January 28, 2011

More On Cam Newton And Drafting A Quarterback In The First Round

I know I've beaten the quarterback situation to death, but Jason Reid of the Washington Post was on 106.7 the Fan with LaVar and Dukes and he had some great insight on the rumors of Cam Newton going to the Redskins in the first round.

"As far as Cam Newton; you mention the word project. [He's] clearly a bigtime athlete, but in that offense he runs, it's one read and then run," Reid told Chad Dukes on Thursday afternoon. "He's not playing in a pro style offense and after this Donovan McNabb situation was such a colossal, spectacular failure, they can't take a project."

Mike Wise said the same thing last week and I completely agree. The last thing the Redskins need is another project. Newton may be the guy Shanahan covets, but I don't see him being a great passer and he has serious character flaws to boot. He has never particular impressed me with his accuracy and I doubt his ability to grasp an offense that requires multiple reads, option routes, and the like. He's a great athlete, but the quarterback position requires precision, rock solid decision-making, and an awareness of what opposing defenses are throwing at him. Athletic prowess is nice, but it doesn't guarantee those other things which make a quarterback successful.

Does anyone associated with the organization want to wait around for Newton to develop, knowing there's a good chance he may never transition smoothly to the NFL? Every draft pick is a calculated gamble, but Newton is even more so given the hype surrounding him. It would be wise for the franchise to avoid the excess scrutiny that comes with drafting him and settle for another need.

Which is exactly what Reid continues on to say.

"They are going to take a quarterback somewhere in the draft," he said. "They put themselves in a position unfortunately where they have to now take a quarterback somewhere in this draft. I personally am not convinced it will be with the tenth overall pick ... Based on people I've talked with who I trust, I don't think there's a quarterback worthy who will be available at that pick and when a team has as many major holes as they have on both sides of the ball, I don't think you can take a project with the tenth overall pick."

Reid also addressed the recent trend of mock drafts predicting the Redskins will select Newton. With the draft still in the distant future, he stated all of those rumors could be conjured up to distract the rest of the league from the players Washington is truly intrigued by.

"I think a lot of what's going on right now is a lot of smoke and mirrors, a lot of misdirection stuff, said Reid. "They don't have to make any decisions yet. We're months away from the draft. I would be shocked if they took Cam Newton."

Obviously Mel Kiper is a sharp evaluator of talent. He's been watching these prospects all season and not many possess the knowledge he has when grading these players. But no one can better predict what a team wants or needs than the beat reporters who cover them each and every day. I'll hang on every word of Kiper's analysis, but pass on his mock drafts. That being said, I'm glad my thoughts run parallel to the local reporter (who's now a columnist) rather than a national talking head.

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