Heisman Trophy winner and National Championship winning quarterback Cam Newton announced Thursday evening he is leaving Auburn and will be eligible for this spring's NFL draft. And by this morning the buzz around Dolphins fans will almost certainly be that he's our guy!
The Miami quarterback issue will now definitely get solved because Newton is awesome and athletic and tall (no Chad Henne batted passes) and mobile and awesome and yippie!
Newton is a great college football player. His 30 TD passes and 20 running TDs is testament to that. But I should not have to tell you college greatness -- especially when limited to one season -- does not certify NFL anything. It doesn't mean Newton will be great in the NFL. Or good. Or mediocre. Or ... anything.
Here is the truth about Cam Newton. Barring an electrifying spring in which he simply blows away at least one personnel man with full say over his organization and a draft pick before the 14th overall selection, Newton will be there when the Dolphins select in April's first round.
And if Jeff Ireland learned anything from mentor Bill Parcells, he probably will not select Newton. But, but, but why you cry aloud?
Because Newton doesn't fit the profile. He's played one season. That's a red flag or it should be. He's been all about the spread option formation and NFL quarterbacks have to be under center. There will be questions about Newton's footwork because of that system he played under, questions as fundamental as, "Can this guy operate under center?"
There are also questions about whether Newton can read defenses. He didn't do very well in the one or two games he was presented with something other than a single-high safety read.
Was he a product of a great system? No, not entirely. The man is supremely gifted athletically. But is he Josh Freeman all over again? There are serious questions about that.
There are also serious character questions.
This from ESPN's Kevin Weidl:
"Newton was arrested while at Florida on a charge of possessing a stolen laptop computer; there have been rumblings that he had academic issues while with the Gators; and the NCAA investigation surrounding his recruitment out of Blinn College and the fact that his father was attempting to solicit large sums of money in return for Cam attending Mississippi State will all be investigated thoroughly by NFL teams.
The NCAA has cleared Cam Newton of any wrongdoing in the recruitment scandal, but the influence of his father will be a consideration for NFL decision-makers.
Something that bothers me: Newton, his dad, Auburn University and even the NCAA agreed that it would be best if Cecil Newton did not attend the BCS championship game between Auburn and Oregon. Auburn's Athletics Director even released a statement saying Newton was not at the game. And yet, several media outlets shot pictures of the two Newton men, father and son, in a celebratory embrace after the game on the field.
So much for the Newton family word.
The point is there are so many questions and flags here, I would not be surprised if Newton drops like a lead pipe in the draft. And I would not be surprised when the quarterback-hungry Dolphins pass on Newton and select other options.