On Thursday, former University of Kentucky quarterback Morgan Newton signed with the New York Giants — as a tight end. Newton had a tryout with the team during its rookie mini-camp, and a strong performance led him to gain a spot on the roster.
Throughout college, Newton had a fairly successful career as a QB. He completed over 50 percent of his passes, threw for nearly 2,000 yards, and also recorded 15 touchdowns. In 2009, he was even named to the Southeastern Conference All-Freshman Team. After that, however, Newton’s potential to coaches and fans diminished, and he quickly lost the job as the team’s starting quarterback.
Regardless, his size makes him a much more viable candidate for tight end at 6-foot-4, 240 pounds. As a senior, he actually saw some playing time as a tight end, so it’s not like this is a totally new position for Newton. Nevertheless, Newton did not once catch a pass in a game as a tight end. As a result, his potential, and probability of success, are just about unknown to anyone, including the Giants.
For a Kentucky team that went 2-10 in 2012, it is pretty impressive that Newton is its fifth player to sign with an NFL team. While it is unclear what exactly he can bring to the Giants, some things are clear: he is athletic, he is smart (Newton was a member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll), and he made a good enough impression to sign with the team.
That, for me, is plenty. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.