So for some reason Cam Newton held a workout the other day that was open to the media but no NFL scouts or coaches. Trent Dilfer, my least favorite person at ESPN, came away with a man-crush on Newton saying that his workout was phenomenal (of course Dilfer also thought Jimmy Clausen was better than Sam Bradford). Here is what Dilfer had to say:
"I think the third thing is that he has quarterback passer DNA, and that's the thing we weren't sure about, because he's such a great athlete. [But he] threw about 30 very challenging throws, and on each one of those throws, he kept his eyes down the center of the football field, spun his eyes back to the perimeter, and delivered the ball early with anticipation. This is a gifted, gifted passer -- something I don't think many people know."
Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders and Yahoo! didn't like Dilfer's use of the word "challenging" when talking about the throws Newton made:
Well, I'll disagree with the "challenging throws" concept -- as Mike Tyson once said, everyone has a plan until they get hit, and Newton was basically engaging in a public workout without any pressure. Throw a perfect 30-yard post-corner with a 300-pound geeked-up maniac in your face, and we'll add "challenging" back into the vocabulary.
Mike Mayock didn't even attend the workout because he said it didn't matter what Newton looked like against air. Maycock said the best QB pro day he ever attended was Jamarcus Russell's, and we all know how that turned out.
If you are surprised that Cammy looked good against air you shouldn't be. He has all of the physical tools to look "phenomenal" in a setting like that, but as Farrar mentioned, the real challenge comes when he doesn't hall all day to survery the field and set his feet to make the throw.
I thought Cam hurt his stock in the National Championship game because he got rattled early after getting popped a couple of times. He also looked lost when he couldn't take off for 15 yards whenever he wanted too.
The one thing I will give Newton is that he is good at blocking distractions out of his mind. The last half of his season was one big distraction at Auburn, and he played extremely well down the stretch. If he has a good performance at the combine he will end up being a top 5 pick, which is fine with me because I don't want him anywhere near the Titans.