Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson. These are the names of some the hottest, young quarterbacks in the NFL right now. I wanna focus on one who was praised last year and, in my own humble opinion, has the highest ceiling of any player in the league. Cam. That’s right, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers, to me, has the potential to be the best quarterback in the NFL. Talk about his attitude, his swagger, or his approach to the media, but he tends to only do it when the Panthers aren’t winning football games, which to me shows that Cam wants to WIN more than anything. The Auburn product not only won a national championship his senior year, but won the junior college championship after transferring form Florida to Blinn College in Texas. What that points to is that you can win with Cam Newton under center.
Let’s start with Cam Newtons legs, since that might be his most remarkable trait. As a runner, Cam Newton is as explosive as any running back or wide receiver in the NFL right now. Standing an impressive 6’5 and 245 pounds, Newton has the power to shake off defensive lineman, moves to make linebackers miss and speed to outrun corners and safeties, usually seeming a lot faster then his 4.60 40 yard dash time would indicate. They say numbers don’t lie, well Cams certainly don’t with almost 1,500 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns in just two seasons, including an NFL record for most rushing touchdowns by a QB (14 in his rookie season). He doesn’t shy away form contact and has multiple times dragged defenders on his back on his way to the end zone and his “Superman” celebration. Newton broke the rookie record for rushing yards in a season with 706 (broken by RG3 last year). This was the one given about Newton coming out of college but let’s get to the reason that the man is a QB and not a wide out or running back.
Cam’s arm is incredible. In his first two games a pro quarterback Newton, set and then broke the records for passing yards in a game by a rookie quarterback, showing the league he would not only be a runner. Newtons throwing success continued throughout the season ending with 4,051 yards (then a rookie record, one of many he broke) 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions and a QB rating of 84.5. Year two was looked at as a “sophomore slump” for Newton (3, 869 yards with 19 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and a rating of 86.2) , though I think it was the opposite, less interceptions, a higher QBR and most importantly, a better record at 7-9. The arm strength and accuracy are there, what needs to improve his Newtons decision making, a common problem for young quarterbacks, and that improved greatly last season.
When it comes to credentials, Cam just has to let his trophies do the talking. His senior year at Auburn, Newton lit the NCAA on fire winning the Heisman, Maxwell, Davey O’Brien, Manning, Walter Camp and AP Player of the year awards with his 2,854 passing yards, 30 touchdowns an only 7 interceptions, 1,743 rushing yards to along with 20 touchdowns on the ground all while leading Auburn to a 13-0 record (which included a 24 point comeback to the dominant Alabama Crimson Tide in the “Iron Bowl”) and a national championship. Newton was then taken with the number one overall pick by the Carolina Panthers, becoming the first player in history to win the Heisman, National Title, and then be drafted number one overall in the history of the NFL. He went on to win Rookie of the Year and was selected to play in the Pro Bowl.
Saying Cam Newton could be the best quarterback in the NFL may sound crazy to some people, but when you look at the talent, numbers and success, the ceiling for Newton is nearly limitless and grows the more he improves as a passer. Many people believe that Cam is a “diva” and wants the all attention he can get, but to me, Cam is being himself and not putting a mask to impress anybody. As the face of a franchise, Newton may need to mature at some point, but it should be looked at as refreshing that a young man who doesn’t get arrested still treats football as game and enjoys it. Mark my words: Cam Newton, HAS NEXT!