The D: A Case Against Cam Newton at #3


            Ok.  This is my first post about something like this.  It’s a little on the long side, but I hope you stick it out and possibly even agree with me here. So here we go….


            Over the course of the last few days there has been a significant increase in the discussion about Cam Newton going to the Bills with the #3 pick.  All this talk got me really thinking about it, and thinking to myself, is this really what is best for the team?  In my opinion, I don’t think that it is.

            First, the major concern of the team has to be the Defense and not just the front 7, but the entire defense.  I know that our beloved Bills look nice hanging out at the #3 pass D in the NFL, but considering we ranked dead last in rush D who was throwing the ball against us?  The Bills faced the 2nd fewest pass attempts while teams completed 62.2% of their passes (Indy was the worst at 66.5%).  Not only were teams completing passes at fairly good rate, they were scoring TDs too, 28 of them! While this doesn’t seem like THAT many first, it was still enough to place the Bills at #6 in passing TDs allowed.  4 of the 5 teams that finished with more TDs scored against them faced at least 60 more pass attempts, and Oakland is at #5 facing only 3 fewer attempts than the Bills with only 1 more TD, but with a completion percentage of only 53% (second best in the NFL).  The Bills managed to pick the ball off 11 times this past season (a whopping #28 in the NFL).  This leaves the Bills allowing slightly more than 2.5 TDs for every one pick (if my QB was throwing that well I wouldn’t be too upset with him).  Sacks, all 27 of them tied the Bills at #27 in the NFL.  Which leaves us with opposing QBs combining for a rating of 92.6 (5th worst in  the NFL).  To put this in perspective, this imaginary QB would have been ranked 9th.  This places “him” behind Brady(1), Rivers, Rodgers, Vick, Big Ben, Josh Freeman (!), Joe Flacco, and Matt Cassel (8).  This means Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Matt Ryan and Matt Schaub would have been ranked lower in QB rating than the imaginary QB that is the combined effort of the Bills opposition (all of whom are good QBs).

            Why all the numbers and talk about stats?  It is evidence that the pass D is bad.  Which combines with the Run D for a Defense that is just bad.  Maybe the passing numbers are off because the Bills simply don’t face that many passes, maybe the stats would look better if they had a chance to show they are good more often.  I’m not buying it.  Maybe the pass rush is the problem, and certainly would make the opposing QBs lives more difficult leading to lower completion percentage, fewer TDs and more picks.  This would certainly make the secondary lives easier and help out the stats.

            How does all of this affect my view of Cam Newton?  It doesn’t.  Newton has the potential to be very good.  The physical tools he has are unbelievable.  I am skeptical for a few reasons, but I won’t knock the guy here.  I am only trying to point out that the Bills have a glaring weakness in the Defense.  And when 6 of the teams 12 losses were by 8 pts (I know 2 pt conversions are tough but let me have this please) or less, and when 4 of those games were just a FG, a little more D might have gotten the Bills a couple more wins (and maybe more).

            So who do I think the Bills should take?  Well that all depends what D they want to run, and how they view some of the talent out there.  Without intimate knowledge of the plan for the D, although it has been said they would like to go with 3-4 in the future, its tough to project here.  Maybe they go with one of the top two ranked corners (Peterson or Amukamara), corners can be a bit of a risk, but if they do work out they translate to any D.  Or maybe they go with Marcell Dareus (he makes for a nice 3-4DE of 4-3 DT for a team that might play both this year), this is assuming Fairley is gone, and even if he isn’t I still like Dareus more. 

Bowers would be nice if they are going back to the 4-3, but he may be gone by #3 too. 

I don’t know much about Von Miller, other than he tore up the Senior Bowl but is on the smaller side (not a huge issue if the guy can just flat out play), and Quinn has been sitting around for a year and might take some time to work at OLB. 

There aren’t any standout NTs in this draft other than the guy from Baylor (Taylor), and with Troup around I’m willing to give him time before jumping ship on him. So this is kind of out of it.

            And the best ILB might be around in the 2nd (although I’d like to see the Bills try to get an right side OT in the second, or maybe make a move back into the 1st to get one). So there is no need to reach this far in the 1st.

Basically I feel the Bills are best at helping out the D, preferably front 7 (either with a DT/DE, or DE/OLB).  But I could settle for a new CB, although I won’t be as happy.  Nothing against Cam Newton and his potential, he could turn out to revolutionize the game and the position (I think this was said last year about Tebow by a few, who Nix and Gailey were reportedly wowed by and constantly linked to, and even VY a few years ago).  It would be unfortunate to miss out on a guy who does pan out, but with the D in “rough” shape I could handle a relatively “boring” defensive draft this year, if it is best for the team.

Thanks for sticking it out if you made it this far.  Thoughts? Comments? Criticism?


Just another great fan opinion shared on the pages of

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.

Join Buffalo Rumblings

You must be a member of Buffalo Rumblings to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Buffalo Rumblings. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.