Question of the Day: Where in the NFL draft will Cam Newton be selected and by whom? [Updated]
Writers from around Tribune Co. weigh in on the topic. Check back throughout the day for more responses, and feel free to leave a comment of your own.
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
Cam Newton might want to double up on the Under Armour because he’s heading to Buffalo. The Bills have the third pick, and they’re one of the seven teams picking in the top 10 that are looking for a long-term answer at quarterback. With free agency up in the air while the owners and players grab for as much money as they can get, teams are going to have to look to the draft to fill needs they might have addressed by signing available veterans. Carolina will make Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert the No. 1 pick; Denver won’t take a quarterback No. 2 after taking Tim Tebow last year; and Newton comes off the board at No. 3. The Bills have Ryan Fitzpatrick, who can hold down the job long enough for Newton to get comfortable, then step aside for the transition.
[Updated at 12:50 p.m.
Kevin Van Valkenburg, Baltimore Sun
You can make a really compelling case that Cam Newton shouldn't be the No. 1 pick in April's NFL draft. His character is questionable, his accuracy isn't great and he still needs to prove he can play in a pro-style offense. But I'm beginning to think he just might be the top pick anyway.
Here is why: If the next NFL labor agreement includes some kind of rookie wage scale — and many people following the negotiations are predicting that it will — then Newton is absolutely worth the risk. It's a bit like taking Dwight Howard with the top overall pick in the NBA draft. It's not the safest choice, but it could pay off big for the Carolina Panthers. If you don't have to give him the kind of money you gave JaMarcus Russell, he would turn in an absolute a steal if he developed into a hybrid of Ben Roethlisberger and Tim Tebow. And if he flopped, it won't cripple your franchise because you gave him $50 million guaranteed.
For all the criticism Newton has received — most of it deserved — he is a remarkable talent. If the next collective baragaining agreement allows the Panthers to sign him for a reasonable amount of money, they should jump at the chance.]
Photo: Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton. Credit: Todd J. Van Emst / Associated Press