What If Cam Newton Were Drafted By The Arizona Cardinals?

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers snaps the football during the NFL season opening game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 11, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Panthers 28-21. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

So far, the reaction to the Arizona Cardinals having drafted Patrick Peterson has been a very positive one. He already has made an impact, as his 89-yard punt return for a touchdown essentially won the game for the Cards over the Carolina Panthers.

The other story of the game was Cam Newton, who was the overall number one pick taken by Carolina. He put up a monster performance, shattering the record for passing yardage in a debut. 

Obviously he was not even available by the time the Cardinals had picked in the first round in this year's NFL Draft, but Newton was a very polarizing figure in our community. Most of the active members would not have touched him with a three mile long pole.

When I represented the site in the SB Nation mock draft, I took Newton with the fifth pick, but it was mainly because he was number five on my personal draft board. 

Apparently my board was a little different than the Cardinals because, based on something that Rod Graves said the night of the draft, if Newton and Peterson both available at number five, then Newton would have been in Arizona, not Peterson.

I had to confirm this, but did get it from Mike Jurecki. Rod Graves said that Peterson was number five on the team's draft board. We know that they drafted according who was highest on their board. That means the four players that went before the Cardinals selected at number five (Cam Newton, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus and A.J. Green) were all graded higher than Peterson.

What does this mean? Nothing now, but there is an interesting scenario.

If Cam Newton had fallen to number five, the Cardinals would have drafted him. Kevin Kolb never would have been acquired. DRC would still be here. 

The question is this...for the next five years, after having seen Newton perform in Week 1, what would you have preferred: Kevin Kolb as QB with Peterson and A.J. Jefferson as starting corners, or Cam Newton and a veteran this year with DRC and Jefferson on the defensive side?

If it is me, the defensive side doesn't matter in the debate. Which QB would I want for the next five years? The only reason I say Kevin Kolb is because the Cardinals want to win now and he is the best option for that. Kolb will likely be good to very good and be a much better QB during the next five years than Newton.

I was not down on Newton before the draft. I thought he would be good, but probably not right away. 

If I had to pick the career, I would take Newton I think.

In the end, it looks like the Cardinals got what was best for now and the near future, but long-term it might be different. 

Knowing what you know about Newton at the pro level, which would you rather have now?

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