I can't say I ever thought of Joe Flacco while watching Cam Newton terrorize SEC defenses this past fall. But based on Newton's pro day workout at Auburn this week, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock thinks a comparison can be made between the Ravens quarterback and the Heisman Trophy winner.
"I might draw a parallel with Joe Flacco," Mayock said. "A couple of years ago, Joe Flacco came out of a spread offense [at Delaware]. He’s a big guy and I think what people needed him to do was kind of hasten the process. His footwork needed to get quicker. The release needed to get quicker. He’s a long kid. And that’s what I see with Cam Newton. … The kid’s got a ton of talent."
NFL Network analyst Charles Davis added that if Newton has Flacco's work ethic, "then this kid has a bright, bright future in front of him because it has turned out pretty well for Joe Flacco coming out of Delaware."
OK, so Mayock wasn't saying that Flacco and Newton are on the same level in terms of raw athleticism (Flacco is more mobile than many give him credit for, but Newton is a total freak).
However, he raved about Newton's arm and questioned his pocket polish, the same things we heard about Flacco three years ago.
"He can make every throw," Mayock said of Newton. The bottom line, in my opinion, is he's a spread quarterback. He’s very raw, as [is] the footwork. There’s a lot of work to be done."