Today: Feb 26, 2024

Sports Commentary: Four Quarterbacks head the first round

Pete Paguaga, Sports Editor:
The NFL Draft is a day that could change a franchise for years in both good and bad ways. Since the beginning of the draft, many have tried to make it a science and perfect a way to project its results. As technology continues to grow, NFL personnel have been able to project certain positions better than others. The quarterback position has yet to be perfected, and it has cost teams millions of dollars and a lot of headaches.
In this year’s draft, teams weren’t allowed to trade players, which made it harder for teams to move back or ahead if they wanted to. Four quarterbacks went in the top 12, and two of them went way too early.
Cam Newton, who is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, went first overall to the Carolina Panthers. Throw up the red flags. This kid is a heck of an athlete, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want him near my team at all. It’s not because I am a Notre Dame fan, and still think Jimmy Clausen deserves a shot. Newton comes off as cocky and he talks about himself in the third person. He also hasn’t been in a huddle ever, and has never used a professional style playbook.
The next quarterback to come off the board was Jake Locker, eighth overall to the Tennessee Titans. I am so happy that he went in the first round, but eighth overall might have been a stretch. I believe he is the best quarterback in the draft. He has shown that he is smart, a loyal player to his teammates and team, he can run, pass and he wants to learn, he wants to succeed and he wants to win.
Two picks later, at 10th overall, the Jaguars traded with the Redskins to select Blaine Gabbert, the man with a great arm and great hair. I don’t understand why the Jaguars took a quarterback—a lot of teams would love to have David Garrard as their starting quarterback—but I understand with Gabbert falling to 10, they knew they could get him. And you have to love that sick flow he’s got.
Then came the pick that made Vikings fans cringe and one fan I know almost cry, Christian Ponder 12th overall. I literally rolled on the floor laughing when I watched this happen. What were they thinking? They probably could have gotten him with their second round pick. I mean he’s smart but he is not a game changer. You don’t draft a quarterback at 12 to hand the ball off to Adrian Peterson 30 times a game. I can do that for a lot cheaper.
Look, I don’t want to wish bad on any of these guys, but I don’t like Newton at all. I think he is the bust of the four quarterbacks taken in the first round. Hey, at least he won’t get in trouble for getting paid to play anymore

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