We all know that you really can’t completely trust what anyone says about players entering the NFL Draft at this point. Too many personnel men lie in order to skew the process in their favor.
Having said that, this draft rumor courtesy of Wes Bunting at The National Football Post has the ring of truth:
“The more scouts dig, the more I am finding they are turned off on Auburn QB Cam Newton. Citing that he’s a me first guy and has some real character flaws behind the scenes. One scout said he handles himself flawlessly in front of the camera, but when they are off he’s not the same guy.”
If Newton is taken in the top five to ten picks, I have to believe its because some owner stepped into the process to force it. As implied in the quote above, many NFL players are very good con men. They grow up smiling and charming people who recognize their talent and therefore believe what they say because they want to believe it. This means almost everyone right up to and including owners of NFL teams.
But if you are any kind of decent NFL personnel man, you have to be an exception to the rule. And among other things you are looking to see it Newton’s record matches his words. He was arrested for allegedly stealing a laptop computer from a student at the University of Florida. He also reportedly later left in part because of three instances of academic cheating. Afterwards his father, Cecil Newton, admitted soliciting money in return for his son playing for a major-college team before settling on Auburn. The Newtons deny that Cam knew of his father’s actions but no one seriously believes that.
Anyone can have a youthful indiscretion before learning a lesson and cleaning up his act. But you have to acknowledge the mistakes before you can be forgiven. If actions speak louder than words (and they certainly should here), Cam Newton could mean serious trouble to any NFL team that takes him.
I’m not saying any of this should keep Newton from being drafted in the first round. But if I’ve got a top pick I’m not risking it on a guy with so many questions surrounding his character. There’s little doubt that Newton has tremendous upside but everyone – fans and front office – knows that potential gets you fired in the NFL.