Yesterday marked the unofficial beginning of the Cam Newton hype train – and it looks as if the Buffalo Bills are all-aboard for the ride.
Yesterday, Cam Newton held a “media day” in San Diego to strut his stuff in the public eye. No scouts were invited, just the media.
Some experts, like Mike Maycock of ESPN, did not attend the vanity fair.
“I really didn’t need to see the workout, nor do I need to hear about the workout. … I’ve watched five of (Newton’s) game tapes,” Mayock explained. “He’s got a classic overhand delivery, he’s got a big arm. You and I in gym shorts at the local high school can throw pretty accurately, so I would guarantee you (Newton) would look great in a pair of gym shorts.
“…But I would also (offer) one cautionary note, and that is the best Pro Day for a quarterback I ever attended was JaMarcus Russell. That same day, even though I admitted it was the best Pro Day I ever saw, I also said I wouldn’t take (Russell) in the first round.”
Others prominent football minds disagree. Wes Bunting, the National Football Post’s director of college scouting and a nine year veteran of the college/NFL draft scene, put up his first mock draft later that day. He has the Bills selecting Cam Newton with that 3rd overall pick.
“If there is anything we know about Buffalo head coach Chan Gailey, it’s that he understands how to be creative with unique/dynamic offensive weapons. Newton is a talent who needs work, but has the skill set to thrive in Buffalo, and Gailey is the kind of coach who can get the most out of him the quickest.”
Though not an official scout, many consider Trent Dilfer’s assessments of QB’s to be very accurate (though he did say that Troy Smith was going to be the next big thing for the 49ers. Oopsy). Still, it’s safe to say Dilfer was pretty impressed, and NFL GM’s will at least consider his remarks.
Here’s some video of the event. Go ahead and slobber for yourself.
But what of the Bills’ opinion? Well, ESPN’s John Clayton noted that Bills’ GM Buddy Nix is taking a good hard look at Newton.
“I do know that Buddy Nix does have at least his eye on Cam Newton,” remarked Clayton. But he quickly added this, “I wouldn’t have a problem with him taking a quarterback like that but I don’t see it happening. I don’t know that Ralph Wilson would sign off on it. But overall I think there’s at least interest there to be able to consider him.”
Bills fans should consider themselves forewarned. While it may be wiser to pick a defensive stud to bolster the team on draft day, all indications right now are pointing at the freakishly talented QB prospect out of Auburn.
And in all fairness, Newton is not a horrible reach with the 3rd pick. He will go in the top 10, if not in the top 5. Boom or bust, he shows more upside than possibly any other pick on the board – but his talents are just unproven.
Sometimes talent over-rides consistency, character, and experience. After yesterday’s media blitz of Newton adulation, folks should not be surprised if the Newton train pulls up full of steam right into Buffalo living room TV’s on draft day.
If the Bills do select him, fans will need to take a deep breath, and get ready. Boom or bust, it will be one heck of a ride.