Last week, we mentioned an ESPN Insider story where they interviewed 26 NFL “insiders” (head coaches, GMs, coordinators, etc.) and had them rate each quarterback 1-5 (1 for the best, 5 for the worst). The insiders rated Cam Newton as merely an average NFL quarterback because they like his talent but find him to be much too inconsistent game to game.
Well now we have a little bit of added clarity. In another Insider piece, Mike Sando dived further into those evaluations and talked about where coaches and executives differed. It turns out that the executives like Cam Newton much more than the coaches do.
Here’s what Sando said directly in the piece: “Eleven of the 15 personnel evaluators placed Newton into Tier 2, while nine of the 11 coaches gave Newton a Tier 3 grade. A quarterbacks coach even placed him down in the Tier 4, noting that the Panthers have been relying on their ground game and defense to win games.”
“‘He has all the tools and he is a big dude, too,’ one defensive coordinator remarked. ‘Can you give him a 2 1/2? I think if he has the same year he had last year, he elevates to a [Tier] 2. I give him a 3 right now.”
This divide isn’t too shocking since the main appeal of Cam at this point is his physical ability but he’s still a little raw mechanically. The role of personnel evaluators is to project where somebody will be but the role of coaches to evaluate where a player is right now. Right now Cam Newton is inconsistent mechanically and is prone to have to awful games (at Arizona and at Miami last year for example), which is the knock on him, but he has the tools to be a Top 10 quarterback.