April 20, 2014

The Cam Conundrum

What happens when the best player in the draft also has some serious baggage? How far should he fall? Should your team even consider him?

Those questions seem to be hanging over everyone in the draft, starting with the Carolina Panthers and extending into the Cincinnati Bengals draft room. Is Cam Newton worth the risk?

I say no. In my opinion, Newton is the most dynamic player in the draft and I don’t worry too much about his transition to the pro game. With that much speed, power, and athletic ability, he’ll find a way to overcome what deficiencies he may have in other areas. But the Bengals have been burned by character risks too many times before.

Odell Thurman. Chris Henry. Andre Smith.

With Carson Palmer, the former building block of the franchise now out of place, the team can’t afford to risk its future on Newton. Quarterbacks need to be stable, studious, and reliable in all areas. Mistakes there can ruin an entire team. Look at Vince Young’s tenure in Tennessee and Ryan Leaf’s in San Diego if you still doubt me. Instead, the Bengals should draft a safe player at No. 4 and gamble on a quarterback with solid intangibles later.

But I think Cincinnati’s decision will be made for them. I’m guessing Newton will be off the board by the time the Bengals get their turn.

And I’m thankful for that.