Cam Newton's legs impress at Combine

Updated: March 1, 2011, 10:39 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

INDIANAPOLIS -- Cam Newton followed through on his pledge to participate in drills at the NFL scouting combine on Sunday, and he won mixed reactions.

Newton turned scouts' heads when he ran the 40 yard dash in 4.59 seconds, which tied Washington's Jake Locker for the third-fastest time among quarterbacks, tied for the best broad jump at 10 feet, 6 inches and had a 35-inch vertical jump.

But the Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn struggled with his accuracy in the throwing drills, frequently overthrowing receivers, reports ESPN.com's Tim Graham.

Newton, who worked with unfamiliar receivers in his throwing drills, flouted the advice a lot of agents advise their quarterbacks: to skip the passing portion of the combine and save those drills for campus workouts with receivers they know.

Newton completed 11 of his 21 throwing attempts. His ball sailed on 10-yard out patterns, 15-yard ins and fly patterns. He threw with pinpoint accuracy on all three of his 12-yard hooks, and completed two of three Z-out passes.

After watching Newton's 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."

Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor had 40-yard dash time, 4.51 seconds. Nevada's Colin Kaepernick was second with a 4.53-second 40. Missouri's Blaine Gabbert and Cal's Joshua Portis tied for fifth with a time of 4.62 seconds.

Information from ESPN AFC East blogger Tim Graham and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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