If you prefer to hear opinions from former teammates about your rookie draft picks I'm sure we will hear plenty from Auburn T Lee Ziemba about his former Auburn and now Panther team mate Cam Newton. Though Ziemba was not ready to declare Newton a SB winning QB he wasn't ready to say he wasn't possible:
Auburn lineman Ziemba, Panthers' final draft pick, protected Newton's blind side - Sacramento Living - Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee
"Anything's possible with that guy. You've seen him do some amazing things out on a football field," Ziemba said in a phone interview last week. "God's certainly blessed him with an amazing talent and a good head on his shoulders. He's going to make the most of any opportunity that's given to him."
Hear that? A good head on his shoulders. That part was not lost on me. It seems Ziemba is another person that knows Newton fairly well and he's not worried about his mental capacities. Maybe its not much but hey, I'm scratching for feel good things with the lock out still making me retch.
This linked post has some good stuff on Ziemba so at the risk of upstaging his upcoming CSR Draft Profile, here's a quote about his explanation for his drop in the draft...after the jump...
I think this kid is going to make the team no problem:
"They try to put you in a bad position," Ziemba said. They're keeping you up all hours of night. You're not getting much sleep. It's a weird thing. And then you've got to perform. And I'm not a track star."
Nor does he strive to be.
"Football for me is played in a 20-yard box, moving side-by-side laterally and doing some different things there," he added. "That's what I do best."
Back to Newton, Ziemba also calls bunk on the notion the Auburn offense was simplified to suite the QB:
Critics have questioned whether Newton can transition from Auburn's simplistic offense to a pro-style set. But Ziemba says Newton will be fine.
"He did at Auburn what he was told to do," Ziemba said. "If we'd had a complex offense, he would have learned it and he would have excelled at it. It's not like we were making the offense simple for him."
I guess they made it simple for all the other nimrods on the offense; Auburn isn't exactly known for taking only the brightest...;) I kid, I kid. If Auburn switches to a more complex, pro set offense next season we might have to revisit this topic.
I think we will also be revisiting the Panthers ability to land offensive line gems in the 7th round. The Panthers could very well have 3 of 8 or 9 offensive linemen on their roster next season drafted from the seventh round (Schwartz & Bernadeau th other two). The only concern will be Ziemba's ability to handle the leagues premier pass rushers. Outside of that, anything is possible.