Mayock: Newton ‘raw,’ still has work to do

The eagerly awaited Auburn pro day is over, and we’ve got plenty of analysts weighing on Cam Newton‘s workout and what it could mean for his draft status.

Newton drew mixed reviews for his combine workout, where he threw inaccurate passes and displayed inconsistent footwork. (Though, he did impress from the podium.) Tuesday’s workout was highly anticipated for talent evaluators to see Newton take snaps strictly from under center and show improved footwork and depth on his drops.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock was in attendance and said that Newton was more impressive on Tuesday than he was at his workout at the combine. Adding, “it wasn’t even close.” Though there is a way to go.

“What (we saw today) is exactly what I expected to see,” Mayock said. “The most important was the five-step and seven-step (drops), the intermediate routes. This kid can drive the football. He can drive it on the deep, out-breaking comeback. He can drive it on the in-breaking dig route. He can make every throw.

“The bottom line, in my opinion, is that he’s a spread quarterback, he’s very raw with his footwork. There’s a lot of work to be done. You either buy into the kid and his work ethic, or you don’t.”

What Mayock calls “the bottom line” with Newton is what many analysts have pointed to as his biggest concern: Will he be willing to work hard enough at the next level and take NFL-caliber coaching to do whatever it takes to become an elite quarterback?

“The operative word here is ‘raw,'” said Michael Lombardi. “That’s what Cam Newton is. But the upside is so great. If you’re able to get this guy to buy into your program, if he’s willing to meet you just halfway, that talent on the field is unique and NFL-ready.”

Before we anoint Newton as the top overall pick, though, there are contrarian voices. Fellow analyst Charley Casserly wouldn’t take Newton in the first round.

“I think he’s a project,” Casserly said. “The vision issues are there, the instinct issues are there. I don’t care if it’s a spread offense, there’s no comparison between Blaine Gabbert and (Newton) and they’re both in spread offenses in terms of being able to read defenses.”

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