ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski has been ranking his top quarterbacks in the NFL, and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was placed 18th on the list.
Newton finished higher than notable quarterbacks such as Andy Dalton (19), Alex Smith (20) and Michael Vick (25).
Here is Jaworski’s full breakdown of Newton and why he was placed 18th on the list:
“There’s no question Cam Newton is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the NFL. Yet, I cannot put him higher than 18 in my quarterback rankings. Why? He must become more consistently accurate as a passer.
“In 2012, the Panthers committed to the read option as a foundation of their offense. Newton was the Panthers’ leading rusher. That’s nice for SportsCenter, but he’ll never become an elite quarterback because of the way he runs the option – or for that matter – the way he runs at all.
“What prevented Newton from moving up in my rankings from 15 a year ago was his passing. Not only did he struggle to read coverage, but he was far too erratic with his accuracy, too scattershot. In fact, the better term for accuracy is ball location.
“Newton must become more precise. He must better control his throws. But he’s a big-time arm talent, and he improved as the season progressed. How about the ball location on that throw, away from the defender? What I really liked about Newton and the Panthers’ offense was their explosive element on first down. Newton had 30 completions of 20-plus yards on first down, and there’s no doubt the read option element played into that.
“I would expect the Panthers to utilize many similar principles with Mike Shula as their new offensive coordinator. Shula had been Newton’s quarterbacks coach the past two seasons.
“Few quarterbacks are as talented as Newton. He’s a dual-threat quarterback with the ability to beat you with his arms and his legs. As he enters his third season as the Panthers’ starter, he must continue to be more consistent as a passer.”
What do you say, Panthers fans, was Newton ranked too low, too high, or just right? Leave a comment below to let us know!