It's been stated repeatedly by NFL draft experts that Cam Newton is a perfect fit for the Bills at #3 because they have a veteran that can start for the time being and that Newton could spend at least a year learning under Ryan Fitzpatrick. Regardless of how you feel about Newton, this is a silly idea.
Take a moment. Think back. How loud was the noise to put in "the other guy" when we were trying to choose between studs like JP, Trent and Kelly Holcomb. Now consider that you're talking about a guy who is easily the most talked about college football player of the season and of the Draft. A guy who just signed on to be the newest face of UnderArmour. A guy who a lot of us don't believe is a good choice, but would still be jittery with excitement over as soon as he's towering over Roger Goodell in his Draft Day Hat.
Mel Kiper, Jr recently told ESPN Radio's Jason Smith why he moved Cam Newton into the Bills pick in one of his mocks: "I think the Buffalo Bills are a great scenario, a great destination for Cam Newton this reason; he needs some time....coming out of auburn's offense, a simplistic offense; he needs time. Now they have ryan fitzpatrick - solid quarterback, not great but solid. He wasn't the reason the bills didn't win some of those games that they lost -- some of those close games. So I think if you look at fitzpatrick, he'll be the guy. [Newton] can watch learn evolve, transition, those are the words that you'll use to describe what Newton's going through this year. And then by year two he'll be more equipped to develop and make his move into becoming a successful starting quarterback."
That sounds nice to say, but it isn't realistic.
Somewhere between Newton leading a creepy army of Under Armour spandex-clad football soldiers into battle during every commercial break, and the Bills' first ugly losses of the season, I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to hit the mute button on WGR, ESPN, and the entire internet if I want to avoid hearing debate over whether it's time to put in the other guy. Chan's going to have to hit a lot of mute buttons too, and I'm pretty sure Ralph doesn't have one. Make no mistake. If Buffalo takes Cam Newton, the story of the season automatically becomes, "when does Cam go in?"
A lot of you will probably say it doesn't matter what the fans or media say, that Chan, Ralph and Buddy don't have to listen, that they can easily turn a deaf ear to all that Cam Noise. To me, the only truth in that is that these men are all old, and may literally have a hard time hearing things. Gailey's honeymoon is almost over. A year of stubbornly leaving Fitz in while the team goes 6-10 and he goes from offensive genius to Dick (Jauron).
Be realistic about your expectations. The Bills probably will have a losing record at the haflway point of the season. Unless Fitz does something incredible-- and we all hope he does -- odds are this season will go something like the past 11 have, and that means we'll all be looking for the next glimmer of hope long before the season is over. And do you think Newton will be patiently waiting for his big debut? This is the player who couldn't wait for the Pros for his payday. Heck, he couldn't even wait until he'd picked a new school, or manage to keep it a secret like everyone else.
Analysts like to talk about drafting guys and leaving them on the bench for a year or two because it's a way around saying "This guy was good in college, odds are against him being good right away in the NFL, and I have absolutely no way of knowing whether he'll ever be good."
I'm not saying I know if Newton will be good in the pros. But I do know the idea that the idea of tucking him away and happily going about our business cheering on our favorite plucky bearded Harvard grad while Cammy quietly grows up strong in the background is a farce. If he goes to Western New York or a lot of other places, Cam Newton will be everywhere you look from April 28th right through to his first start as a rookie.