Cam Newton underwhelming in workout

INDIANAPOLIS -- Auburn quarterback Cam Newton might be second-guessing his decision to throw at the NFL scouting combine.

I was among a small group of Pro Football Writers Association members allowed to watch Sunday afternoon's session at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Newton was off target throughout, frequently overthrowing receivers. But it should be noted quarterbacks work with unfamiliar receivers at the combine. They run at different speeds and break varying routes.

That's why a lot of agents advise their quarterbacks -- as was the case with Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert -- not to throw at the combine and save those drills for campus workouts with receivers they know.

Newton completed 11 of his 21 throws.

His ball sailed on 10-yard outs, 15-yard ins and fly patterns. He was pinpoint on all three of his 12-yard hooks, and completed two of three Z-outs.

The performance was markedly different than the one Newton delivered two weeks ago for a media workout in San Diego.

After watching that display, retired quarterback and ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer remarked "The ceiling is so astronomically high for this player, Cam Newton, that the scouts, the GMs, the coaches are really going to be slobbering about the prospects of having him on their team."

Will Sunday's performance hurt Newton's draft stock or turn off a team such as the Buffalo Bills from drafting him third overall? Not by itself. He will need to rebound at his pro day March 8.

Quarterbacks who dazzled Sunday include Arkansas' Ryan Mallett and Washington's Jake Locker. They threw in the early session I didn't attend, but those who witnessed were particularly impressed with Mallett's accuracy.