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Cam Newton NFL Draft scouting report

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Cam Newton
6'6, 250 pounds | Quarterback | Auburn

Accuracy:
Newton has good accuracy to hit open receivers in the short and intermediate area. He completed 66 percent of his passes as a junior in an offense that gave him a lot of open windows. Still, it's clear he has good accuracy up to 20 yards. Has a tendency to overthrow on the deep ball. Did a nice job throughout the season hitting passes near the sideline against over-the-top coverage.

Arm strength: Showed very good arm strength to make throws all over the field. When Newton uses proper footwork, he routinely puts a good spin on the ball and doesn't have his passes wobble. Even with his strong arm, Newton puts good touch on short and intermediate passes. If Newton can improve his deep accuracy, his arm is going to be a real weapon.

Decision making: Newton rarely put his receivers in bad position and didn't throw the ball a lot into double coverage. He just needs to get faster making decisions in the passing game. Comes out of Gus Malzahn's spread option where he doesn't have to make multiple reads. Doesn't anticipate a receiver's route that well.

Field vision: Here is where Newton is going to need the work. A lot of Auburn's passes came on receivers running double moves and deep crosses. They're routes where receivers get themselves open and don't necessarily have to rely on the quarterback fitting the ball into a tight window. In addition, a lot of Newton's passes come on the first read. When it's not there, the offense called for him to pull the ball and run. Since teams stacked the box to defend Auburn against the run, Newton didn't see a lot of complex coverages. He did early against Oregon in the BCS National Championship game and got into trouble. He'll have to spend a lot of time in the film room to learn how to pass against defenses with good secondary play and an array of coverages.

Mechanics: Has an awkward throwing motion and will need to adjust his release point. Has a throwing motion very similar to Vince Young's. Has long legs and do better setting up his feet to avoid throwing off his back foot. Took almost all of snaps out of the shotgun. Will probably need to work on drop back footwork. More importantly, he'll have to learn how to read a defense while doing so.

Pocket awareness:
Newton is the ultimate improviser in the pocket. Does a pretty good job of feeling the blitz, but isn't the kind of quarterback who will hang tight and step into a throw in the pocket. Instead, Newton likes to pull the ball down and run. He has a tendency to get cute in the pocket trying to be creative. He gets himself in trouble behind the line of scrimmage too often. Still, he has the strength to stay up when defenders are wrapping up his legs to at least release the ball.

Final word: Cam Newton will be the most polarizing player in the 2011 NFL Draft. It's easy to see why some will fall madly in love him and why others will go mad if their team drafts him.

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.

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.

The offseason process is going to be big for Newton. It could determine whether or not he's a top-10 pick or if he's taken later in the first round.