From that point, it’s boom or bust.
Cam’s selection will result in many things. It will satisfy the organization’s need to find an Impact player at an Impact position, add competition to the quarterback spot, and re-energize Carolina’s fan base, locker room and organization.
His physical size, natural speed, and athletic ability are unquestioned. His arm strength and ball spin are admirable. His instincts and knack for winning are off-the-chart.
So, why does it make so much sense that Cam is selected with the first pick?
Potential, options, and trends.
Cam has the potential to be the next great quarterback. The Carolina organization is amongst the best in the business. Jerry Richardson is a well-known and respected franchise owner, Coach Rivera and his staff are strong-minded with championship and pro bowl experiences, and the locker room is led by one of the league’s most talented, competitive players in Jon Beason.
This type of environment is ideal for Cam Newton to develop and become a star. It’s often ignored of how young and impressionable he is. He’s made many mistakes as we all have. He’s also never been convicted of any wrong-doing or been involved in something life-threatening to others. He’s just a young guy who has made a lot of poor decisions. What happens next will be up to him, his teammates and leaders within the Carolina organization.
His quarterback fundamentals appear to be correctable. He’s been said to be coachable. And, most importantly, it’s obvious that he has a strong desire to win.
Selecting Cam Newton with the first pick also gives Carolina options. It pains me to say but I feel that choosing Cam will give the Panthers leverage to trade down and acquire more picks. Who is to say in what other teams will do to have a talent like Newton? The possibilities seem endless. Would a team be willing to trade a first and second round pick for Cam? Is a team willing to trade a pass rusher and pick for him? I hope all of the above.
More so, drafting Cam Newton will keep Coach Rivera current with the trend of newly hired Head Coaches matching with rookie quarterbacks. Examples include Raheem Morris and Josh Freeman, Mike Smith and Matt Ryan, Jim Harbaugh and Joe Flacco, Jim Schwartz and Matthew Stafford and Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez. All have enjoyed some degree of success and generally re-energized their franchises.
So, why does it not make sense that Cam is selected with the first pick?
There is so much to be desired. His obvious issues are of major concern.
His decision-making on and off the field will be scrutinized, football IQ and personal intelligence challenged, and accuracy and ball-placement issues examined.
An apparent strength like his ability to overcome adversities while at Florida and during his transition from Blinn College to Auburn will be tested in the NFL. The question is whether Cam can face adversity in one place for the long term.
After signing to a contract, Cam won’t be able to transfer. His life’s choices will be magnified. This is the price of stardom and media hype.
Furthermore, his shortcomings won’t be masked by team and individual successes. Yes, he possesses two BCS National Championships, one NCJAA National Football Championship, quarterbacked Auburn to an undefeated 13-0 record in the SEC, one Heisman trophy, and numerous other awards and records. Yet, these accolades bring to light another issue.
For example, Cam Newton has competed twice against the same Division I team only once in his career. Both outcomes were wins against South Carolina. This will not be the case when he competes against the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers twice a season. These teams are loaded with talent and coached by defensive coordinators who have access to game film of Michael Vick, Vince Young, and Josh Freeman. They will attack Cam Newton and capitalize on his shortcomings. What state of mind will Cam have when he must outwit opposing defenses, a far cry from relying on innate athletic ability.
How will he respond to the media after consecutive losses? How will he deal with being around the same group of core players over a period of years who may or may not like him? Can he truly face adversity? How will money affect his decisions? Will his work ethic change? These questions are without end.
Get ready Carolina! It’s Cam Newton for boom or bust!