Despite the ongoing labor disputes and quality of beer in NFL stadiums, both items that I have documented at length in the past, some of us are still looking forward to the NFL Draft coming up in late April. There is plenty of intrigue this year with the likes of Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Mallet, Jake Locker, and Cam Newton all as potential first round picks that could prove to be game changers at the QB position. Each one of these QB's has there pluses and minuses. It has been rumored that Mallett may or may not have a history with some drugs of the illegal variety and Jake Locker looked a lot more like Ryan Leaf than Peyton Manning in his return campaign to the University of Washington. These type of character and mechanical flaws are definitely things that scouts and teams should scrutinize in leading up to the draft. After all, a first round pick has been known to make or break a GM's career on more than one occasion.
However, there are times when some of these evaluators feel as if they have been granted an honorary Ph.D in Psychology, and seem to take out personal vendettas on players. Take Nolan Nawrocki's breakdown of Cam Newton's "negatives" in his annual NFL Draft guide edition of Pro Football Weekly:
"Very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup. Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room. Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable."
In my opinion, this above evaluation reads a lot more like a guy that got left off of Cam's b-day party invite list than an honest to goodness evaluation of the man's talents and potential for future success. Sorry that you weren't invited to Chuck-E-Cheese's this year Nolan, but I think it might be a little bit more relevant to focus more on the flaws pertaining to Cam's mechanics and character issues, rather than solely his love of the camera. I am not arguing that Nolan is completely off base in his assessment of Cam Newton in the above blurb, but I think he can do better.
"Look! There's Cam and that fake smile again! He sure does know how to find those cameras!!"