Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton has been the subject of much criticism ever since news first broke of his father’s attempt to shop him off to Mississippi State previous to his National Championship run with Auburn University.

The 6-foot-6-inches, 250-pound dual-threat has even faced criticism for his passing ability, which lacked rhythm and accuracy at times during the NFL Combine last month.

It’s no surprise to see a potential top-10 NFL draft pick harshly critiqued by the media, unless of course those doing the critiquing start to dig a little deeper personally than normal.

Is there a fine line between being credible and down right disrespectful when analyzing and judging pro athletes?

Doug Farrar of Yahoo! Sports suggested so in an article he wrote in reaction to a Cam Newton scouting evaluation report written by Pro Football Weekly writer Nolan Nawrocki.

Nawrocki in his analysis slammed Newton stating the 21-year-old is “very disingenuous — has a fake smile, comes off as very scripted and has a selfish, me-first makeup.” Below is the rest of Nawrocki’s report:

“Always knows where the cameras are and plays to them. Has an enormous ego with a sense of entitlement that continually invites trouble and makes him believe he is above the law — does not command respect from teammates and will always struggle to win a locker room . . . Lacks accountability, focus and trustworthiness — is not punctual, seeks shortcuts and sets a bad example. Immature and has had issues with authority. Not dependable.”

Farrar wrote that Nawrocki’s scouting reports are usually based more on actual field production, skills and ability, but for some reason this time around he decided to evaluate Newton’s personality, which perhaps crosses the line of credible analysis.

“I guess the question is — how much amateur psychology do you want in your draft guide?” Farrar stated in his blog. “How relevant are these evaluations to Newton’s future success? You could probably say these things about more than a few successful NFL players at any given time (and you could absolutely say them about one currently retired quarterback who may or may not stay retired for too long). But what does his “fake smile” have to do with anything?”

Farrar reminded his readers that he still respects Nawrocki’s typical standards of evaluating prospects, and he understands why evaluators investigate further into players with flagged pasts.

“But I’m not sure how interesting or relevant it is that the prospect I’m reading about is unlikeable, phony, or has a bit too much media savvy for his own good,” Farrar stated. “How much is too much?”

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor