Call It: Cam Newton or Andrew Luck?

February, 17, 2012
2/17/12
11:17
AM ET
On Thursday, we showed you the First Take debate on if Andrew Luck or Cam Newton will have the better career.

Now, let’s add another layer to this argument. NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said he would take Luck over Newton. Mayock went on to compare Luck to Peyton Manning and he’s not the first to do that.

Luck does seem to have a lot of the same skills as Manning and that’s why the Stanford quarterback is the No. 1 pick in the draft. But there are no guarantees Luck will produce the same way Manning has. Matt Ryan and Sam Bradford have some of the same skills Manning does. They haven’t been bad, but they haven’t produced to the Manning level.

Luck could end up being the next Manning. But he also could end up being the next Ryan or Bradford.

But it sure seems the scouting world thinks Luck will be a lot closer to Manning than anyone else. Heck, even before his final season at Stanford, the Carolina Panthers thought Luck was better than Newton. The Panthers were fully prepared to make Luck the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft.

Luck threw those plans off by deciding to return to Stanford for another season. Instead, the Panthers used the pick to draft Newton.

I don’t think they regret it one bit. Newton had perhaps the best rookie season ever. He broke Manning’s rookie record for passing yards. But you can’t really compare Newton to Manning and Luck. They’re different types of quarterbacks.

Newton also showed he can make things happen with his feet. He ran for 14 touchdowns as a rookie, the most ever by a quarterback. He also extended a lot of plays with his mobility. Newton did a lot of great things as a rookie and you could see there’s potential for him to get even better.

Luck also has tons of potential.

But which quarterback will have the better career? Let’s hear your opinion. Turn to the SportsNation poll to the right and cast your vote for Manning or Luck and feel free to back it up by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below.

For the record, I’m casting my vote for Newton. My logic is this -- Luck has a chance to be the next Manning and, if he becomes that, he can be one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. Newton has a chance to be unlike any quarterback we’ve ever seen before and that could give him a chance to be the best quarterback ever.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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