As the 2011 NFL Draft approaches, now less than a month away, the top QB prospects are getting more and more negative reviews as time goes on. The latest to take a hit, Cam Newton, was basically skewered in a review by Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki.
Cam Newton has long been a list of character questions and even possible football intelligence questions. The negatives became much more clear after Pro Football Weekly draft analyst Nolan Nawrocki came out with his analysis of Newton. Nawrocki is a very well respected draft analyst and more people than not pay attention to what he has to say. He said the following about Newton: “very disingenuous … has a fake smile, comes off very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup.” Nawrocki went on to say that Newton “has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law.” Not exactly the poster boy for a great NFL QB prospect. Most who have seen Newton for any length of time have come to basically the same conclusion. He is very athletic, very strong, but can he be an under center QB in the NFL? No one knows for sure. What they know least though is how he will respond on a personal character level and a lot of teams wouldn’t take him just for that reason. There have been too many busts being taken at number 1 who turned out to be much less than what they were advertised to be in the character and intelligence department.
Ryan Gabbert continues to get the criticism that he is just not accurate enough with the deep ball to perform well in the NFL. The concensus is that he is good but not great. That he can be serviceable but he is not going to be that game changer that an Aaron Rogers is or a Tom Brady. If you just want a good QB then Gabbert is useful. If you want great, this is not the draft in which you want to be looking for a quarterback.
Jake Locker has gotten a lot of negative press for his inability to be accurate. He also got a lot of negatives for his seemingly far too easy scripted Pro Day. One NFL exec said of Locker’s Pro Day that if the scale of difficulty was 1-10 Locker’s performance was a two or three. Ouch. Locker had an outstanding junior year but his senior year wasn’t so great. His performance at the Senior Bowl impressed no one. He has a lot of good qualities such as subtle movement in the pocket, the ability to throw on the move, great vision, but his inaccuracy is very worrisome to teams looking for a QB.
Ryan Mallett has been dogged for years by rumors of drug use. He has also had negative press saying that he doesn’t possess leadership abilities. He has the arm and it is a cannon. He makes the throws every single one of them. There are those who do not think he handles on the field pressure well, being flushed out of the pocket, having to reset and make a quick decision. He did not have an exciting time in the 40 at his Pro Day but brushed it off by saying that he wasn’t Michael Vick and everyone knows it. Kind of indicative of his personality and mind set. He may have the best arm in the 2011 QB crop, but the off the field rumors and issues and questions about his leadership skills may be too much for teams to consider.
Do I think these QBs get drafted? Sure. All in the first round or two? No. Will someone take Newton at number 1 overall? Possibly and it could possibly be the biggest mistake they make. If you are an NFL team looking for a QB this is a bad draft to have to choose from.