Do the Carolina Panthers take Cam Newton with the first pick of the NFL draft? It’s a pretty interesting question. The Panthers have a new coaching staff in house this season and could certainly use an upgrade at quarterback if it’s there. But there are big questions about the ability of Cam Newton to make the transition to NFL quarterback, if not his athletic ability. It’s very similar to the whole Tim Tebow thing going on in Denver.
As we’ve learned over the last decade or so, picking an NFL quarterback is at least as much about intangibles and head smarts as it is about strength and passing ability. Some guys have the head for it and some don’t. The great Tim Tebow experiment is still ongoing so there is no answer there as of yet. The list of great college quarterbacks who flubbed in the NFL is pretty long and with the #1 pick, and the millions that go along with it, you can’t really afford to blow the pick. In my mind the best thing for the Panthers to do is try and trade down in the draft, get more picks, and do an across the board roster upgrade.
That would leave Cam Newton for a more established team to pick, an NFL team with the luxury of spending time on development rather than a team trying to upgrade immediately. It would also tend to push Newton down in the draft the way I see it, lessening the financial impact, and making it easier to pick him and take the chance on his growing into the quarterback role, rather than force feeding him.