There were two takeaways from Auburn's Pro Day. One, Cam Newton redeemed himself after a disappointing performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. And two, Nick Fairley is who we thought he was.
During Tuesday's workout, Newton showcased his skills for 48 minutes in front of potential suitors including Carolina Panthers head coach Ron Rivera who holds the No. 1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. There are still knocks on Newton's footwork though most who attended said his mechanics are improving.
Other questions surround his accuracy and unfortunate "entertainer and icon" statement prior to the combine. Those concerns aside, there's absolutely no denying his arm strength and athletic ability. He's been compared to Ben Roethlisberger and Michael Vick and even a combination of the two. Newton could be Bike RoethlisVicker, the ultimate NFL quarterback.
Mock drafts have Newton going anywhere in the top 12 picks though the momentum is pushing him towards the first overall. If the head coaches in attendance are any indication, Newton is likely headed to the Panthers (No. 1), Broncos (No. 2), Bengals (No. 4), Cardinals (No. 5) or Browns (No. 6). Of the teams with the top six picks, only Buffalo Bills head coach Chan Gailey did not attend the workout personally.
Fairley, who worked out prior to Newton, maintained his lofty draft status. His impressive combine coupled with his solid Pro Day almost assuredley means he'll be one of the first two players off the board in April's draft. One caveat from Todd McShay though puts doubt on both Fairley and Newton's pro potential.
"One scout put it perfectly when he turned to me at one point and said: "You can't tell me [Newton and Fairley] aren't two of the three best players in the draft, but you also can't tell me you'd be totally comfortable taking either at No. 1 overall if your job were on the line."