Cam Newton a “selfish,” “me-first” player?

Auburn Tigers Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Cam Newton warms up for the Tigers game against the Oregon Ducks at the BCS Championship game at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ, January 10,2011. UPI/Art Foxall

If I were one of the top quarterback candidates in this year’s NFL draft, I wouldn’t want to read the latest article from Wes Bunting of the National Football Post.

Apparently one scout has dirt on Ryan Mallett that nobody else does and therefore no team should “trust the guy as a person off the field.”

The good news for Blaine Gabbert is that he’s squeaky-clean off the field. The bad news is that he apparently doesn’t have what it takes to lead on the field.

Jake Locker has a clean reputation off the field too, but his questionable feel in the pocket and “inability to consistently quickly decipher information in the pass game” is an issue. (Whatever “consistently quickly decipher information” means.)

Oh, and Cam Newton? Well this is what Bunting had to say about the defending Heisman Trophy winner:

As for Newton and his off the field character, as I stated last week, some scouts I have spoken with say he comes off as a mature and well-spoken kid in the media, but it’s all an act. In reality, he’s a selfish, “me first” guy who eventually would have worn out his welcome at Auburn. On the other side, a lesser number of scout’s have told me they think he’s a smart, well-spoken kid who loves to compete and should not be lumped into the same categories as quarterbacks like JaMarcus Russell and Vince Young.

Is it just me or is everyone trying to predict the next Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell? I’ve read a handful of articles that suggest Gabbert, Newton, Locker and Mallett would be better off working as mall security than operating NFL-caliber offenses.

I’m not saying I don’t have my own reservations about these four quarterbacks but I wonder if these so-called scouts aren’t full of it. Sam Bradford played in the spread, so he’s no good. Matt Ryan didn’t have the arm strength. Joe Flacco played at a small school so he wouldn’t be able to handle top competition.

And on, and on, and on. If you look hard enough, you can find something negative to say about every prospect in the draft. But two of those players will win the Rookie of the Year award and countless others will wind up going to the Pro Bowl. The point is that the draft has, and always will be the ultimate crapshoot. (Especially when it comes to quarterbacks.)

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