Biography: Florida transfer who came to Auburn by way of Blinn junior college. Totals last season included 66.1%/2854/30/7 throwing the ball and 264/1473/20 rushing. Awarded all-American and all-Conference honors last season. Winner of the 2010 Heisman Trophy. Named SEC Offensive Player of the Year. Reportedly dismissed from the Florida program due to academic improprieties.
Positives: "Tremendous athlete who showed amazing ability behind center last season. Patient in the pocket, buys time for receivers, and looks away from covered targets. Easily gets outside the tackle box, eludes defenders, and shows both vision and instincts carrying the ball. Possesses a strong arm, powers the ball into targets, and gets passes through the very tight windows. Delivers the ball with great speed on the move. Elusive for a big man. Effectively looks off the primary target and sets up screen passes. Big enough and strong enough to get the pass away with defenders draped on him."
Negatives: "Inconsistent throwing the ball, spraying passes around and missing major opportunities. Must develop a better sense of timing on passes. Does not always react well under pressure. Holds the ball a little too long in the pocket. Does not throw with consistent mechanics, as he does not follow through over his top foot and tends to release the pass off his back foot."
Analysis: "Newton was the nation's most prolific offensive player last season, his first year at Auburn, and helped lead the team to a national title. He's a tremendous athlete who flashes the ability to make certain passes that few in the NFL can complete. Newton comes with a great amount of upside, but he needs work on his mechanics and must prove he can consistently throw the ball accurately. He also must transition to a disciplined NFL style of offense before he'll be ready to step under center on an every down basis and lead a franchise."
John W. McDonough/SI
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