Is Cam Newton the WORST young quarterback in the league?

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

I just read through an article on ESPN, where Jeffri Chadiha (never heard of him before) went through a series of categories while analyzing five up and coming quarterbacks (Luck, Wilson, Kaepernick, Griffin, Newton) in the NFL.

I'll put the category below along with Cam's ranking (provided by "a panel of 12 people" with diverse football backgrounds), Jeffri's specific comments regarding Cam in bold, and my measly $0.02 in italics. Any and all CSR community opinions are very much desired here.

1. Intelligence (Newton is ranked last; 5th)

This also happens to be an area where Newton and Kaepernick haven't been as impressive as their peers. One AFC quarterbacks coach said "Cam Newton isn't Andrew Luck because he can't fix protection [schemes] on his own."

I have no idea how the Carolina Panthers' offensive line issues has any bearing on measuring Cam's level of intelligence. I really don't know what else to say here. Am I misinterpreting the meaning of "protection schemes"? Someone please help me out here.

2. Accuracy (Newton is ranked last; 5th)

Luck (54.1 percent) and Newton (57.7 percent) didn't have great numbers, but other factors may have affected their productivity. Luck attempted 627 passes last season (Griffin and Wilson, by comparison, each threw 393), and opposing defenses threw more challenges at Newton than he faced in his rookie season, when he completed 60 percent of his passes).

So, I'm thinking accuracy, more than any of these other categories, is based firmly on statistics. Luck has a 54.9% career completion percentage (through last week). Cam is 59.1%. Luck has the lowest completion percentage out of all the "young guns" featured in this article, but he's 3rd on the list. Go figure.

3. Durability (Newton is 4th, RG3 is last)

Many believe that Newton, at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds, and Kaepernick, at 6-foot-4 and 230, can handle the punishment when running the football.

Then why is he next-to-last? The kid is built like a linebacker, is as elusive as most premiere running backs in the league, but is supposedly only more durable than the guy who was bounced around like a pinball in the backfield last season?

4. Supporting Cast (Newton is ranked last; 5th)

Luck and Newton, on the other hand, work with teams still developing. Newton especially is facing a potentially pivotal point in his young career. His new general manager, Dave Gettleman, already has publicly said that "now it's time to win," and Newton's critics far outnumber those of his peers. Polian went so far as to say, "Newton shouldn't be included with this current group," and another AFC quarterbacks coach added that "he's a 'me' guy at heart. That will always creep into his game. He can't handle criticism and he goes into a shell at times. Does he have all-star talent? Sure. But he needs help."

"I really think Cam is on the verge of going through what Alex Smith faced in San Francisco," Mariucci said. "If [Panthers head coach] Ron Rivera doesn't win enough games, there could be a change there. And Cam could end up taking a step backwards before he takes two steps forward."

Wow...I never once, in my entire life, thought of Alex Smith and Cam Newton in the same breath. And other than the O-Line concerns (which, at least after game one, turned out to be not so daunting after all), Cam has a pretty damn impressive array of weapons surrounding him. Whether he learns to use them or not is a completely different topic of discussion.

(I won't address the other comments about Newton in this section, because they had absolutely nothing to do with the subtopic of "Supporting Cast")

5. Urgency (Newton is ranked last; 5th)

Though every player in this group has displayed his own sense of urgency, Wilson is the front-runner in this category largely because of circumstances.

This is literally the closest thing written in this subtopic that even remotely made reference to Cam.

Overall Ranking for Cam Newton (SPOILER ALERT!): Dead Last out of Five

Newton, on the other hand, is at a point in his career where he's likely to plateau if the Panthers keep struggling.

I suppose there is some merit to this statement, because if the Panthers continue to struggle, that will inherently mean that Cam isn't doing so great himself.


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