Auburn quarterback Cam Newton is on the Vikings‘ radar. According to NFL.com, the Vikings are among several teams who have set up private workouts with Newton, who is believed to be a top 10 draft prospect.
Newton’s performances thus far during the draft build-up period have been mixed. He didn’t exactly wow people at the combine, except during his interview session where he succeeded in smoothing over certain unfortunate comments made during prior interviews. Most agree Newton made up for his poor combine showing at Auburn’s pro day, completing 42-of-53 passes during his throwing session despite a “cutting” wind.
A small thing was made of the fact that Vikings player personnel VP Rick Spielman did not personally attend Auburn’s pro day, electing to send an unnamed scout and/or coach in his place while he attended Gophers pro day (Adam Weber, come on down). But Spielman made it clear that he would take a look at Newton himself, along with other potential quarterback draft targets. Now we have confirmation that Spielman and Leslie Frazier will indeed eyeball Newton for themselves.
Per the NFL.com story, the other teams to schedule workouts with Newton include the Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins – all of whom will draft ahead of the Vikings. Two other unidentified teams are also believed to have scheduled private sessions with Newton.
Most agree that for Newton to still be on the board when the Vikings draft at 12 some crazy, unexpected things would have to happen. Multiple teams with top 10 picks are in the market for a QB, and only one other player, Blaine Gabbert, is believed to have talent worthy of such a high pick.
Another possibility is for the Vikings to trade up and get Newton. At this point it appears they would have to trade way up for this to happen, maybe all the way into the top 5. Despite his obvious physical gifts, I personally don’t think Newton is a good enough gamble to be worth some crazy trade where you give up a ton to move ahead of those other QB-hungry teams. The Vikings have multiple needs and would be better off trading down to get more picks. If they feel they need another QB prospect to pair with Joe Webb, they can get one in the 2nd round or maybe lower.
Of course it still makes sense for them to work out Newton, just in case all those other teams for some reason elect to pass on him. You just never know.