Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Questions Still Surround Cam Newton After Pro-Day

<a href="" target="_new" title="">Caplan: Newton's Pro Day</a>

On Tuesday former Auburn quarterback Cam Newton took to the field once again in his NFL Pro-Day at Auburn's Jordan-Hare Stadium. After a lackluster performance last week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Newton was in need of a strong showing to wow NFL Scouts, and prove he is ready to make the transition to a NFL roster. What the scouts saw on Tuesday, was exactly what they expected, a strong armed quarterback who still has a lot to learn.

Pro-Day workouts are orchestrated to showcase how talented a player is, and what they can accomplish at the next level. As a result, the workouts are specially designed and rehearsed. The participants are fully prepared for what they are doing, and generally they perform very well. This is why the results from a pro-day can be very misleading.

Cam Newton prepared for his pro-day by working with his personal quarterbacks coach George Whitefield Jr. The two prepared a workout that would see Newton throw a total of 60 passes. The throws included a variety of different passes a NFL quarterback would make during a game. Newton made passes from under center, including 3-step, 5-step and 7-step drops. In total Cam Newton completed 50-60 passes. Three of the incomplete passes were due to dropped balls by his receivers, while his receivers also made some solid plays on a few passes that were off target.

It's difficult to say what we really learned from Cam Netwon's pro-day. Once again he showcased he has a powerful arm. The ball obviously jumped off his hand, and he had plenty of zip on his out routes, and enough loft to hit the long ball. However, we knew all of this about Cam before Tuesday. What we still do no know about Newton is how much can he learn? and how quickly will he be able to make the adjustments to go to the next level?

Newtons footwork was great on Tuesday, he showed the ability to shift his weight from his back foot to his front, and drive his power into his passes. However, Newton still showed he lacks touch on his throws. This was showed as he still sailed passes over his targets head, and had trouble landing the deep ball. Newton will need to work on his accuracy if he wants to excel at the next level. Many NFL teams run timing based offenses, that require an accurate quarterback to operate them if they want to be successful.

We all know Cam Newton is a physical specimen, however it has yet to be seen if he possess all the other tools required to be an NFL quarterback. One thing is for sure Newton did not hurt his NFL Draft stock with his pro-day performance, but he also did not elevate it.


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