Newton wins again – further boosts stock

When Alabama took a 24-0 lead in the second quarter – at home – many thought Auburn’s BCS title hopes were in serious danger.

Then Cam Newton did what he’s been doing all year.

A four-score performance led the Tigers to a 28-27 victory which puts Auburn in place to make the title game and win Newton the Heisman trophy.

As expected, streaming games in India is impossible. ESPN3 doesn’t allow purchases from this part of the world – so whilst I’ll be watching Seattle vs KC on NFL gamepass, I cannot do the same for CFB. I will watch the tape when it’s published on the SEC website in a few days.

My review of a game littered with potential draft picks will have to wait – but I’d welcome any thoughts you have on the game in the comments section.

However – wins like this will only continue to pump Newton’s stock higher up the board. He’s leading a pretty average team to a remarkable season on his own. The teams who are struggling in the NFL right now will look at the tape and the way he’s handled adversity this year and consider the impact he can have for them.

I had Newton going third overall in my last mock draft.┬áThat’s a distinct possibility.


  1. Kelly

    Hey Rob,

    I hope your enjoying your vacation.

    I watched the game this afternoon and it was an awesome. I’m not really a big College fan cuz I feel like there are WAY too many players that I know nothing about, but this game had it all.

    From what I saw…

    Marcell Dareus: Played very well. Actually in the 1st half the entire Alabama D-line played extremely well and absolutely dominated Newton allowing him to do NOTHING.

    Cam Newton: As I stated prior, he started off very slow, and his 40 yards rushing for the game was a wake up call that he will need to use his arm to be successful at the next level. The 24 point comeback tells you alot about his perserverence. I don’t see why he won’t be one of the top 3 QB’s taken next year. Another Michael Vick in the making? Seems like it…

    Julio Jones: He and Nick Fairley impressed me the most in this game. Julio was targeted and targeted often. his 80 yard catch was kind of a joke (defensive brain fart) but Jones looks like the real deal and should be a top 10 pick

    Nick Fairley: A dominate (DT, DE). The dude looks stout and was disruptive MANY times throughout the game. It was a thing of beauty when he forced a fumble on Bama’s QB and was able to recover it himself. At this moment, I may event put him a little higher then 15.

    Mark Ingram: Seemed pretty much like a non-factor after his 1st score. Up 24-7 at half, I expected Alabama to run the ball in the 2nd half, but for some reason they decided to keep throwing. (Probably Ingrams 2 fumbles…1 for a turnover).

    I do have one question…Alabama’s QB Greg McElroy listed (6 ft. 3, 200) had a really good game until he was knocked out late in the 4th quarter with a concussion. The announcers were saying that he has no future in the NFL, but yet he through for 377 yards. Why is he not NFL bound…even as a backup or journeyman QB?

    Those are my notes…thanks

    • Rob

      Hi Kelly, having a great vacation thanks and great to read your thoughts on the game.

      On McElroy – I agree that he hasn’t got a future after the NFL. He’s neither physically good enough or super accurate to compensate. He often holds on to the ball too long, he struggles to work through his reads and he’s acted as a game manager to supply superior talents like the two running backs and Julio Jones. The only future I see for him is as a long term backup who can maybe hold a good team together in a one-off, but those types of QB’s don’t get drafted until late on if at all. I’d give him a 7th round grade, maybe UDFA.

  2. Andrew

    Dareus and Jones were brilliant today and were the clear stars from a draft standpoint. Dareus showed off every tool on his swiss army knife–reading the backfield well, playing two gap, rushing the passer, playing containment, etc. He’s a blue-chipper who is probably the most talented DL in the class.

    I’ve been talking about Jones as the most talented WR in the class for a few months now and this game reinforced that for me. He’s faster and shiftier than A.J. Green is while being markedly stronger. He doesn’t look like he broke his hand at all. One thing that jumps out at me from watching him is how good he is with the little things. He reads seams so well and is very crafty getting open against zone coverage, particularly on underneath routes. But he also has so much burst that he eats cushion and builds separation against man coverage too. I also love the effort he gives as a blocker, which he’s asked to do quite a bit in Alabama’s offense. Finally, his concentration looked very good today as he caught and held on to some tough balls in traffic. Based on his play this year, I don’t think the drops complaint is any more valid for him than it is for someone like Alshon Jeffery.

    Fairley was good too but there’s something a bit off with him for me. I believe he’s playing very close to his ceiling right now. He’s got a real knack for finding the football and reading the action in the backfield and he almost never makes mistakes with his keys. Plus he’s got such a polished repertoire of pass rushes already that I don’t see a lot of room for growth from him in the NFL. One thing I know is that that devastating swim move he keeps using isn’t going to work as well in the NFL. He’s going to get his ribs broken if he keeps going to it against a lineman with a quick punch. Other than that, his body is already NFL ready and he’s not going to grow much or tone like I think Dareus will. I believe he’ll step onto an NFL field and be effective immediately. But I just don’t think his ceiling is as high as Dareus’ is. I’d place him firmly behind him as a potential DT/5 technique.

    I’m still not sold on Newton Rob. Put it this way, if I were a GM, I wouldn’t draft him to play QB. He got exposed by Alabama in the first half when they took away his ability to run. That’s his second read and when it wasn’t there, he became very flustered–making poor throws on underneath reads. He eventually adjusted and the Alabama defense fell apart, but it exposed him a bit as a guy who’s not comfortable working through progressions. I still see him as more of a thrower than passer at this point. He needs to go back to school and get some more throws under his belt if his eligibility stays in tact. He’s going to finish the year with about 250 attempts. Even Michael Vick had more than that when he came out as a redshirt sophomore. Picking Vick that high was a mistake, and teams should have learned from it.

    As for Alabama’s linebackers, I thought both Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower had some brilliant moments. Neither of them look as big as they’re listed. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. Each have top tier speed for the position and the flair for the big play. Honestly, I don’t see a whole lot separating the two of them and I’d give them a similar draft range. Upshaw isn’t quite as strong as Hightower is, but I think he’s a bit more instinctive. I don’t expect either to come out though. Hightower has two more years of eligibility now, and Upshaw should probably go back to school to try and make a case to go in the first round.

    Mark Barron was a complete mixed bag for me. He made some bad mistakes and gave up a lot of plays behind him today. Getting burned for the long touchdown was just awful. But it’s easy to see the raw talent there with him. He’s extremely active and rangy and has elite closing speed. Plus he can lay the wood when he arrives at the ball and has solid size for the NFL. But he plays out of control. He needs to cool his jets and play smarter because all the mistakes are hurting his draft stock. I think he can turn it around, but he needs to go back to school because he’s not going to get picked in the first after this season. Next year’s a tough one to be a safety though. Kenny Tate, Rahim Moore, Robert Sands, Robert Lester, Janzen Jackson, T.J. McDonald, and Ray Ray Armstrong will all be draft eligible too…

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