I've been on the phone with NFL scouts most of the morning trying to gauge their interest in Auburn quarterback Cam Newton. You would think folks would have a pretty good idea of where Newton might go in the draft, if the junior decides to leave school early, based on his performance this season and his unique skill set. But there still seems to be a lot of uncertainty. ESPN's Mel Kiper dropped Newton two spots to No. 14 on his Big Board on Wednesday based on his up and down performance in the national title game.
This will be one of the most highly scrutinized prospects that we've seen in years. I realize that Tim Tebow was, in a lot of ways, the story of the 2010 draft. Well, brace yourselves for a similar frenzy surrounding Newton. We all know about the NCAA investigation into Newton's recruitment, but now NFL teams will take an even closer look at the quarterback's past.
Every move he's made from Florida to Blinn (Texas) Junior College to Auburn will be examined. There's been some talk in Dallas about whether the Cowboys should think about Newton with the No. 9 overall pick, but I don't see that happening. It's much more likely that Mike Shanahan could select Newton at No. 10. I think it will be one of the most interesting stories of the offseason to watch how Shanahan approaches the scouting process.
He'll have watched every throw Newton made at Auburn and inquired about every conditioning or weightlifting session he participated in. From the scouts I visited with this morning, it's obvious that folks want to know more about Newton's decision-making ability. He's spent a lot of time in the film room with Auburn offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn over the past year, so we'll see how that translates to the NFL.
We'll keep our eye on this situation for you throughout the offseason.