We are less than 24 hours away from having our most pressing question of the 2011 NFL Draft answered: Will the Panthers take Auburn QB Cam Newton with the top overall selection?
The bigger question, however, is if Newton has what it takes to be a franchise quarterback. NFL Network’s Brian Billick said during his NFL.com chat on Wednesday that Newton can win you some football games, but he is not convinced that Newton can be that guy.
“Historically, we haven’t seen that outside the pocket, one-read, then run type of skill set win consistently in the NFL,” Billick said. “As far as the intelligence, I think he has that. It’s not one of my top concerns with Newton. Given the opportunities he wasn’t given at Auburn, I think he will be able to absorb the language of the NFL. But the question then becomes, how quickly can he take that on? Specifically with unknowns of this offseason and the difficulties that could be in store for rookie QBs.
“I don’t think he is a franchise QB. But that doesn’t mean he won’t win some games for his team based on his talents alone. Then again, it doesn’t mean the team that drafts him won’t be back on the market for a QB in three years.”
You can read the entire transcript here.