NFL Draft 2011: Cam Newton Says Criticism of Him Is "Ammunition"

Cam Newton is still the topic of most conversations where the NFL Draft is concerned and, for good reason, people continue to wonder if can get it done at the next level. The same sorts of questions plagued one Tim Tebow who, against all odds, ended up being a first-round pick in 2010.

Cam Newton, if I may be so bold, is a better quarterback prospect—physically—than Tim Tebow was at this stage and, adding even more creme to the coffee, he has some nice intangibles that are hard to overlook when you are considering building a franchise—including confidence in himself and a fierce need to prove every single one of his doubters wrong.

That said, there is no reason, yet, to believe that Newton will be able to do that given the questions surrounding his ability to read defenses, take snaps from under center (consistently), and transition from the “simple” offense he ran at Auburn to the more complex one he will likely execute at the pro level.

Even still, he remains optimistic that he is much better than his critics keep telling us he is and, in the end, he will kill us all with his ability and success at the next level.

Check his one-on-one interview with John Gruden:

For the record, the last quarterback Jon Gruden selected in a draft was Josh Johnson—just saying—yet
he has given Newton his seal of approval saying, “I think Cam Newton’s the best player in the country…I agree with the Heisman Trophy people that gave him the award. He’s got everything I’m looking for.”

While there can be no denying Newton as one of the best players in this year’s draft, does that necessarily mean he will be the best quarterback? Is he a better quarterback prospect than Blaine Gabbert or Ryan Mallett? At this point does he even have to be?

Mallett is still battling character questions after  admitting he used drugs while at Arkansas and, just this morning, skipped out on a meeting with the Carolina Panthers due to illness (illness that’s rumored to be due to a hangover). Which, if that’s true, he is looking a lot less like a pro prospect than a massive problem—a la Ryan Leaf.

As for Gabbert, well, he may have some believers still hanging onto his potential as a No. 1, but the his spotlight seems to fade with each new Cam Newton interview, article, or editorial. Gabbert just hasn’t been able to maintain public attention he seemed to have coming up to the NFL Combine. 

While some have already stated that Gruden is not qualified to make an assessment of any potential prospect’s talent at the next level, you still have to respect a guy who is better known for telling it like it is than blowing smoke up your rear, so Gruden just joins a few others in the NFL camp who feel that Newton is the real deal.

As for the rest, I suggest Newton keep that gun handy—I see plenty more “ammunition” headed your way.

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