First things first, I’m not advocating it should happen, only that it could.
QB talent is hard to come by in the NFL, as evidenced by the entire history of the Carolina Panthers. In their entire history, they’ve drafted one Quarterback in the first round — Kerry Collins.
Collins was a flop in Carolina, but he went on to have a decent career. Still, he’s the only QB to leave Carolina and have a career in the NFL.
Why? Because he was a first round talent.
You don’t see quality QBs as free agents in the NFL. Whenever there is one, he’s either got some kind of issue or not enough experience. Typically teams overpay for guys who they think MIGHT have talent, and even then, most of the time they end up being marginal at best.
If you look around the league, most of the teams have acquired their quarterback through the draft … well, the teams that matter anyhow. It seems like that is the only way to get a quality player — to draft him in the first (or second) round.
The Panthers have the first overall pick, and it’s highly unlikely that any team will want to trade up and give the Panthers what they’ll want in return. In fact, it’s probably more likely that the Panthers would trade up into the first round to acquire ANOTHER first round pick like they did when they picked Stewart and Otah a few years back.
So with there not being a sure-fire number one pick out there (at least right now), the thought of the Panthers taking Cam Newton has been running around my mind. I know, it sounds a bit crazy.
However, Newton is arguably the best QB talent in the draft. It will take him a while to become acclimated to the NFL, but he’s got all the measurables you want in a franchise QB. He reminds me a lot of Daunte Culpepper and Ben Roethlisberger with his scrambling ability and his tremendous arm strength.
He’s not polished — but he’s got tremendous potential. Do you gamble with the first overall pick on a guy like Newton? Maybe. It depends on how sure you are that he is going to eventually be what you want him to be. The Panthers seem to have the staff in place to be able to coach him into being an NFL QB, and after a season holding a clip board, he may be able to compete for a starting position next season.
It’s a gamble. They could miss big with him, but then again, he could be the next Roethlisberger.
What do you think?