NFL Draft Mailbag Notes: These are not actually e-mails. They are comments left on the comment board in my 2011 NFL Mock Draft. I've included some of these comments and my responses to them.
2011 NFL Draft E-mails - Quarterbacks
From Big Mull:
i've got a feeling the panthers will take Cam Newton. he'll establish himself as th top QB at the combine and Rivera will want his guy so he can dump clausen as quick as possible. gabbert is a fat homosexual who will be found out in due time i hope or he could be the biggest bust ever
--> You know, it wouldn't surprise me if Cam Newton ends up as the No. 1 overall selection. There's no consensus top prospect, and the Panthers' new regime is desperate for a quarterback.
I would not pick Newton if I were the Panthers. Jimmy Clausen sucks, but Newton is just way too risky to be the top overall selection. He was a one-year starter in college; he has intelligence concerns; and he made only one read in his collegiate offense. The fact that Newton seldom took snaps under center isn't a big deal to me. I think that's overrated. What matters is how few reads he had to make. Newton was just asked to make one read and run. That doesn't fly in the NFL.
From Jhon Biret:
cam newton is going to sf
--> Cam Newton recently put on a very impressive workout, per numerous media sources. It could propel him into the top 10 - I'll be moving him up in my next 2011 NFL Mock Draft update - but I doubt Jim Harbaugh selects Newton. Newton doesn't project as a good fit for a West Coast offense.
From Ram Tony Banks:
This is the first Ive heard of Cam Newton's intelligence concerns? I like how Walter drops that bomb, but doesn't give any basis to support it. smh
--> Seriously? If you'd like, you can Google "Cam Newton intelligence." The guy's not exactly going to shatter Wonderlic score records.
I have to agree with others.....I don't see Locker slipping that far, certainly won't go behind Kaepernick. His "inaccuracy" in the SB was partially due to a TE that doesn't know where the seam is & a WR that (whom you have as a 1st rounder) couldn't handle the velocity of his throw. He's no doubt a project but has all the tools & no baggage.....
--> Jake Locker's inaccuracy wasn't just limited to the game. He seldom threw two accurate passes in a row during the practices. That's a major concern, and it's very unlikely that he'll be drafted in the first round. In fact, I think there's a greater chance that Locker goes in the third round than the first round, and I'd be mildly surprised if he's selected before Colin Kaepernick.
Why do you say Kaepernick was the most impressive in the Senior Bowl, when Ponder won the MVP? I understand the arm strength concerns, but Ponder is mobile, a good pocket qb, and solid leader. I'd rather one of these two guys in the second and save the Vikes first rounder for an OT, DE, or CB, instead of taking Newton
--> The consensus among scouts is that the Senior Bowl practices are more meaningful than the actual Senior Bowl game. I don't know if I necessarily believe that as far as quarterbacks are concerned, but practices are undoubtedly important. While Christian Ponder was the best quarterback in the actual game, Kaepernick really shined in the practices. That's why I wrote that he was the most impressive quarterback in the Senior Bowl.
I don't see why Walter is so quick to give up on Jimmy Clausen, given he wasnt very good at all this year, but there are many good qbs who had bad first years, i wouldnt be so quick to say he'll never be good in the nfl. If you have a young guy with potential i wouldnt go for a QB right out of the gate, but with the panthers looking so bad why not give him a few pieces to work with like AJ green and get a few linemen because there are quite a few positions they could get better at before qb
--> Watching Jimmy Clausen struggle with the Panthers last year, it became very apparent to me that he's nowhere near ready to be an NFL quarterback. It's not the talent so much as the mental aspect of the game. Clausen has horrific body language and inspires no confidence from his teammates. He's not even confident in his own abilities, as he was too scared to take shots downfield, settling for checkdowns instead.
We all saw what Charlie Weis did for Matt Cassel this season. Cassel is a mediocre talent, but Weis got the most out of him. That's exactly what happened at Notre Dame. Unless the Panthers can acquire a premier offensive coordinator like Weis - which is unlikely because cheap owner Jerry Richardson would never spend that type of money - Clausen will probably continue to struggle.