"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."  Sir Isaac Newton

 Newton’s Law

 

                All of the talk since the Sour Cream and Chives Bowl has been about Cam Newton, and just about everybody’s got it wrong.  Cam Newton will forever be under suspicion as the athlete most likely pull an Elvis Grbac and take the money and sip pina coladas on a Mexican Beach with one of the Kardashians.  That’s Newton’s Law Primero.  But Newton’s Law Part Deux, let me tell you about that one too.

            Nobody disputes that Newton will go in the first round, regardless of whether they think he should or not.  So let’s analyze the quarterbacks who could run AND throw who were drafted in the first round versus the more traditional passers who might have been able to move a little in the pocket, but didn’t keep defensive coordinators up at night.   We’ll compare them from 1995 through 2007 as it’s still too early to judge the past few years. The “running” quarterbacks are quarterbacks who consistently ran for 250 or more yards in a season.  We’ll rate them as stars, average or busts.  Most of these should be fairly obvious, but players who have three or more Pro-Bowls would generally be considered stars.   Vince Young and Jay Cutler can vary anywhere in the range depending on the day of the week and whether they’ve taken their medicine, so we put them both in the average category for now.  We gave Big Ben to the drop backer’s side, although you could make a great argument that the reason he is great is because of how he moves in the pocket.

PEDESTRIANS                                                                                    RUNNERS

Stars

Average

Busts

Stars

Average

Busts

Manning, P

Kerry Collins

Drunkenmiller

McNair

V. Young

McNown

Ben

Pennington

Leaf

Culpepper

 

 

Rivers

Palmer

Akili Smith

McNabb

 

 

Rodgers

Schaub

Couch

Vick

 

 

 

Manning,E.

Carr

 

 

 

 

Alex Smith

Harrington

 

 

 

 

Campbell

Cutler

Ramsey

Leftwich

Boller

Grossman

Leinart

Russell

Quinn

 

 

 

 

                Now that it’s in chart form, you understand why you matriculate and why most pundits (and GMs too) have no idea what they are talking about.   When talking about David Carr or Kyle Boller or Ryan Leaf, you’ll hear them all justify the pick by saying, “Everyone agreed he was a first rounder, he just didn’t work out.”  

              The first round, dual threat quarterback is the rarest and most valuable quantity known to man.  Or at least it should be.  Out of six of these, four have been to 3 or more Pro-Bowls.  Only one has been a bust, and you could argue that Young belongs in the star category as he has already been to 2 Pro-Bowls in his 3 full seasons and won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award.  It’s the closest thing to a guarantee that you will ever find in the NFL Draft, where the average success rate of a first round pick hovers below 50%.  Of your Pedestrian first round quarterbacks, you’ve had a ridiculous 13 busts compared to only four stars.  In fact if you combine the average Pedestrian quarterbacks and the stars, you still have more busts.  And hence you have the Matriculator’s Theory that Cam Newton is the concensus, primero, supreme, pinnacle of draft picks in the history of NFL football by about the distance between Nome and Caracas.  Here’s why.  None of the quarterbacks in the Runner group were better passers in college than Cam Newton.  None of them led the nation in passing efficiency, and none of them played in the pseudo-NFL that is the SEC.   Only Vick is as fast.  None of them are 6’6”, 250 pounds and look down when they’re talking to their left tackle.  Only Vick has the open field moves, but he can’t freight train linebackers.  He’s won national championships two seasons in a row (Go Blinn Go) so you can’t say he didn’t produce wins with his ability.  Before this season, the two greatest offensive seasons in college history belonged to Vince Young and Tim Tebow.  The greatest season ever now belongs to Cam Newton as he went undefeated through the SEC on a team that was supposed to have mediocre talent.  He threw more than 30 touchdowns and ran for over 20.  And we have to listen to people say, “Well, the spread offense you know.”  Scout’s Inc., ESPN’s premiere draft rankers, have him rated 28th, below Jake Locker, who couldn’t hardly win a game or complete a pass in the PAC 10 Flag Football League.  Unbelievable.

            NFL GM’s better ask all kinds of questions of Cam because two of those Runners have been running from the law at times, and he has a history.  I’d show him ink blots of roadkill, lollipops, and the Matriculator Who Guy.   I’d ask him what he would do if a little girl was drowning and Angelina Jolie was in heat, but I wouldn’t ask if his momma was a streetwalker like they did Dez because he would get real pissed.  In the end, unless he says: “My mind is a blank and…uhh…I’ll smash your face,” you take him with the first pick and thank your Lucky Stars that the Pedestrian Andrew Luck didn’t come out to muck it all up.  Cam Newton is the greatest prospect in NFL history, but Carolina will likely stick with Jimmy Clausen.

January 13, 2011