GLENDALE AZ - JANUARY 10: Quarterback Cameron Newton #2 of the Auburn Tigers celebrates the Tigers 22-19 victory against the Oregon Ducks in the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game at University of Phoenix Stadium on January 10 2011 in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Later today out west in California, Auburn quarterback and NFL Draft prospect Cam Newton will hold a media-only workout. It'll be a roughly one hour workout that will be similar to a pro day. The differences, though, are that this workout comes about two weeks before the Scouting Combine (which Newton hasn't committed to at this time) and will be exclusively for the media. No NFL scouts will be in attendance.
This sure seems like a media stunt to drum up interest in the talented but controversial quarterback. According to Tony Pauline of SI.com and TFYDraftInsiders.com, one team that is already showing interest in Newton happens to be the Miami Dolphins. Pauline writes in his blog:
Last week in San Antonio at least six different teams said they rank Auburn quarterback Cam Newton as the number one prospect in the draft. The opinions were comprised from scouts, personnel directors and a few coaches. All had Newton rated clearly higher than Da’Quan Bowers, Nick Fairley, Marcel Dareus and competing signal caller Blaine Gabbert. We hear the Miami Dolphins have been inquiring heavily into Newton at this stage of the game.
Now it's obviously still very early at this stage of the draft process. But this is still very much worth keeping in the back of our minds as the draft inches closer. Pauline is one of the most respected draft analysts around and his thoughts, observations, and reports should not be quickly dismissed.
So what about today's workout? What exactly was the idea behind this little circus Newton's camp came up with?
"We just wanted to have a day to show what is my progression up until this point," Newton told the NFL Network last week. "I understand that the media has a job to do, and I have a job to do as well. During this whole process, ever since I’ve been in San Diego, everybody’s had a question mark on, ‘What is Cam Newton doing?’ So from everybody on my end, we feel like this is the best opportunity to show what I have progressed into and what I’m trying to accomplish."
Since winning the Heisman Trophy and BCS National Championship last month, Newton has been working with respected quarterbacks coach George Whitfield out in southern California. Whitfield says the idea behind this workout is simple, to "differentiate himself from Vince Young and JaMarcus Russell."
"The thinking in this camp is bring Cam out two weeks ahead of schedule and let people see how much he's already refined and honed in on all that drop back and where his throwing motion is now and his conditioning," added Whitfield.
It'll be interesting to see how the media responds to this workout later today. Even more fascinating, though, will be to see how the teams considering Newton will react to the media's take on the workout. Will these teams actually put any stock into media reports about Cam's performance?
One thing is for sure - the craziness that is the NFL Draft season has officially begun.