Tag:Cam Newton
Posted on: March 7, 2011 12:52 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2011 2:45 pm
  •  
 

Rivera, Elway to see Newton, not Mallett Tuesday

Posted by Andy Benoit

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera and Broncos new football czar John Elway will be on hand for Cam Newton’s pro day on Tuesday. Let the rumors start flying.

Rivera’s attendance is not super significant given that the Panthers will have Newton (projected to go No. 1 overall in Rob Rang's latest mock draft) visit their facility at some point. Elway's attendance is more noteworthy given that he seems to have some hesitations about Tim Tebow.

Because Rivera and Elway are attending Newton’s pro day, he won’t get to see Ryan Mallett’s C. Newton (US Presswire)pro day. Auburn and Arkansas pro days are both slated for Tuesday.

Overlapping pro days are problematic because not only will scouts/coaches/front office execs not get to see both players (and thus compare both players), but they could also be tipping their hand to other teams. (If a team sends its GM, head coach and VP of college scouting to Newton’s workout while having its offensive coordinator and regional scouts go to Mallett (projected by Rang to go 12th to the Vikings), which player would you say they’re most interested in?)

Peter King wrote about it in Monday Morning Quarterback.

"Really drives me nuts,'' one top college scout told me Sunday. Not that there aren't going to be conflicts. But to see so many big schools loading up on such a small number of days. Today, one major school (Tulsa) has its Pro Day; next Monday, there are two (Central Michigan, LSU). Thursday, 13 major schools have Pro Days. Who plans this stuff?

I understand coaches and scouts want the weekend off.... And to get to Baton Rouge you'd have to travel on Sunday unless you were flying private. But for nobody to have noticed Mallett and Newton working out on the same day? Not good.

It doesn’t have to be this way. A little planning and coordination could take care of most conflicts. Colleges, of course, are not obligated to make their schedules convenient for the NFL. But it would be beneficial to them if they did. Obviously, the more players a college can get to the NFL, the easier it is for that college to recruit talent. The whole point of a pro day workout is to help get players to the NFL.

It’s not just about the top tier players, either. If Rivera or Elway, for example, were able to attend Mallett’s workout, they’d also get a firsthand look at the rest of Arkansas’ draft prospects. In the very least, that exposure could later be advantageous when it comes to signing undrafted free agents.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed

Posted on: March 6, 2011 5:24 pm
 

Fairley's draft status is dropping

N. Fairley's draft status has begun to drop (Getty). Posted by Rob Rang

Much of the attention following the Combine has been centered on the team interviews with quarterbacks Cam Newton, Ryan Mallett and others, but according to three sources from different clubs, it is another high profile player who set off the most alarms at the Combine.

Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley was described as a "JUCO kid to the core" by one longtime personnel man, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

By "JUCO" the source is, of course, referring to the fact that Fairley played junior college football (Copiah-Lincoln Community College) prior to starring at Auburn. Asked to elaborate why being a "JUCO kid" is a bad thing, the source explained.

"Just because a player went to a junior college doesn't mean, he's a bad guy or won't be successful at this level, obviously. There are lots of junior college players who have gone on to great NFL careers."

The stereotype is that JUCO players aren't as smart, hard-working, and well coached. They are also viewed by many clubs as players most likely to have had off-field troubles in the past and potentially more in the future. The source refused to go into specifics, but said, "Everyone is coming down hard on the quarterback, but [Fairley] is the one to worry about."

Despite measuring in at a shade under 6-4 and lighter than expected (291 pounds), Fairley "looked soft," according to the source. This first impression of Fairley's conditioning was only reinforced by his "limited" understanding of defensive schemes during team interviews. The source also referred to the fact that Fairley doesn't use his hands well and has been able to be successful largely due to his natural talent.

"Oh, I'm not saying he's not talented. Hell, he might be the most talented player in the whole damn thing. But, he's no slam dunk at this level. Not the slam dunk people who watched him tear up the SEC or in the big game [BCS National Championship] might think."

The other sources weren't as forthcoming with details, but didn't sound surprised when I told them I heard that Fairley was slipping down boards and that, as such, I had pushed him from No. 2 in the mock draft I'd written prior to the Combine to No. 8 in my current one.

This post was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: March 3, 2011 7:10 pm
 

Source: Newton 'perfect' in Indy team interview

Posted by Rob Rang

A high-ranking NFL source countered what NFLDraftScout.com and others had reported earlier in the week that Auburn QB Cam Newton, the 11th ranked prospect by CBSSports.com, "struggled" in team interviews conducted at the Combine.

"I think that is an example of a team trying to knock the kid down," the source said. "I can tell you right now, he was very likable with us. He answered every question we had about his off-field stuff and did a great job on the white board."

I pointed out that Newton could do well in his team's interview and then struggle in another (or several), but the source referred to specific questions asked and that the offensive coaches in the meeting later characterized Newton's answers as "perfect."

"He knew where to go with the football against different schemes, where his hot read was..." the source explained. "[Newton] did it quickly and with confidence. I wasn't in the other teams' meetings, so I don't know what they asked or how he answered, obviously. I can't imagine that kid 'struggling,' though, in that kind of setting."

The conflicting stories provide a perfect example of the smokescreens that take place in the months leading up to the draft.

This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 2, 2011 12:13 am
 

2011 NFL combine winners/losers

Posted by Will Brinson

This isn't every single winner and loser from the 2011 NFL combine, but it's five of each (and mostly bigger names) that really stood out to me. Take it with a small grain of salt, if only because the inclusion of someone like Cam Newton doesn't mean he won't be a top-five pick. It just means that his appearance at the combine didn't exactly solidify him as someone that's a can't-miss prospect. The combine almost never provides full-on proof of someone's status, but it can either answer some questions or really highlight some issues with various draft prospects.

Winners 

Prince Amukamara, CB, Nebraska -- People were knocking Amukamara for his speed before the combine. Uh, whoops: he ripped off a 4.43 (4.37 was his first unofficial time, by the by) and proved everyone wrong. Suddenly there's a decent chance both he and Peterson are gone by the end of the top-10 picks.

Julio Jones, WR, Alabama -- So it turns out that Jones did all the combine drills with a fractured foot. That's pretty impressive. It's way more impressive when you see that he somehow managed to close the gap between he and the consensus top wideout A.J. Green.

Marvin Austin, DT, UNC -- He and Robert Quinn were two UNC guys who helped themselves (most of the other ones didn't) at the combine. Austin, the guy who helped take the Tar Heels down via Twitter, has a pile of red flags, but the athletic upside in Indy is going to make someone take a chance on him much earlier than they would have a year ago.

Stephen Paea, DT, Oregon State -- To paraphrase Neil Diamond, "I'm only gonna do one thing, but I'm gonna do it good." Paea could only lift at the combine but MAN did he lift, setting the record for 225-pound bench presses with 49.

Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State -- Ponder all of a sudden finds himself generating "first-round buzz" after a strong combine (on top of a very strong Senior Bowl). Two months ago, that would have been laughable.

Losers

Cam Newton, QB, Auburn -- Newton won't fall out of the top 10 in any mock draft between now and the time the NFL Draft happens because he's an absolute mutant of an athlete. But there are clearly red flags going up everywhere from his "entertainer" comment to the possibility that he underwhelmed teams in interviews to the poor showing he had when throwing the ball.

Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas -- Even if he did perform well on the field, his press conference performance and unwillingness to address drug rumors sunk his stock to the point that there are plenty of Ryan Leaf comps floating around.

Kendric Burney, CB, UNC -- Burney ripped up the Senior Bowl but that in-game action (some folks have said ) didn't translate to measurables, and a 4.75 40 isn't exactly the speed a tiny corner wants to show people looking to invest.

Da'Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson -- If you're going to claim that you're "100 percent" at the combine -- even after surgery -- it's probably a good idea to participate in some of the drills, you know?

Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn -- Fairley's still got a very good chance of being the top overall pick in the draft, and the dude had some pretty darn good measurables at the draft. But the gap between he and Marcell Dareus is MUCH shorter than it was a week ago.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 1, 2011 4:59 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.1.11: Rich Eisen's 40 time

Posted by Will Brinson



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • The highlight of the NFL combine is usually Rich Eisen running the 40-yard-dash. This year was no different, and Eisen posted the best time of his "career." Check the video here.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 9:55 pm
 

Could five QBs wind up in the first round?

Posted by Rob Rang

We all know the value of quarterbacks raises as the draft gets closer. We also all know that significantly altering a player's grade based on Combine performance is a quick way to get a scouting staff fired.

That said, there is an increasing belief among NFL teams that as many as five quarterbacks could wind up in the first round, following strong performances from Ryan Mallett, Jake Locker and Christian Ponder at the Combine.

[Related: CBSSports.com's 2011 QB Prospect Rankings]

Mallett unquestionably has first round skills. While his struggles at the podium in front of the media has been well documented, league sources tell our own Len Pasquarelli of The Sports XChange that teams who interviewed him in Indianapolis "came away impressed with him."

Locker, too, has unquestionable talent. His career-long struggles with inaccuracy remain a concern for many, but there was no denying he enjoyed a strong throwing session at the combine, throwing some of his most accurate passes on the deep outs, fly routes and post-corners that are generally considered the toughest throws scouts ask quarterbacks to make at the Combine. Some teams will take this as evidence that he's made strides under former pro quarterback Ken O'Brien -- and is likely to continue to do so under NFL coaching.

Perhaps the most surprising quarterback generating recent first round buzz is Ponder. His multiple arm surgeries make his medical grade the most important result from the Combine (and teams won't have these complete results for awhile), but there is no question that the former Seminole is building momentum following a Senior Bowl MVP performance and a strong showing during passing drills. Considering his intelligence, mobility and accuracy to the short to intermediate levels of the field, Ponder is viewed by some as the top true West Coast Offense quarterback in the draft.



In last week's mock draft I had only two quarterbacks (Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Auburn's Cam Newton) projected in the first round. With virtually every one of the front office executives and head coaches acknowleding during their combine interviews the supreme value of the quarterback position and another two months for the hype around these three to build, we could end up seeing that number more than double by April 28.

This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: February 28, 2011 8:08 pm
 

Cam Newton 'struggled' in some team interviews

Posted by Rob Rang

Cam Newton's struggles in the throwing session at the Combine Sunday have already been well documented. His strategy of reading a prepared statement and refusing to acknowledge the extent of the "mistakes" he made earlier in his career while at Florida has been hotly contested.

Even more of a concern, however, is that the reigning Heisman winner is also struggling answering football questions during team interviews at the Combine.

NFLDraftScout.com has learned that at least two teams gave Newton poor grades for his "football character" following interviewing him at the Combine. Newton, according to league sources, had a difficult time drawing up plays and how to react to different defensive schemes when asked to work on the white board.

There is no denying Newton's potential, but his success in spread option offense much simpler than anything he'll see in the NFL continues to be his greatest challenge. Not all teams are convinced he has the ability to make the adjustment to the complex defensive schemes he'll see at the pro level.

This entry was cross-posted from Rob Rang's NFL Draft Blog. For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 28, 2011 5:25 pm
 

Ear on Football: Weekend combine winners/losers

Posted by Will Brinson

Don't call it a comeback, kid -- after a (much-needed) podcasting break, Andy and I return with a rebranded podcast ("Ear on Football," although I somehow botch the name at the beginning, because, well, it's Monday) and a fresh take on the combine's weekend action.

Who were the winners? Who were the losers? Does the combine actually matter? Are Carolina Panthers fans talking themselves into taking Cam Newton No. 1 overall? And what's the deal with airplane peanuts?

Okay, we don't actually answer that last question, but hit the play button to find out about the rest and don't forget to Subscribe via iTunes.

If you can't view the podcast, click here to download .
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com