The consensus of CBSSportsline.com, Tony Barnhart and ESPN Draft Analyst Mel Kiper seems to be Cam Newton will be the top pick of the draft, but Kiper is hedging his position and on the last Sports Center did not have Newton in the top 10.
While the kid is a huge talent, the intangibles are troubling.
- His interview with John Gruden did not instill a lot of confidence. When the coach asked him to call a play, Newton had a deer in the head lite look and basically said "Our system was simple and the coaches would just flash a card with play 16 or play 38 on it."
- His Wonder Lik scores have not been made public. Why? If he had aced the test, we would have heard. His agent would have made sure of that.
- Shot gun QBs and spread offenses are not a typical part of your standard NFL offense. Some people make the argument that a play book could be built around an exceptional talent, but what happens when your starting QB gets hurt and misses two games? Plus, can you really pay a player $60-million, then ask him to run over Ray Lewis repeatedly?
So Thursday night Charlotte will make a potentially franchise altering pick. There are near certain talents on the board in Marcell Dareus, A.J. Green, and Patrick Peterson, then there is this charismatic, super talented QB who allegedly asked for $180,000 to play for Mississippi State and stole a lap top.
Will he study his play book? Will he be the first man at work and the last to leave?
If the Panther make the wrong move it could set the team back five years or more. If they pick Newton and he becomes an All-Pro player the team will improve, but in the NFL one player can not carry a team to the Super Bowl.
Has there ever been more on the line for the top spot in the draft? Not that I recall. Sure am glad it ain't my decision.
CBS Mock Drafts
Tony B's opinion
Mel Kiper's top four picks