The 2011 NFL Draft has almost been overshadowed by the labor dispute that has gone on all off-season in the NFL. But, like every year, the draft is still gonna happen. I've heard a lot of varying opinions on the draft, but some are obviously missing some things.
A lot of people are seeing former Auburn QB Cam Newton going 1st to the Panthers, while some see him sliding down the board. To those who see him sliding down the board, they criticize everything about the young man from his experience playing at a big-time level to his attitude to his aptitude for the QB position. I agree that he may have some flaws to his game, but the one thing you cannot teach is heart and mental toughness. Anytime a young man can keep his focus through all the things that Cam Newton was hearing and subjected to, then that person is extremely mentally tough. I don't think half the QBs in the league right now would have been able to survive that situation without cracking and breaking down. Newton's mental toughness and heart will serve him well in the NFL to whoever drafts him and I think he will be a good NFL QB, given that he is put in the right situation and puts in the time studying the playbook and looking at film.
Another big thing that I've heard is the lack of depth in this draft. I agree that there's a lack of depth in this draft, but what isn't being said is that the draft is an inexact science. There are no proven commodities in any draft. Any player could be a bust. You could technically say that there have been a lot of bad drafts because of the lack of depth. But to me, I think there have been way worse drafts than this one. My prime example is the draft with Vince Young, Jay Cutler, Reggie Bush and Matt Leinhart. That draft was supposed to be so great and three out of the four I just named haven't reached the level of success most envisioned for them. Just because there isn't a ton of big names doesn't mean this is a bad crop of players.
Some players will fulfill their dream of being an NFL player tonight while some may have to wait until the weekend. But for all those players who get drafted, congratulations. You're living out the dream of many kids who grow up playing football. And for those who are going to be rookie free agents, hopefully the labor situation gets worked out soon so you all can chase your dreams as well.