The 2011 NFL draft is still a few months away but we can already tell who will be one of the most discussed players this year -- Auburn QB Cam Newton. He declared for the NFL draft on Thursday and already the talk on him is clearly divided. SB Nation's Mocking The Draft calls him the most polarizing player in April's draft.
Newton is a rare talent. With his size, athleticism and arm strength, Newton has more potential than any player in this year's draft. That alone will get him picked in the first round. He also displays great leadership skills that are impossible to teach. In only one year at Auburn, the Tigers rallied around Newton and he led them to a national title.
That's the part people like -- he was able to generate excitement and wins. Not all players can do that and when you're a team, you're also a business hoping to strike some excitement into your team. Newton can help with that.
But his negatives may scare some teams off completely. Newton will have to greatly refine all of his mechanical flaws if he wants to succeed in the pros. His field vision and pocket poise are average, at best. Then there are the questions about his character - fair or not. He's had multiple off-field issues and has bounced around from Florida to Blinn Junior College to Auburn.
This will most certainly scare quite a few teams away considering the money you invest into a player at the top of the draft. But, as they say, it only takes one team. If one team likes him early in the draft then that's all that matters. As Mocking The Draft, Newton has plenty of questions to answer this offseason which may help determine whether he's a top 10 pick or a first round pick at all.
Check out Mocking The Draft for the full Cam Newton scouting report.