Cam Newton and Nick Fairley to declare?

Interesting information today via Tony Pauline. He claims soures have told him Auburn duo Cam Newton (QB) and Nick Fairley (DT) plan to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft.

It’s wouldn’t be much of a surprise. Fairley is having a tremendous year with nine sacks and an interception already. It’d make sense for him to strike while the iron is hot.

Newton is the heart of the team’s success. He’s accounted for 27 total touchdowns and rushed for +170 yards five times this year. He’s the clear front runner for the Heisman trophy. As a fourth year player it wouldn’t be surprising to see him go one-and-done with Auburn, having previously transferred from Florida and joined the JUCO ranks.

Statistically they’re having the kind of year you’d expect would lead to leaving college early. They may also appeciate Auburn’s difficulty in repeating success in 2011 if they do, for example, go unbeaten and win the BCS title game. What more would there be to achieve?

I’ve currently got Fairley in the 20-32 range, but he’s the hot name at the moment and many have him higher. Mel Kiper has him #8 on his latest big board. I’ve discussed Newton in more detail here and here. I wouldn’t draft him to play quarterback. Clearly he’s a world class athlete with amazing size (6-6, 250lbs). However, he’s got serious mechanical issues as a passer and acts as a run-first QB with Auburn.

He’s only completed more than 15 passes in a game once this year and he’s only attempted more than 20 passes twice. He systematically destroyed LSU last weekend, while only passing for 86 yards and no touchdowns. I absolutely could see a team falling in love with the athletic qualities and taking him in round one – but I wouldn’t pull that trigger.


  1. Blake

    Even though Newton shouldn’t go in the first few rounds, I wouldn ‘t be surprised if he did. Consider that Tebow went in the 1st round; Newton has far superior arm strength, size, and speed, with roughly the same level of mechanics. If Newton runs in the 4.3s I don’t see how a team like the Bills could lay off him at the top of the 2nd. They were heavily interested in Tebow last year and were reportedly bummed when they couldn’t match the Broncos trade up offer. Seems like a decent fit.

    Is Fairley a better fit as an under tackle or an end in a 30 front? Seems a little bulky for a 3-4 end, but he’s SOOOO quick.

  2. Rob

    UT for me. Teams might look at him as that five technique type, but if he was drafted by Seattle for example – he wouldn’t be playing the Red Bryant 5-tech role, it’d be inside as a 3-tech.

  3. MO

    I don’t know if I totally agree with your assessment that Cam has serious mechanical issues. Don’t get me wrong, his footwork can be a little better. But as far as his release and arm strength, I think he’s very good in those areas.

    He has a short compact release and throws a very good ball.

    There are several impressive throws in this video

    • Rob

      My issue with his mechanics is the way he leans all his weight onto his back foot, therefore losing all the velocity on his throws. He can throw a nice ball when he strides into his pass, but it rarely happens. It’s something he has to correct.

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