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View Full Version : Was Cam Newton a vastly underrated prospect?


Halsey
10-04-2011, 11:11 AM
I'm interested to see where other people stand on this question, almost 6 months after the Panthers decided to make what many people, including me, thought was a mistake. Newton continues to be a fascinating study in the NFL Draft, because of the wide spectrum of opinions on him. Right now it looks to me like Newton has a chance to be a superstar for a long time. Panthers fans should be giddy right now.

K Train
10-04-2011, 11:20 AM
not a chance...vastly underrated would not be how i would describe him.

i will say while his numbers are impressive, its still very difficult to gauge how good he is since the panthers are so terrible. What are we seeing? a dominant young passer or completely inflated stats?

Shane P. Hallam
10-04-2011, 11:23 AM
I'm interested to see where other people stand on this question, almost 6 months after the Panthers decided to make what many people, including me, thought was a mistake. Newton continues to be a fascinating study in the NFL Draft, because of the wide spectrum of opinions on him. Right now it looks to me like Newton has a chance to be a superstar for a long time. Panthers fans should be giddy right now.

It's very possible. I think his development right now is a long way above where I thought it would be. That being said, there is still a lot of weaknesses to exploit and if teams start to identify those, we may see a sophomore slump for Cam. It isn't guaranteed by any means as he is a unique player, but more tape for these young players can give defenses more of a clue on how to stop them.

Rushing at the goal line though, man, not sure if he can be stopped there.

FUNBUNCHER
10-04-2011, 11:31 AM
Admitted Cam jock sniffer(!!), however Newton apparently had game none of us had ever seen from him even at Auburn.
Newton is that rare QB prospect who could've run Barry Switzer's option at OU, or USC's pro style attack at USC under Pete Carroll.

QBs who have that kind of scheme versatility in college are beyond rare.

There were guys on here and elsewhere who couldn't get past their personal dislike for Cam as a pro prospect, but even for those who tried to look at him objectively as strictly a future NFL QB, what could you say definitively about him??
Great moxie, clutch performer, NFL arm, prototype size and athleticism, a leader.

But how could you accurately access his accuracy at Auburn and translate that to the NFL?? How many downfield reads was Cam really making in Malzahn's spread option??

On top of that, how many guys have come out of similar systems and became anything in the pros??

I liked Cam as a prospect for the same reasons I liked Mike Vick and VY; they may be unconventional but IMO they were the type of QBs who manufacture enough points and big plays to win games.

I did watch tape from Cam's junior and senior years of HS and believed he wasn't really a run first QB, however. I've always said he was just a hyper athletic QB, not an athlete playing QB. He prefers IMO to make plays with his arm and not his legs. We see that now in the pros.

So yeah Cam was underrated, but based on what he's done so far no one could have anticipated that. Even his biggest supporters.

It's like drafting a Mike and discovering he's the best pass rusher on your team.
Some things you just can't know until you actually see someone play on the next level.

It's all been a pleasant surprise which is part of the reason I love following prospects before they get to the NFL and trying to project what kind of players they'll be in the pros.

tjsunstein
10-04-2011, 11:52 AM
If everyone is impressed with what he's doing that would only mean it wasn't expected this early meaning they underrated him, right?

So, yeah I guess so.

I, for one, vastly underrated him.

descendency
10-04-2011, 11:55 AM
His physical skillset (as a pro QB) is unmatched. You can talk about a lot of non physical things, but NO ONE in the HISTORY of the NFL has the physical tools that Cam Newton has.

He was clearly a bigger, faster, and stronger Ben Roethlisberger, physically. Having said that, no one knew or had any reason to believe that he would be able to get the mental part of the game.

So, I'd say he was heavily under-rated.

BuddyCHRIST
10-04-2011, 12:06 PM
His throwing ability is much better than I thought and his confidence to let the ball rip is rare. He can really fit the ball in tight spots consistently and puts the ball where it needs to be, which is what really sets him apart from VY. Who could hit guys, but was never accurate.

But theres still a long ways to go, 2 years in people thought Vince Young would be a multiple SB winner.

ElectricEye
10-04-2011, 12:17 PM
I never thought he would adjust the making NFL reads this quickly. Guz Malzahn's offense and what he's being asked to do in the NFL are fundamentally different. It's impressive that he's been able to adapt to the NFL game this quickly....but I stand by that being a major knock on him coming out as well as something that needs to be looked at for other quarterback prospects. One of those exception not the rule kind of things. Does that make him underrated as a prospect? I really don't think you can say that after the fact.

FUNBUNCHER
10-04-2011, 12:22 PM
VY wasn't blowing people away with his passing. VY made plays, but Cam is slicing through defenses with his arm and his reads as rookie.

NFL teams aren't supposed to have to adjust to what a rookie QB brings to the game as a passer. That's really unprecedented.
You can't really compare guys like VY/D Mac and Vick to Newton anymore. At this stage of their careers, he's light years ahead of them.

If Carolina had decent special teams coverage, the Panther might be 3-1 right now.

Newton has already established a baseline, so if he continues as expected to develop with every subsequent game, he's on track to becoming a franchise changing QB.

CJSchneider
10-04-2011, 02:01 PM
He is doing better than I thought he would thus far. I have no problem admitting to that, but 4 games does not make a season, nor a career.

Complex
10-04-2011, 02:16 PM
not a chance...vastly underrated would not be how i would describe him.

i will say while his numbers are impressive, its still very difficult to gauge how good he is since the panthers are so terrible. What are we seeing? a dominant young passer or completely inflated stats?

The Panthers have been in all there games its not like he is Kyle Orton. Cam is legit, he isn't stat padding.

Babylon
10-04-2011, 02:23 PM
His physical skillset (as a pro QB) is unmatched. You can talk about a lot of non physical things, but NO ONE in the HISTORY of the NFL has the physical tools that Cam Newton has.

He was clearly a bigger, faster, and stronger Ben Roethlisberger, physically. Having said that, no one knew or had any reason to believe that he would be able to get the mental part of the game.

So, I'd say he was heavily under-rated.

A bit of an exageration i think. You can go back to as recent as Daunte Culpepper for a similar skill set and i'd even argue that Jake Locker is a better athlete and thrower. I'm not even going to insult John Elway by bringing his name up.

Having said all that he's done better than i thought he would but his team is 1-3 last time i looked with a lot of his yards coming against prevent defenses.

FUNBUNCHER
10-04-2011, 02:30 PM
The Panthers have been in all there games its not like he is Kyle Orton. Cam is legit, he isn't stat padding.


For others to imply something about Cam's stats aren't legit tells me there are still some who don't respect or recognize what Newton is accomplishing on the football field.

It's not just that Cam is exceeding expectations earlier than anyone thought possible. Newton is doing something no rookie QB in the history of the league has ever done before.
I don't think it's fantasy to imagine Cam finishes the season with over 4000 yards passing, 25+Tds through the air, less than 20 INTs and 10 TDs rushing, all while throwing around 60% completions.

Those are unreal numbers for ANY rookie in any era.

descendency
10-04-2011, 02:31 PM
I'm not even going to insult John Elway by bringing his name up.

John Elway was never close to 6'5" 250ish lbs.

QBs aren't just arms and legs.

edit: And LOL at Jake Locker being a better athlete. Locker isn't 250 and he only put up numbers around Newtons at the combine.

nepg
10-04-2011, 02:38 PM
I thought my expectations of him were pretty solid, and they still are. He had to rework his footwork. He did and is still working on it. He had one of the prettiest deep balls I've ever seen and still does. He has great confidence and is a leader. He still has a ways to go, but has the potential to be a transcendent player, which is why I had him below Mallett and Locker, but conceded you had to take him over at least Mallett.

killxswitch
10-04-2011, 02:44 PM
Yes, I seriously underrated him. The Panthers may end up happy that Luck chose not to declare.

Jvig43
10-04-2011, 02:49 PM
so sick of threads like this. no, he's not underrated after 4 games. just like you'd never call him a bust after 4 games.

This needs to be stickied.

Rosebud
10-04-2011, 02:52 PM
so sick of threads like this. no, he's not underrated after 4 games. just like you'd never call him a bust after 4 games.

Now that's just silly. Of course we'd call him a bust after 4 games, just like Sam Bradford's rookie year was a fluke after 4 games in year 2.

shinzo123
10-04-2011, 02:52 PM
I don't think he is making the NFL reads, He is just playing catch out there. It was said by an analyst during the Bears Panthers game.

FUNBUNCHER
10-04-2011, 02:52 PM
A bit of an exageration i think. You can go back to as recent as Daunte Culpepper for a similar skill set and i'd even argue that Jake Locker is a better athlete and thrower. I'm not even going to insult John Elway by bringing his name up.

Having said all that he's done better than i thought he would but his team is 1-3 last time i looked with a lot of his yards coming against prevent defenses.


When Chicago got a lead, they came after Newton. Same thing GB did. Arizona and Jacksonville didn't have the luxury to play prevent because the games were close throughout.

Other than GB, where the game wasn't as close as the final score made it appear, Carolina was in a position to win against Chicago and Arizona.

And since when is W-L how we judge the success of rookie QBs???
Not every rookie comes into the league playing for a team like Flacco/Roethlisberger/Sanchez all did.

FUNBUNCHER
10-04-2011, 02:55 PM
I don't think he is making the NFL reads, He is just playing catch out there. It was said by an analyst during the Bears Panthers game.
Right. Cam Newton is the idiot savant of NFL QBs.

I think there are some people won't believe in a thing Newton does in the NFL until he wins multiple SBs, and even then they'll say he was riding the coattails of his Oline/running game/defense/weak competition.

ShutDwn
10-04-2011, 03:02 PM
No one could predict this based on his college years so no, he wasn't underrated.

I don't think he is making the NFL reads, He is just playing catch out there. It was said by an analyst during the Bears Panthers game.

Sure that wasn't meant to mean he makes it look easy? Newton is making reads. Teams aren't playing prevent defenses against him the entire game people, he hasn't taken too long to get going other than the Jags game.

"After 12 double-digit defeats in 2010, the Panthers have won or lost by seven or fewer in all four games. (Sando)"

-espn power rankings

He isn't winning yet, but he is getting extremely close and doing it single handedly. I think if you have him a top ten defense he is at least 3-1.

FUNBUNCHER
10-04-2011, 03:18 PM
Cam was severely underrated because everything I read and heard either said he was a boom/bust prospect, or he just flat out would not be a successful NFL QB under any circumstances.

And it wasn't just the scheme that made Newton underrated. Everything he accomplished at Auburn was argued to be a byproduct of his gimmick offensive system and his physical tools. There was never much belief that Cam was winning football games because he was a good QB from the neck up.

And I think more than a few analysts totally missed in their evaluation of his intangibles. Newton's intangibles appear so far to be top notch.

ChiFan24
10-04-2011, 03:24 PM
I don't think he is making the NFL reads, He is just playing catch out there. It was said by an analyst during the Bears Panthers game.

Well.....that's completely untrue.

Ness
10-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Cam was severely underrated because everything I read and heard either said he was a boom/bust prospect, or he just flat out would not be a successful NFL QB under any circumstances.

And it wasn't just the scheme that made Newton underrated. Everything he accomplished at Auburn was argued to be a byproduct of his gimmick offensive system and his physical tools. There was never much belief that Cam was winning football games because he was a good QB from the neck up.

And I think more than a few analysts totally missed in their evaluation of his intangibles. Newton's intangibles appear so far to be top notch.

More so than his intangibles, his actual ability to throw the ball and throw it well. And what he's done so far has been far more than just luck. No rookie comes in and passes for 400 yards in back to back games. Newton could have a 4,000 yard season when it's all said and done. I doubt anyone thought he would be doing this well right now.

Brent
10-04-2011, 08:35 PM
Now that's just silly. Of course we'd call him a bust after 4 games, just like Sam Bradford's rookie year was a fluke after 4 games in year 2.
this cannot be said enough.

Job Reborn
10-04-2011, 09:34 PM
No rookie comes in and passes for 400 yards in back to back games.

Very few rookies come in and throw the ball over 40 times a day, though. Still, quite impressive, I like him and hope he can shine and someday have a coach who remembers he has running backs.

Mr. Goosemahn
10-04-2011, 09:44 PM
I hope Cam Newton gets Joe Theisman'd.

:O

TheMorningZoo
10-04-2011, 10:42 PM
I never thought he would adjust the making NFL reads this quickly. Guz Malzahn's offense and what he's being asked to do in the NFL are fundamentally different. It's impressive that he's been able to adapt to the NFL game this quickly....but I stand by that being a major knock on him coming out as well as something that needs to be looked at for other quarterback prospects. One of those exception not the rule kind of things. Does that make him underrated as a prospect? I really don't think you can say that after the fact.

In regards to the 1 read Offense, that is the same way I felt. Thought he was a tremendous physical specimen-but time for me to eat crow! I did not think he would be as poised as he has been so far, and grasping the mental part of the game. It is still early obviously, but he has impressed me.

Halsey
10-04-2011, 10:53 PM
The casual observer may say "it's just 4 games", but that's an oversimplified view. It's been almost 6 months since the Draft and all Cam has done is the right things. He's apparently been working hard, stayed away from controversy, won his teammates respect, won the starting QB job and played well on the field. Saying it's just 4 games is just a simple minded way to try to minimize his success so far.

Halsey
10-04-2011, 11:58 PM
I didn't call Newton the greatest QB ever and won't call Gabbert a bust, because he doesn't look like one.

Caulibflower
10-05-2011, 12:26 AM
so you're ready to call blaine gabbert a bust, then? how about peyton manning? vince young is still the greatest qb ever, right? calling him the greatest qb ever is just a simple minded way of undeservedly fellating him.

Obviously a well-thought, unemotional and non-confrontational opinion to be heard here, given the quick burst of red herrings and casual fellatio reference.

bucfan12
10-05-2011, 12:35 AM
I always thought Cam Newton had all the physical tools to become a franchise QB in the league. However, my biggest question on him before the draft was the mental part of his game. Would he become too much of a media darling? Was his decision making quick enough? Could he make the reads?

So far, so good, but he's struggled throwing the ball in the red zone, where decisions need to be made quick because windows close too quickly.

ShutDwn
10-05-2011, 12:35 AM
Obviously a well-thought, unemotional and non-confrontational opinion to be heard here, given the quick burst of red herrings and casual fellatio reference.

haha, exactly my thinking. I'm not sure where any of that came from. Cam's start has no impact on Gabbert's career, nor is Cam's career impacted by Manning's.

Vince Young isn't even worth talking about.

Ness
10-05-2011, 02:44 AM
Very few rookies come in and throw the ball over 40 times a day, though. Still, quite impressive, I like him and hope he can shine and someday have a coach who remembers he has running backs.

Even if you pass the ball 40 times, getting over 400 yards in that amount of attempts is absurd.

Caddy
10-05-2011, 03:31 AM
I don't think Cam was under-rated as a prospect at all. I'm surprised at his level of play so far, but I don't think anyone was saying it was impossible that this is the type of pro QB he'd be. If he keeps improving and demonstrates the work ethic to get it done, the NFC South is going to be a ***** for the teams in it.

Saints-Tigers
10-05-2011, 10:44 AM
No one thought he would be this good so early on, but why would we? He played in a simplified college offense, and then at the combine and individual workouts, he looked lost trying to make NFL throws on timing routes, and showed nothing to buck the idea that he was another "spread passer".

PACKmanN
10-05-2011, 11:05 AM
remember Sam's little run last year in his play as well. I want to wait 16 games before i judge Cam's season

wogitalia
10-05-2011, 11:21 AM
I personally evaluated his physical tools just about perfectly, from that aspect he was a top notch prospect and has done nothing either way to change that.

I've certainly been surprised with how well he has done mentally but he has also done nothing to erase by far the single biggest issue with him, that being character concerns. The list of guys who've had a great year or two despite character concerns and then fallen apart is a lot longer than the list of guys who have overcome them.

So basically Newton is a guy that you will watch and admire the physical side of his game but you are always waiting for him to screw up and he may or may not do that. Could perhaps compare him to Randy Moss in this regard, his physical tools were and are elite and basically as long as he is focused he will utilise them, the question is and will always be can he stay focused.

I'm also kind of torn on him, I really don't like his whole persona but he is fun as hell to watch. He is playing some exceptional football and his ability to make good reads and decisions has been the area that got underrated for sure.

Saints-Tigers
10-05-2011, 11:23 AM
remember Sam's little run last year in his play as well. I want to wait 16 games before i judge Cam's season

No. I don't remember Sam being anywhere as impressive. I remember the Rams winning some games and him getting an inordinate amount of the credit though.

Caulibflower
10-05-2011, 01:36 PM
as opposed to being called simple minded out of the gate? get hyperbole, respond with hyperbole. but yes... lots of 'red herrings'. i mean, i'm not complaining at all about the idiocy of calling a guy underrated after 4 whole games of his career, so comparing him to other guys who've sucked in their first four games (and one who did well) is a complete red herring. assuming, of course, that you don't actually know what a red herring is.

If you can name another rookie QB who has come in and made it look as physically easy to play in the NFL as Cam Newton is doing right now, let's hear it. He was underrated for that fact alone, regardless of what his career ends up looking like. No rookie is expected to play really well, and since Cam IS playing really well right now, we can say his abilities were underrated. Not the same as saying he's the best of all time. Get it?


saying cam newton was vastly underrated, suggesting he'll be a superstar for a long time,

Well hey, let's just take take one thing and pretend we're saying another while we're at it.

etc. is ridiculous after 4 games, for the same reasons that calling peyton a bust after 4 games, calling gabbert a bust after 4 games or calling vince young the greatest quarterback ever after four games would've been ridiculous. no one, at any point, suggested that their careers have anything to do with each other, and a quick scan (you didn't even have to read every single word) of this thread would've made that obvious.

Not surprising at all that the head moderator would fail to read the whole thread before trying to stir **** up. Nice job. Don't you understand no one's calling Newton the G.O.A.T.? He's had the best first 4 games ever. That's historic. It's interesting. It's worth talking about, and it sets an extraordinary precedent for the rest of his career. But kudos for you for pointing out that we don't know the future. That is a very brave, and sometimes unpopular position to take. Here's a sucker.
http://www.blogcdn.com/www.slashfood.com/media/2009/03/cherry-dum-dum.jpg

Ness
10-05-2011, 02:09 PM
remember Sam's little run last year in his play as well. I want to wait 16 games before i judge Cam's season

Newton has already looked more impressive than Bradford, who never really sold me on his play. Even last season.

tjsunstein
10-05-2011, 02:12 PM
With this being a draft site, I'm surprised how many times the amount of weapons a QB has is labeled as a 'negative' when evaluating a QB. No one seems to watch the footwork, throwing motion, or reads anymore? But then again, the box score doesn't mention that does it?

gpngc
10-05-2011, 02:27 PM
During the season last year I tried to evaluate him in terms of pro potential and struggled because of his vastly superior athleticism and stupid offensive scheme.

By the time the BCS Title game rolled around, I was sold based on the mere fact that he's dominated, in terms of winning, at every level of football he's ever played from the QB position. It's important to note that it came from the QB position, because players at other positions have dominated across every level all the way to the NFL, but that didn't always translate to winning. Newton's presence uplifts a team, in a Jordan-esque way, proven this year by the Panthers competing despite an awful defense, no running game, and an overall group that was non-competitive without their new leader.

He's special. And although it's 'only four games', it's been one of the most impressive four-game stretches by any player in the history of the NFL, all things considered. Because of that, it's noteworthy, and thread-worthy.

I think what was overlooked in his evaluation was his impact on the Blinn team. Two NCs with two different teams at two different levels was a pretty glaring sign that the guy had the intangibles to make those around him better. It may even be true that 0 of Newton's Auburn teammates end up making ANY impact in the NFL.

The story here is not the reaction of his pre-draft detractors or the threads created by everyone who loved him and is seemingly being proven right. The most significant reaction is by everyone who had no horse in the race and didn't care to predict his future, but instead are just watching it unfold. Aaron Rodgers is one. 0 of those people are saying 'it's only four games.'

Raiderz4Life
10-05-2011, 02:42 PM
If you can name another rookie QB who has come in and made it look as physically easy to play in the NFL as Cam Newton is doing right now, let's hear it. He was underrated for that fact alone, regardless of what his career ends up looking like. No rookie is expected to play really well, and since Cam IS playing really well right now, we can say his abilities were underrated. Not the same as saying he's the best of all time. Get it?

No you can't call Newton underrated. He was rated just fine as a prospect coming out. You can call him a surprise or an overachiever, because he has surprised everybody and achieved more than what people thought he would his rookie season.

So no, you can't say Newton was vastly underrated.

Caulibflower
10-05-2011, 04:24 PM
oh stop it. at least half this board thought he'd be able to transition in and be a superstar. further, he was the first overall pick. are you suggesting the panthers underrated him?

Not really. But I don't remember another recent #1 pick who had so many people doggedly insisting would be a failure.

if he plays the next 4 games like dog **** and looks out of his element, will you immediately call him overrated? if he plays the next 12 games and looks like jimmy clausen, will you immediately call him a bust? if he had played the first four games like ****, would you call him a bust now?

Is it so hard to acknowledge that he's had a terrific, better-than-expected start to his career? I'm not interested in taking any first year, much less 4-game, NFL player and making definitive claims about his entire career.

let me know when you've read the thread title and the first post. because both of those things were said. not surprising that someone who can't even read the first post or the headline would try to pick a fight, and mention something about 'head moderator' as if it has any relevance.

I have read them. The "vastly" part is a little over-the-top, but between half of the draft world being convinced he'd be a colossal bust, and other half who thought he'd be able to play being shocked that he's played this well this soon...i.e., everyone being surprised he's played so well so soon...yes, whether or not he was underrated is a legitimate question. It's a question of which things we were evaluating. And I do wonder about the value of a snarky 'head moderator' who likes to start ****-flinging matches whenever he thinks someone's too excited about a player, instead of adding something worth reading to the conversation.

don't you understand where i stated outright that i was responding hyperbolically to a hyperbolic post?

Don't you understand that I think you've missed the point? His play is making a lot of people do a double-take. I'm not calling anyone a bust or a 'supastar.' I am interested in taking a look at which traits have allowed him to be so productive, and how those same traits were rated and valued before he was drafted.

and yet, this thread is focused solely on calling out people who aren't crowning him, and further, who think that 4 games is too small a sample size to make any significant value judgement.

It's debatable whether 4 games is too small to make significant judgements. If that's where you want to go with it, make a real argument instead of being sarcastic and acting like anyone who doesn't agree with you is dumb.

because that was totally the point. it's funny when people who don't bother reading or comprehending what they're reading start trying to accuse others of doing the same. suggesting that we should all start calling him underrated after four games is hypocritical in the extreme when those who want to do it aren't willing to say they'd have had the opposite reaction if he'd played poorly.

Right. As usual, if someone doesn't agree with you, they must've just not read the thread. Which is sort of an astounding thing for someone who just stated they'd only skimmed the thread to say.

I'm not trying to start a flame war here. But you often seem like you post in threads for no other reason than to disparage other posters, and in this case, I really don't think the thread is so outrageous as to warrant that kind of vitriol. Cam Newton is one of the most interesting rookies we've ever seen. His first month in the NFL has been phenomenal. He has a lot to learn. No one is debating that. No one's calling Gabbert or any other rookie a bust yet, but if he'd missed most of his throws and fumbled a couple balls into the end zone, you'd probably be hearing some voices. If he'd played really, really terrible, people would be commenting on it. Cam Newton has played on a level we've rarely seen with rookie QBs, and it's a hot topic. That's what this thread is about. Anyone can be a killjoy. It doesn't take a whole lot of critical thinking.

Rosebud
10-05-2011, 04:28 PM
damnit filters...

niel89
10-05-2011, 04:31 PM
I personally evaluated his physical tools just about perfectly, from that aspect he was a top notch prospect and has done nothing either way to change that.

I've certainly been surprised with how well he has done mentally but he has also done nothing to erase by far the single biggest issue with him, that being character concerns. The list of guys who've had a great year or two despite character concerns and then fallen apart is a lot longer than the list of guys who have overcome them.

So basically Newton is a guy that you will watch and admire the physical side of his game but you are always waiting for him to screw up and he may or may not do that. Could perhaps compare him to Randy Moss in this regard, his physical tools were and are elite and basically as long as he is focused he will utilise them, the question is and will always be can he stay focused.

I'm also kind of torn on him, I really don't like his whole persona but he is fun as hell to watch. He is playing some exceptional football and his ability to make good reads and decisions has been the area that got underrated for sure.

I agree with you a lot. I'm happy that Cam is doing so well right out of the gates but it still doesn't allay my concerns about his character at all. You can't just say that he hasn't had any trouble in the first 4 weeks (or past 6 months if you prefer) so all of those worries are suddenly gone. Will he continue to stay focused and work to be the best player that he can be or will he just enjoy his early success?

The only part of Newton that was underrated was his pro readiness. Everyone knew he had great tools but honestly he only had 1 year of relevant college experience in a specific offense. He always had the potential to do this but no one was sure exactly how well he would play because they only had a limited number of snaps to watch.

The most important thing to realize is his story isn't written yet. He only has just started his career. Give him season, give him a full offseason, let coaches get more game tape on him, let him develop.

Caulibflower
10-05-2011, 04:41 PM
The only part of Newton that was underrated was his pro readiness. Everyone knew he had great tools but honestly he only had 1 year of relevant college experience in a specific offense. He always had the potential to do this but no one was sure exactly how well he would play because they only had a limited number of snaps to watch.


Agree with your post, but I think this is the key thing. Obviously, he's got some baggage hanging over his head, and the fear that his head might come unscrewed again is kind of a lingering concern. But the speed with which become acclimated to the pro game is simply remarkable.

FuzzyGopher
10-05-2011, 05:05 PM
How can the number one overall pick in the draft be an underrated prospect?

J-Mike88
10-05-2011, 05:25 PM
I'm interested to see where other people stand on this question, almost 6 months after the Panthers decided to make what many people, including me, thought was a mistake.
He wasn't overrated.... he was taken #1 overall. Can't go any higher than that.
Alex Smith. He was overrated.
Jamark Russell, way overrated.

But I join you in admitting I was way wrong, apparently, on Newton because I didn't think he'd be a great or even good QB. I thought he might be decent in time, but not a top-20 QB ever.

I'd say it still needs to translate over to winning. But he already has won as many games as Peyton and Aikman did their rookie years, so I eat crow now.

Caulibflower
10-05-2011, 08:41 PM
no, this thread is about whether or not he's vastly underrated. if you want a thread about how surprising he's been, find the 'supasta' thread, or start your own. you can't suddenly proclaim this thread to be about something it wasn't about for every single post so far, just because you no longer want to talk about it.

whatever. this is just going to devolve into another 'zomg njx is a dick' screed, because somebody decided they wanted to pick a fight and a head mod is a fun target. my point is this: if you're willing to call a prospect vastly underrated (after he was picked #1 overall) after 4 games, you have to be just as willing to call the same player a bust if he fails to produce. since no one has agreed that that was a possibility, i can only assume hypocrisy.

Not going to respond to everything else, because that's an awfully tiring road to go down. My original objection was to two things: Firstly, (and judging by the way this has evolved, I'm willing to accept that I may simply be an outlier in this) I didn't take the thread to mean "Cam Newton is going to be a superstar," I took it to be a question of whether people had been looking at the wrong things when evaluating him, such as overemphasizing his personality flaws or his "system QB" label. There were many people who were confident Cam would fail, among them the owner of this site. Now, obviously there is plenty of time left for him to flame out, but the idea that he would be utterly unprepared for the NFL has proven to be patently false, and even his more optimistic supporters expected a steeper learning curve. Even the Panthers have stated their surprise. And this is the pretext for the question, "Was Cam severely underrated?" As an athlete, no. Everyone knew he was a phenomenal athlete. But very, very few expected him to be an immediate impact player. He was drafted as that athlete; he was drafted because the Panthers thought they would be able to eventually make him an elite player. The fact that he has played so well so soon is a legitimate reason to question the evaluative criteria used to rate him as a prospect, because most people thought that he was going to require far, far more coaching to have success against NFL defenses. That is precisely what would qualify a player as underrated.

Secondly, if you don't think this is a question that can be discussed after 4 games, that's your prerogative. But you pretty much called the majority of Newton fans dick-suckers, and that's just pointless. ****-flinging, if you will. Now, it's not that I'm personally offended by phallic metaphor, it's that is a pretty universally offensive way to categorize a group of people, and you're smart enough that you ought to be able to get to the point of a conversation without rehashing, repeatedly, the obvious fact that no career is set after 4 games while insulting those who are just happy that a polarizing prospect they argued for for months is looking even better than they anticipated.

P.S. Forgot to adress what you said at the end: no, I don't have to call a poorly-playing player a bust after 4 games if I call another player underrated because he's playing well. A learning period is expected; you look at career to see if someone's a "bust." IF a rookie, especially a rookie who was considered a "project," plays lights out as soon as his feet hit the field, there is reason to wonder aloud whether he was underrated. If his play falters dramatically over the course of his career, well, that'll just be another conversation.

FUNBUNCHER
10-06-2011, 02:23 AM
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Calubflower again.

Cudders
10-06-2011, 05:13 AM
As a pro prospect, Cam Newton was not vastly underrated. He was actually rated perfectly. His array of impressive physical gifts were well-documented by scouts, media pundits, and draft followers alike. The big-time arm, the prototypical frame, the dangerous runner, etc. The fact that those have translated to the next level doesn't (or, at least, shouldn't) surprise anyone. They were all absolutely top-notch.

His accuracy was a fairly hot topic in the lead up to the draft. He certainly had games where he was hit-or-miss in that department, but personally, I thought I saw some naturalness to his game. You could work with it. There are some quarterbacks that just can't be taught how to hit the broad side of a barn. Newton showed he was capable of threading the needle and putting the ball in the right spot at Auburn. Back-shoulder throws, hitting receivers in stride, etc. Even in that wide-open offense he showed flashes of doing those kinds of things. So, for me, it wasn't necessarily a question of can he be accurate. It was a question of snap-to-snap execution. Clearly he worked at it during the lockout. Work ethic was one of his strong suits. But, and I want to stress this, he isn't a completely finished product in this department despite his early success. He could still stand to polish his ball placement.

The biggest debate with Cam was his mental faculties. Could he digest a pro playbook? Could he diagnose complex blitz packages and coverage shells? Could he recognize if his pre-snap read was incorrect post-snap and adapt accordingly? Could he dissect film and glean valuable information from it? These were all questions that Cam didn't answer at Auburn because Gus Malzahn's offense didn't let him answer them. For me, it wasn't that these things were bad, per se. We just didn't know. They were simply unknown quantities. Frankly, none of us knew the first thing about Cam's mental acuity, so it was impossible for us to truly 'rate' him in that regard. We weren't in the one-on-one interviews. We weren't in the room when Cam worked the whiteboard. We weren't privy to the most intimate inside information regarding Cam's biggest "weakness". So, essentially, we only had conjecture to fall back on. A lot of people believed he wouldn't be able to make that kind of intensive leap and I would characterize that as a reasonable assumption even in light of what we know now.

Along those lines, I want to urge people to pump the brakes. Newton has gotten off to a tremendous start. Historic even. But four games does not a career make. Cam still has a precarious road ahead of him. Defensive coordinators will meticulously pick apart his film and evolve their gameplans based on their findings in the coming weeks. He's going to be tested. He's going to be pushed. Complacency borne from early success is another pitfall he must overcome. Even if you were a Newton supporter, it isn't the time to start patting yourself on the back.

FUNBUNCHER
10-06-2011, 06:04 AM
If Cam can unload on GB and Chicago, two of the better defenses he'll play this year, I don't anticipate any major pitfalls on the field for him this season.

Forget the stats. Four games is enough of a sample size to notice some trends in Newton's game. He's patient in the pocket and can process through his reads quickly. He has a knack for recognizing broken coverages and he's a very pragmatic scrambler; to pick up first downs or when there's a total collapse of the pocket, not because he'd rather run than throw.

FOr most rookie QBs the first four games of their career are just that, nothing more than playing time in live game situations.
When a rookie QB plays at the record setting pace that NEwton has, you get a glimpse of that player's ceiling and how well he can play under less than ideal circumstances.
That's why I'm also impressed with Andy Dalton's level of play. The careers of some rookie QB holdouts has been devastated from holding out and missing OTAs and minicamps.

Dalton and Newton are rookies who had about a month of TC before the season started, which makes their early season performances all the more impressive.

And being the 1/1 pick in the draft doesn't mean a player isn't underrated.
Underrated IMO means out-playing expectations. Both Dalton AND Cam Newton in particular based on early season returns were criminally underrated as prospects.

Honestly I think it's the nature of the position and why it's so hard to scout college QBs and project them to the NFL.

Cudders
10-06-2011, 08:58 AM
If Cam can unload on GB and Chicago, two of the better defenses he'll play this year, I don't anticipate any major pitfalls on the field for him this season.

Forget the stats. Four games is enough of a sample size to notice some trends in Newton's game. He's patient in the pocket and can process through his reads quickly. He has a knack for recognizing broken coverages and he's a very pragmatic scrambler; to pick up first downs or when there's a total collapse of the pocket, not because he'd rather run than throw.

FOr most rookie QBs the first four games of their career are just that, nothing more than playing time in live game situations.
When a rookie QB plays at the record setting pace that NEwton has, you get a glimpse of that player's ceiling and how well he can play under less than ideal circumstances.
That's why I'm also impressed with Andy Dalton's level of play. The careers of some rookie QB holdouts has been devastated from holding out and missing OTAs and minicamps.

Dalton and Newton are rookies who had about a month of TC before the season started, which makes their early season performances all the more impressive.

And being the 1/1 pick in the draft doesn't mean a player isn't underrated.
Underrated IMO means out-playing expectations. Both Dalton AND Cam Newton in particular based on early season returns were criminally underrated as prospects.

Honestly I think it's the nature of the position and why it's so hard to scout college QBs and project them to the NFL.

Avoiding the obvious semantical debate, I'm not arguing that Newton wasn't underrated because he wound up being the first overall pick. What I'm proposing is that Newton wasn't underrated because he had undeniable flaws as a prospect. His eventual draft position and subsequent performance in the NFL is largely irrelevant in this particular discussion. Place Cam Newton the quarterback prospect from Auburn in a vacuum and separate him from Cam Newton the rookie sensation for Carolina. In this discussion, we're only concerned with the former. And, as a prospect, Cam wasn't perfect. In fact, a good portion of the criticism levied against him was fair and rooted in rationality. Namely, the concern about Cam's ability to read NFL defenses. He played in a simplified, short-read system in college that didn't require him to examine defenses with microscopic focus. And he was never asked to compartmentalize or process a voluminous playbook. Those were more than valid concerns on Cam Newton as a prospect. Since we didn't have information from individual workouts and interviews, our estimation of Cam's mental sharpness boiled down to some form of arcane guesswork. It could be good. It could be bad. We just didn't know. That's the reason I don't think Cam Newton was underrated as a prospect. Because, for me, it would take a troubling leap in logic to assume that Newton's awareness and readiness were significantly more progressed than any of us thought.

ShutDwn
10-06-2011, 09:55 AM
Cam was so underrated that he will win comeback player of the year.

I kid I kid.

wogitalia
10-06-2011, 11:03 AM
If Cam can unload on GB and Chicago, two of the better defenses he'll play this year, I don't anticipate any major pitfalls on the field for him this season.


I agree for the most part but will throw out that as teams get more film they will break down tendencies and the like and it will hurt him a bit until he adjusts to that but that is just part of the natural progression he still needs to make.

tjsunstein
10-06-2011, 11:34 AM
If Cam can unload on GB and Chicago, two of the better defenses he'll play this year, I don't anticipate any major pitfalls on the field for him this season.
I think you underestimate the power of game film. The more teams have on him, the more 'ready' they'll be, the less impressive Cam will seem. It's how he progresses after that that will be impressive.

bigbluedefense
10-06-2011, 11:45 AM
He was drafted #1 overall over guys like Von Miller, Patrick Peterson, Darius, etc.

So probably not. His draft evaluation was fair and accurate I think. I think we all underestimated his work ethic and his ability to develop so quickly. That's where I personally whiffed on the guy.

He's always had unreal ability. But he's showing he also has the desire and work ethic to go with it.

Splat
10-06-2011, 11:48 AM
I'm just glad Steve Smith has someone to get him the ball.

Nikolas
10-06-2011, 02:43 PM
Cam Newton has performed quite well in his first four games, far better than even his staunchest supporters could have expected. The fact that his team is still losing doesn't mean he's not a good player; look at Peyton's first year with Indy.

That being said, you really can't "undervalue" a player who was taken first pick overall, especially one who was the consensus #1. At most, certain people may have overemphasized his perceived flaws, which center mostly around his character. While it IS very early in his career, he did manage to avoid what I consider to be the #1 red flag for any rookie, a long contract holdout.

Keep in mind, however, that both Bradford and Vince Young were OROTY, and Bradford is playing far worse now and Young is a backup. It remains to be seen if Newton can sustain this level of play and lead his team to some wins.

DraftSavant
10-06-2011, 04:57 PM
He is delivering the ball from the pocket (clean or muddied) with incredible poise. And these aren't dink and dunk throws, either. They're strikes down the field. Where a guy like Gabbert looks like he's playing hurried and at 5000 mph, Newton looks as calm and collected as can be.

Carolina is also using a lot of pre-snap motions and shifts to dictate matchups. You can't use window dressing like that with a lot of young QBs because they can't process the defenses counter-shifts quickly enough before the ball in snapped.

So he's beasting in the two areas that people said he'd struggle the most with.

Ness
10-06-2011, 05:06 PM
His offensive line is playing really well too. Newton has a good amount of time to throw the ball. But even when it does break down Newton has a good internal clock to get rid of the football. His accuracy on the deep ball is nice as well. Carolina really seems to have found a gem in Cam Newton.

Rashaan Salaam
10-06-2011, 05:18 PM
Tape never lies... You just have to know what you're looking at.

If you look at their college tape and change the uniform to a pro one, you'd see the same thing.

College Gabbert (inaccurate, pocket scariness, bad decision making) = Pro Gabbert

College Newton (winner, throwing off back foot, short-mid range accuracy issue, excellent deep ball accuracy, clutch) = Pro Newton

Trust what you see
&
Know what you're looking at

DraftSavant
10-06-2011, 05:23 PM
Tape never lies... You just have to know what you're looking at.

If you look at their college tape and change the uniform to a pro one, you'd see the same thing.

College Gabbert (inaccurate, pocket scariness, bad decision making) = Pro Gabbert

College Newton (winner, throwing off back foot, short-mid range accuracy issue, excellent deep ball accuracy, clutch) = Pro Newton

Trust what you see
&
Know what you're looking at

Agree with this 100%.

RaiderNation
10-06-2011, 09:00 PM
I said during the whole draft process that Newton is worth the #1 pick. He is a superier athlete with good speed for his size, to go along with that he is a winner and has a very solid arm. So far his arm strength has been good along with his accuracy this year. He is going to be the QB most thought Vince Young could have been in the NFL.

teb
10-18-2011, 04:59 AM
I like this team, and I always support it.
Cleveland Browns Jerseys (http://www.diyjerseys.com/cleveland-browns-c-2_11.html)

prock
10-18-2011, 06:05 AM
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Calubflower again.

You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Calubflower again.


This site just amazes me sometimes. For being a draft site, a good chunk of posters think that it is impossible to talk about young players after a few games. THEY ONLY PLAYED FOUR GAMEZZZ YOU CAN'T HAVE AN OPINION ON HIM YET!!!!!!!! It's a draft site, we want to talk about these players. If you don't want to, then don't post, or just stay in the off topic.


Anyway, I had Newton as a top 5 prospect. I loved his skill set and thought he just had too much swag and charisma to fail. He still could fail, but at this point I'm liking my projection. He is definitely surpassing everyone's expectations thus far, and that could qualify him as an underrated prospect.