NFL: Newton may be doomed for failure

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 1, 2011

By David Moulton
Scripps Howard News
His smile reminds you of Magic Johnson — tall, handsome and talented.
His personality wins you over. He can handle adversity. He’s a winner. His leadership is unquestioned.
Yet why do I fear the future for Cam Newton?
Newton is the 11th quarterback to be taken first overall since 1998. Let’s take a look at the last 10 QBs taken No. 1 before Cam.
Peyton and Eli Manning are the most successful. Both have won Super Bowls. Both played four years in college.
Carson Palmer is the third most successful of the bunch. He also played four years in college. Was on his way to stardom before a knee injury. Did not play his rookie year with the Bengals.
Tim Couch, JaMarcus Russell, Alex Smith and David Carr are the busts. All of them were rushed into playing right away on bad teams. Couch got hurt. Carr was sacked so frequently he was shell-shocked. Russell played and partied himself out of the league in three years. Smith looks to be a product of the spread offense in college and not good enough for the NFL.
Taken three years ago, Matt Ryan looks to be a franchise QB in Atlanta. Oh yeah, he played four years in college.
Jury still out on the last two top picks, Matthew Stafford and Sam Bradford.
What list will Cam end up on?
Recent history says despite all his plusses, Newton will not make it. Only one full year of major college football. A spectacular, historic, magical year, yes. But only one year. How many QBs have made it big after only one great year in college?
Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith were taken Nos. 2 and 3 overall after one big year in college. Not the guys you want to be compared to.
Almost every QB taken first overall ends up on a bad team, that’s usually why they have the top pick. But Carolina is a bad team, with a new coaching staff, no wide receivers and a bad offensive line. They do not have a veteran QB on the roster to nurture him. If they throw Cam to the wolves, he will get eaten up and spit out.
If they go get a veteran quarterback to play for this bad team in 2011, sit Cam for the full year and then unleash him on the NFL in 2012, then he will have a chance to make it.
He’s not close to being ready.