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March 18, 2011

Reeves: Panthers should draft Cam

We'll have more in Sunday's paper about some of the dynamics involved in trading the first pick in the NFL draft, which the Panthers own.

But the coach who benefitted twice from moving up in the order, not down, said if he was the Panthers, he'd stand pat.

"If I'm them, I'm taking Cam Newton," former Falcons and Broncos coach Dan Reeves said. "I think that guy is going to be a great player.

"You can't win without one, and trust me, when I lost them, I got fired."

Reeves said when he's watched Newton, he sees some of the same dynamic qualities that drew him to Michael Vick in Atlanta. But while both could make plays with their legs, Reeves said Newton has a better arm, and wasn't concerned at all with Newton playing in a spread offense.

"I can teach a guy to get up under center," Reeves said. "But I can't teach a guy to throw. He has a tremendous arm, and I think he's going to be really effective no matter what he was doing in college.

"I mean, how many times do you see Peyton Manning or Tom Brady in the shotgun? A lot."

Reeves also noted that Newton can extend plays with his mobility, even though he won't be called on to run in the NFL the way he did in college. The longtime coach laughed and said South Carolina players "looked like gnats," trying to bring Newton down, and that adds an element to his game.

"I would never feel uncomfortable letting him get out of the pocket," Reeves said. "He's a man, and it's going to take a lot to bring him down."


-- Darin Gantt

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