newton > clausen and it isn't even close.
Exactly right, the only mistake is you've got the arrow pointing the wrong direction
Sorry, but I'm just not that impressed by Newton. Sure he's exciting and can break a big play...in college. But from what I've seen of him, many of his big plays would not fly in the NFL. His passing, while good, is relatively unchallenged. Teams cheat so bad against the run against Auburn that most of the time, he's throwing to wide open receivers...and even then, it's usually to the first or possibly second option. He rarely has to go through his progressions or thread the needle to squeeze the pass in between defenders.
A lot of people want to make the Vick comparison, and in his passing game, it is a good one. Both had offenses tailored to their athleticism and ability to run/improvise. Neither were asked to do a whole lot as a passer but take what the defense gave them, then run if something wasn't there after the initial read. I will give Newton this, though, I do think he is more accurate than Vick coming out of college, but we don't know if he can do it consistently when things aren't laid out for him.
As a runner, there's little comparison to Vick other than the general point that they are both running QB's. Vick's running was based on his superb quickness and speed and the ability to make guys miss, while Newton's is based on being athletic enough to force the defender into arm tackles, then being big and strong enough to run through those tackles (although he can make guys in college miss on occasion, I don't believe he has the quickness to regularly do it in the NFL). And in the NFL, he won't be running through arm tackles like he does in college. (I'm not talking about the runs through wide open lanes that any athletic running QB can make at any level, just the plays that he creates on his own).
Don't get me wrong, I think Newton has the potential to be a decent QB in the NFL, and make the occasional play, I just don't think it will be for a couple of years. But overall, I believe his success as a runner will be similar to Culpeppers pre-injury. Which is good, as long as you have the passing ability to make defenses play honest, but I'm not convinced Newton does at this point. Fwiw, I think Newton is very much like Vince Young (with a better head on his shoulders, hopefully), which is fine for a 2nd or 3rd round QB, but not a 1st.