Jaws' QB Countdown: Cam Newton No. 15

June, 26, 2012
6/26/12
2:20
PM ET
In his NFL quarterback rankings on ESPN, Ron Jaworski has the Panthers' Cam Newton at No. 15, two spots ahead of the Bucs’ Josh Freeman.
From a skillset standpoint, Newton could easily rank higher than 15 on my big board. He's a top-10 talent. He needs more snaps. One year is not enough. But I can't wait to see him in a few months.

Here’s more of what Jaws said:
No one is a great quarterback in the NFL because of the way they run. While Cam Newton is certainly a spectacular athlete, that's not why he's No. 15 on my big board after his rookie season. He played very well from the pocket. I saw it Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals. This was the second series of the game. It was 3rd and 7. Newton recognized the blitz, and he changed the protection to account for it.

I must have watched this play 15 times. The blitz was well-disguised. I saw no indicator right here that overload blitz pressure from the backside was coming. Yet Newton saw something, and he slid his offensive line to that side. One essential attribute to reach elite status is the mental ability to recognize and defeat the defense before the snap of the ball. What also stood out was Newton's patience in the pocket and his ability to sit on his back foot and cut it loose. He made seam throws that were firm and required arm strength, yet demanded touch.

Newton hung in the pocket and delivered without flinching. He was very good in the eye of the storm. This kid is a big-time talent. He still needs more experience, but the traits are there to be a special passer. It starts with passing, but his ability to break down the defense with his legs gives him an edge like few have ever had.

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