THE SPORTS DOCTOR- Whither Cam? Will the Redskins opt for Newton?
If I had a nickel for every time Mel Kiper Jr. correctly predicted the NFL draft– well, I wouldn't have many nickels. It's a mystery why Kiper and every other football analyst waste their time on mock drafts. When the day/days (doesn't the NFL draft last about a month now?) actually comes, teams will be trading up and down, around and in.
But sometimes it's just destiny.
It's entirely possible, though largely improbable, that the Redskins with their 10th overall pick won't draft Cam Newton. Carolina, who picks first overall, may fall prey to a big man-crush and draft Newton, even though what they really need is someone who will give their current QB, Jimmy Clausen, a second to throw.
The Arizona Cardinals, who pick 5th this year and are as eager for a quarterback as the Redskins are, may snatch Newton up first, which would essentially be a blessing in disguise (minus the disguise) for Washington.
There's really no question about whether Newton can use the spread attack skills he learned at Auburn when he gets to the NFL (he will try and likely fail) or whether the Heisman winner's dependency on his legs will prove a liability in the pros. (Newton finished his one and only season at Auburn with 264 carries for 1,473 yards and 20 touchdowns. You think legs like that will impress the NFL? If Tom Brady runs for 20 yards in a season, it's a career high.) Cam Newton is not what those in the football-know call an "NFL-ready quarterback"– and that's what they say about him when they're being nice.
When they're not being nice, those in the football-know most likely assign Newton a harsher label: "the next Ryan Leaf."
If the Washington Redskins draft Cam Newton, not only will they acquire a quarterback whose style is patently collegiate, they'll add a player to their roster who, like every other D-1A football star, spent his entire college career successfully staying one step ahead of trouble, a track record that means he's likely to find plenty of trouble in the NFL. (There was that pesky arrest for possession of stolen property back in 2008, but who cares about felony counts of burglary, larceny, and obstruction of justice?)
Arizona and Carolina better not have their hearts set on drafting Newton, because he and Washington are destined to be together. Newton, a cross between Jason Campbell (he's a fine quarterback– if you like having a 7-9 team) and JaMarcus Russell (not the heir apparent only to Ryan Leaf, but Tank Johnson as well) with a little Albert Haynesworth (what, me money?) thrown in– fits perfectly into the Dan Snyder/Mike Shanahan mold. What do you get when you mix Cam Newton's ego and the Redskins' penchant for shoveling obscene amounts of money to underperforming prima donnas? A match made in heaven, of course!
I would be remiss if I didn't include a quick note about UVA's basketball game against Georgia Tech Saturday, January 22. When I turned on the game in the second half, the score was 55-39, UVA. In the next five game minutes, which equals about 23 real-life minutes, Georgia Tech started closing the gap and Virginia didn't make a single basket. It was extremely disheartening and not just a little embarrassing– and it could have been remedied with one simple maneuver: the offensive rebound.
Please, Coach Bennett! Put some Cavaliers in position by the paint!
Time and time again Virginia took shots and missed– that's bad enough– but there was nary a ‘Hoo in even the vaguest position to rebound.
If Mustapha Farrakhan hadn't been fouled every 20 seconds, I don't know from whence the Virginia win would have come. The Yellow Jackets looked terrible, but UVA– and it pains me beyond measure to write this– looked like they just weren't trying very hard, at least under their own basket.
Juanita Giles lives on a farm in Charlotte County with her husband, son, and many dogs.