Top QBs bring character questions

Two of the top quarterbacks in the draft, Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett, will have to convince GMs that their character concerns were overblown. According to one draft analyst, there are serious concerns with each of them.

When Viking Update Magazine was working on pre-draft story about what makes or breaks an NFL draft, one of the draft gurus we contacted was Nolan Naworcki of Pro Football Weekly. Nawrocki, a long-time draft analyst, said that he had major concerns about quarterbacks Cam Newton and Ryan Mallett, who, at the time, were both viewed as players who would get drafted in the first half of the first round – Newton has become the consensus No. 1 pick, while Mallett has dropped like a rock. What he had to say then and now is interesting and, at the same time, a bit troubling for those teams interested in drafting them.

When it comes to Newton, Nawrocki said that, despite the bad publicity surrounding him, he has more than his share of loyalists and supporters because of his talent. But Newton's biggest hurdle to being a success may well be himself.

In a story in PFW, Nawrocki wrote, "Very concerning is his enormous ego and lack of humility that could make it extremely difficult for him to handle a leadership position at one of the most demanding leadering positions in all of sports."

He quoted an unnamed NFL executive as saying that only the tip of the iceberg has been reported on his controversial background, adding that the team that drafts him will have a general manager who will be out of a job in three years as a result.

Perhaps even more troubling was the projection on Mallett. Nawrocki quoted an unnamed general manager as saying Mallett is the first QB ever to admit drug usage in interviews with teams at the NFL Scouting Combine. Known as a party hound at college, while he never officially tested positive for drugs at Arkansas, Nawrocki quoted one executive as saying, "I would not take him at any point."

Both quarterbacks are going to go high in the draft – Newton potentially being the No. 1 pick and Mallett being a first- or second-round prospect. Their talent will get them drafted, but it is their character that will be the bigger issue moving forward. Both of them have a history of character flaws, and those could get even more pronounced when they get the big payday that comes from the draft. If there is a "buyer beware" tag, it may never be as big as it is with these two quarterbacks.

TUESDAY NOTES

  • What you talkin' 'bout, Hillis? The cover model for the annual Madden video game is typically viewed as something of a curse, despite every NFL player being willing to accept the mantle of being the next face of the game. In an attempt to garner interest for the game's release, the company has been holding a contest to determine the player who is on the cover. Adrian Peterson got knocked out by Michael Vick in the semifinals, making the final between Vick and Cleveland running back Peyton Hillis, who knocked out Aaron Rodgers, bringing into question the validity of having fans vote.

  • The NFL is going to release the 2011 schedule tonight at 7 p.m. EDT with an hour-long program on NFL Network.

  • Talks between the owners and players resumes this morning in a Minneapolis courtroom as mediation sessions resume.


    John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.


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