shock me… if he’s not the first player picked,” Brandt told the Fort-Worth Star Telegram. “If I was drafting and I had Carolina’s [No. 1] pick, I’d feel really good about who I was getting as far as ability. I just hope he realizes how hard he needs to work. You can have all the ability in the world but if you don’t work like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, you’re only going to be semi-successful.”
And that’s really the point. If Newton brought no off-field concerns with him — like the compensation scandal with his dad and the accusations of theft, along with a perceived immaturity — he likely would be the No. 1 overall pick. So all Brandt is doing is pointing out what we already know.
I’m not one to pretend like I know more than a guy like Brandt who has the experience and has been successful, but drafting Newton doesn’t seem to make much sense to me.
The Panthers just drafted Jimmy Clausen in the second round last season, and anyone saying they already know he’s not the answer is full of themselves, an idiot, or both. He might not be the answer, but to say that for certain after one season is ridiculous and it’s not even worth recounting the Hall of Fame quarterbacks who struggled in their rookie season.
New head coach Ron Rivera isn’t married to Clausen because he didn’t draft him, but I highly doubt Rivera targets a quarterback with so many other concerns.
Given the fact that Rivera is a defensive guy, I expect him to slap the franchise tag on defensive end Charles Johnson and then draft defensive tackle Nick Fairley.
Newton could wind up being the first quarterback off the board if he throws well at the combine and impresses teams in the interview process, but I would be blown away if Newton is the No. 1 overall pick and winds up a Panther.