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A look at the QBs through one man's eyes

One of the faithful readers on here yesterday complained that I have a man-crush on Cam Newton and haven't even really mentioned another quarterback the Dolphins could draft on this blog.

That's not correct. I've mentioned other quarterbacks. But admittedly none in the glowing terms I've mentioned Newton. So let me get about the business of explaining the man-crush. And then let me mention why that does not extend to other QBs in the coming draft.

Understand that all of this is my opinion. Please feel free to disagree. But, honestly, do your homework first.

My opinion starts with the idea that Cam Newton is the best quarterback in this draft. It is not Blaine Gabbert. It is not Ryan Mallet. It is not Jake Locker or any of the other names you'll hear thrown around. That doesn't mean Newton will have the most successful NFL career because there are many factors that go into that.

One of the primary factors that go into that mix that cannot be judged by me or you or even the experts out there that include 32 NFL general managers is the attribute that separates a star from an also-ran.

Some players, regardless of their measurable skills, have an attribute that you cannot see that allows him, indeed, propels him to success. Tom Brady has that attribute. Phillip Rivers has that attribute. It is that intangible something that draft gurus don't like to acknowlege because it doesn't come with stats and cannot be pointed out on film. Joe Montana had it and that helped him overcome the fact he wasn't exceedingly big or boasting the strongest of arms.

Jim Everett? Mark Herrmann? Ryan Leaf? Trent Edwards? David Carr?

All of them supremely talented and successful in college. None of them had that attribute. Fact is they seemed to be anchored by an attribute that prohibited them from going forward -- the anti-attribute, if you will.

Cam Newton has the attribute. I don't think Ryan Mallet does.

Beyond that, Newton will be selected in the Top 5 picks (should be No. 1, if you ask me) because, well, what's not to freakin' like? He's a winner. He won in junior college. He won a national championship his one year starting at Auburn.

That attribute? Did you see the game against Alabama? Nick Saban knows a thing or two about defense. Saban had great talent on his defense. And in the most pressure-packed situation of the season against the best defense he faced all year, a defense that represents the biggest rival on the Auburn schedule, a defense that had a lead, Cam Newton put his team on his back and rallied Auburn to beat Alabama.

And the Tigers won every other game on their schedule. The Tigers, I shouldn't have to tell you, play in the Southeastern Conference. And the Southeastern Conference is arguably the best conference in college football.

There are many criticisms of Newton lately. But he led his team while under extreme scrutiny nationally -- both positive as a Heisman hopeful and negative as a possible violator of NCAA rules. Ultimately, Newton won the Heisman and was not proven to have broken rules -- at least not yet.

He's not a genius but he's bright. He's got the physique at 6-5 and 245 pounds to play quarterback as well as Superman. He can make every throw. He's accurate enough that it is not a question mark. His parents have been married 24 years and they are important in his life. He has Warren Moon, a Hall of Famer, advising him. He can move very well so he has ability to escape the rush.

Can someone tell me the negatives?

Oh, he played in a basic single-wing-type attack? True. He didn't throw over 25 times in games? True. He didn't play in the pro-style set? True. He liked to save plays by running? True.

I didn't say he is perfect and spotless. I said he's simply the best player at his position and probably the best in the draft. He will not be there when the Dolphins draft. Fourteen NFL GMs are not that obtuse. But he is my top QB.

My No. 2 quarterback? Christian Ponder of Florida State.

He's athletic. He's bright. He has ENORMOUS hands, which is a great attribute in that he will be able to play in bad weather such as rain or cold because the ball won't be slipping out of his hands. He doesn't have the strongest arm in the draft. He's probably tailor made for a West Coast offense. But that attribute I spoke of? I see it in Ponder.

Blaine Gabbert? He could be good. He's bright. He understands the fundamentals of how to manipulate safeties. He's been coached in a very quarterback friendly system that made Chase Daniel, an ordinary QB talent, into a stud in college.

I am told Gabbert had very little success throwing downfield. Teams are looking at statistics about his completion percentage on passes of 5 yards or less compared to those of 5 yards or more. Obviously the shorter pass gave Gabbert a better percentage. It's that way for all QBs. But Gabbert's completion percentage on passes over 5 yards dropped so dramatically -- moreso than most other QBs -- that it is making scouts question his ability to succeed on intermediate throws.

Gabbert completed only 61 of his 301 completions for more than 15 yards. Compare that with say, Landry Jones of Oklahoma, who completed 101 of his 405 completions for more than 15 yards and you start to see Gabbert didn't stretch the field nearly often enough. Gabbert was eighth in yards per attempt in his conference.

Does he look the part? At 6-5 and 235 pounds, he absolutely does. Did he show that attribute I talk about earlier very often? Check the game against Iowa and get back to me.

Ryan Mallet? If you read the previous post you already know what I told you a very respected NFL man told me about Mallet's leadership skills -- or lack thereof.

Here's another concern: Can this kid get out of anyone's way?

NFL defenses today are fast, they're aggressive, they attack the quarterback and they generally arrive at the quarterback in a foul mood. How is Mallet, who is slower and less mobile than just about any quarterback in the NFL today, going to get out of the way?

I know of at least two teams that have this concern.

Colin Kaepernick? I like him. He can run like the dickens. He's athletic. He's kind of scrawny looking to me. And he's a project. He's not going to solve Miami's quarterback issues for 2011. Maybe in 2013. But not 2011.

Jake Locker? He should have come out in 2009. He would have made a ton of money. I don't like his accuracy. He reminds me of Brady Quinn in that regard. He looks the part, but so did Quinn. How'd that work out? We've learned stuff since then. (I hope).

My favorite darkhorses?

T.J. Yates of North Carolina late (6-7th) rounds of the draft and Ricky Stanzi of Iowa in the middle (3-4) rounds of the draft. Both started at least three years in college. Both won in college. Both completed around 60 percent of their passes in college. Both were coached by NFL caliber coaches. Works for me.

Are they going to be starters? Look, even half the guys picked in the first round are going to be busts. So to suggest to you that I know Yates or Stanzi will be eventual starters is simply ridiculous. I'm not in the mood for ridiculous today.


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i'm beginning to realize that there are some people here who have some definite anger issues.


I was an admitted VY advocate, but after careful research Ive very cautiously backed off. I still believe the guy has great leadership skills as his numerous 4th qtr comebacks greatly suggest.

But VY's accuracy issues are even less than Chad Henne's. VY has yet to complete 60% of his passes in a single season. With those kind of accuracy issues you will have more then your fair share of 4th qtr comeback situations.

VY's low completion percentage is a very alarming issue. It may be best to stay away for this reason.

may i recommend some resperidal or maybe some buspar.

Dying...Don't forget Vince has played with some juggernaught running teams. What happens when he is forced to throw it as many time as Henne had to? Probably similar results. I don't know if CH is ever going to be the answer. But if I had my choice between him and VY. I think I would have to take Ol' Checkdown. Save our money for a real upgrade, not another disaster.


I keep posting that Dion Lewis played for Dave Wannstadt at Pitt. Dolphin fans more than anyone else should know how Wanny grinds his rb's into submission. There's very little left when Wanny's done.

All of the experts know this about Wanny. So all of them are pretty much doubting if the guy has enough legs left to be successful in his at least 1st nfl season.

Hopefully, as a dolphin fan, you now understand. If not, that maybe you were yet not a dolphin fan when Wanny was here or lived underneath a rock.


Thats why I say if all else fails. In 2012, offer 2013's 1st and 2nd rd'ers. Also 2012's 2nd rd'er to move to the top spot to take Andrew Luck.

As a gm I would pay any price neccessary to get him. I would pay a Mike Ditka Ricky Williams-esque ransom to get Andrew Luck. I believe he's a true franchise calibre qb.

If Superman were a rb, even he would see Dave Wannstadt as kyrptonite! LOL.............

here's a quizz:
1. how many 300 yd games does vince young have in his career?
2. of the 50 games vince young has started in his nfl career how many times did he throw for less than 200 yds?
3. how many 3,000 yd passing seasons does vince young have?
4. how many td's and int's does vince young have in his career?
5. what is the most yards vince young has thrown for in a season?

1. 2
2. 37
3. 0
4. 42/42
5. 2,546 in 2007

i say we go out and get him.

you still haven't answered my question. lewis is only a sophmore. he still has plenty of life left in him. i want to know about ingram. do you think they can run him 25 to 30 times a game? if they do, don't you think they would do the same to him that you said wanny did to lewis? if ingram can't carry that type of load then he isn't a top 15. capeche.

dm1, I would suggest googling Mark Ingram Scouting Report and Dion Lewis Scouting report. You will get a good handle on the pros and cons. Here are some of the weaknesses I found for Dion Lewis:

Lewis has obviously been very productive in college, but he is not extremely fast and is only 5-8 and 195 pounds. He has room to grow, but most NFL teams will not take a chance on him until the fourth or fifth round.

3/27 Update: Lewis had a very disappointing showing at the NFL combine and ran just 4.57 and 4.62 in the 40-yard-dash. He does not have the size to run that slow and many NFL teams began to wonder why he left school early.

•Undersized - does not have the build of an everydown back
•Straight line speed is very average esp. for a small back
•Coming off a disappointing sophomore season - 736 fewer rushing yards in 2010 vs. 2009
•Not overly powerful - does not break a lot of tackles nor push the pile
•Goes down a little too easily
•Average elusiveness in the open field

By contrast, Ingram gets most of his yards after contact, which is pretty impressive. He gets stronger as the game goes on and is the type of back that can eat up the clock and grind out yards in the 4th as the defense is tiring. Here is an excerpt from McShays scouting report:

If, McShay said, Miami does select Ingram, they’ll get the only running back he grades out high enough to go in the first round. His scouting report:

“I know he isn’t your ideal measurable guy, if you will. He doesn’t have the prototypical body, and he doesn’t run the fast 40 time and all that. But the way he runs, his pad level, his low center of gravity, his ability to create yards after contact, he has such a great sense of the cutback lanes, and more so than anybody else in that class, he feels what’s going to happen ahead of time. He just has that innate sense about him.

“I have no problem with him coming off the board in the first 20 picks; if he falls a little bit, the team that gets him in the last 12 picks of the first round could wind up getting a steal.

lewis ran a 4.47 at his pro day with a 1.51 10 yd split, which is right there with ingram (10 yd split)
like i said, don't see it. when all is said and done i just think ingram shouldn't be a top 15. charlie casserly reported on total access that he's been getting some feedback from people around the league that ingram's stock is falling and he could end up going much later in the first rd. ingram can't carry the ball 25 to 30 times per game. doing it in college is one thing because the guys you play against aren't nearly as big as in the pros. he does it in the nfl and he's done in 3 years tops. that is not a top 15 pick. he needs to split time with someone else; that makes him a 2nd rd back, at best.

dm1... the reality is, neither of us know, nor does casserly. There is reason every single pro mock drafter has only 1 rb going in the first round. Could they all be wrong? Sure. Time will tell. I will say this, I'd bet a large sum of coin that Ingram has a better NFL career than Dion. Dion should be way faster for his size and he doesn't break tackles or get much after contact. Ingram seems to draw an unusual amount of criticism. I've watched the youtube highlight videos of the top several backs in this draft, to my eyeballs, Ingram hands down looks like the best. There is a 9 minute highlight video on youtube of Ingram...take a look at that and then compare it to whoever else you want. Then let me know who clearly looks best.

Also you have to realize, its a business. Casserly saying he is getting feedback can just as easily be smokescreen, him doing a favor for someone to help Ingram fall. It's as common as rain believe it or not. I do read the scouting reports, the pros and cons, then look at the youtube clips. Ingram to my eyeballs seems hands down the most versatile back in this draft, and to this day every mock I have seen anywhere only has one rb going in the first round, and thats Ingram. Nobody has Lewis going higher than 5th, nobody. For a later round back I like Hunter. My top three backs in this draft are Ingram, Williams and Hunter. Hunter is a live wire, got serious game, fast as a dart, but small, short and not likely to be nearly as good a blocker as the other two.

@CarrollCity @Sheets24K @ChadHenne DA DASTERDLY WEAK LiNKS R LiST'N 2 War-The World iS A Ghetto http://t.co/97hSB9l


You nailed it. Crystal clear and concise.

like i said. i live in PA. i've seen a lot of lewis and i've seen a lot of ingram. lewis may be a little lighter but, the one thing he has the ability to do that ingram doesn't is make people miss. i would agree that ingram's extra 20 lbs. gives him some more power but i've wathced ALL of the videos and he can't make the cuts lewis makes.
if you watched the combine there was an agility drill where they placed cones on the field and the backs had to run thru the cones in a "zig-zag" fashion. marshall faulk balked at the drill because he said, "how often do you see a back make a cut like that?" if you watch the videos of lewis you will see him make those cuts several times in the videos.
but, like i said, my comments aren't so much about lewis as they are about ingram. just don't see the first round label on a guy that can't carry the ball 25 to 30 times. chris johnson is 5'11" and only 191 lbs. he is fast and very elusive. he rushed the ball 358 times in 2009. in 2010 he carried the ball 316 times. he had over 1300 yds but his ypc dropped to 4.3. that's significant. what i am trying to say is they will burn these smaller backs out if you run them that much during the season; just like DB is saying wannstedt did to lewis at pitt. if a guy can't carry the ball that many times in a season he isn't worth a top 15 and maybe isn't even worth a first rd pick. as far as who will have the better career it will be lewis because ingram will be done in 3 years because they will grind him into the ground. i wouldn't be surprised to see him blow out a knee in his first season. thats my opinion.

i guess 4.47 isn't fast enough for some people. how many backs in this league run a 4.47?

0x, charlie casserly is doing a favor for someone? is that the best you can come up with? if ingram's stock is falling it's because teams are beginning to question his size and speed and how good they think he can be at the nfl level.

Akili smith and um, a QB from LSU that Oakland picked, remember him, were also most talented QB's that had Newton's skill set, failed. The new era NFL QB has to be strong armed, have decent mobility and good pocket awareness. He has to have the ability to read NFL defenses and be very accurate. Newton couldn't hit WRs at the combine. What makes you think he can at the NFL level? He has bust written all over him.

Okay, so we are not going to get a quality QB this year. What are the prospects for next year?

Mondo, if u want homework, take a look at Ryan Mallet done by the Sun Sentinal. ITs a great break down on everythig Ryan Mallet. Mallet is the most NFL ready QB in the draft. Mallet is a saint compared to Newton.

Wow, I'm quite shocked. Normally I agree with your assessment on many issues.

But your accusation of Ryan Mallett having Leadership issues ??? OMG, I could NOT disagree with you any more. You are dead wrong. I watched every game he had for the last 2 years.

Did he make mistakes ? Absolutely. Does he have some weaknesses ? Name one that doesn't. But LEADERSHIP issues ????????? Wow. So not true.

You need to read your competitors in-depth link: http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports/columnists/hyde/blog/2011/03/draft_winds_lies_damn_lies_and_1.html

"Gabbert completed only 61 of his 301 completions for more than 15 yards. Compare that with say, Landry Jones of Oklahoma, who completed 101 of his 405 completions for more than 15 yards and you start to see Gabbert didn't stretch the field nearly often enough."

Is Jones' higher percentage (25% to 20%) even statistically significant? I am a math professor and I am going to use this as a question on my next statistics exam. (The answer is no, by the way.)


Cam Newton is a 3 year project.

Logically flawed argument:

"Jim Everett? Mark Herrmann? Ryan Leaf? Trent Edwards? David Carr?

All of them supremely talented and successful in college. None of them had that attribute. Fact is they seemed to be anchored by an attribute that prohibited them from going forward -- the anti-attribute, if you will."

Armando says, Newton is the best because he's proven to have that winning intengible and other have not in this class. Then goes on to list QB who had winning intengibles in college but svcked as pros.

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