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Kiper calls Newton ‘one-year wonder,’ like Akili Smith

Akili Smith Pic

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper hosted a media conference call on Wednesday morning. Toward the end of the call, Kiper was asked about Auburn quarterback Cam Newton, and the possibility that the 2010 Heisman winner might land with the Bills.

Kiper says he’s spoken to people he “trusts” in the league, and came away feeling that Newton isn’t necessarily on Buffalo’s radar.

“(Ryan) Fitzpatrick, to me, was a very good quarterback,” Kiper insisted. Fitzpatrick, on his third NFL team at age 28, started 13 games last season and went 4-9.

Kiper predicted that one of this year’s elite quarterback prospects (Newton, Blaine Gabbert) would almost certainly be available for the Bills. But if Buffalo decided to pick between the two, Kiper wouldn’t expect it to be Newton. And that’s why he’s adjusted his latest mock draft.

“If you hit (on Newton), you could have a sensational quarterback for ten years,” Kiper acknowledged. “(But) if you miss, it sets you back three, four, five years.”

Kiper also assessed Newton’s limited college career, in which he went 14-0 as a starter at the FBS level and 25-1 overall:

“He was a one-year wonder. Akili Smith was a one-year wonder.”

Akili Smith, the No. 3 overall pick in 1999, is one of the biggest busts in draft history. A one-year starter at Oregon, Smith went on to start 17 games in the NFL, compiling a 3-14 record. His touchdown-to-interception ratio was 5:13. Smith finished his football career with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders.

And special thanks to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, who pointed out the biggest irony of all:

Kiper sends Cam Newton to the Bengals in his latest mock draft.

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56 Responses to “Kiper calls Newton ‘one-year wonder,’ like Akili Smith”
  1. chargerdillon says: Mar 9, 2011 12:40 PM

    Anybody is a one year wonder when they get sent to the Bengals.

    As in one year of wondering what the GM and Owner plan to do to mess up another draft.

  2. RedSox83 says: Mar 9, 2011 12:44 PM

    First time I have ever agreed with Mel Kiper, after watching the combine, I will switch to NFL network for the draft this year. Just hope they don’t show the player on the phone before the pick is announced, would like a little bit of suspense.

  3. realitypolice says: Mar 9, 2011 12:44 PM

    I believe the same thing about Cam Newton that I do about Tim Tebow.

    I think they both have the potential to eventually be good to very good NFL starters. Not great, and not for several years.

    And that is just not the kind of player you spend a top 10 draft pick on.

    Tebow’s college career was every bit as impressive as CM’s or more, because he started many more games and was part of 2 national championship teams.

    And whatever you think about Newton’s off field issues, it has to be added to the equation.

    Again, I think both of these guys will some day down the road be decent NFL starters. But drafting at the top of round one, you need to get a little more than that.

  4. shaggytoodle says: Mar 9, 2011 12:44 PM

    Buffalo can’t afford to miss on any more QBs, they have been looking for a replacement since Jim Kelly had retired.

  5. tom35mt says: Mar 9, 2011 12:47 PM

    Didn’t Kiper love Jamarcus Russell ??

  6. sbird91939 says: Mar 9, 2011 12:48 PM

    A one year wonder? This is the same guy that touted Akili Smith before his draft as a guy that would be a good professional QB

  7. baboushka says: Mar 9, 2011 12:50 PM

    Kiper obviously has a personal axe to grind here somewhere. He is relentless negative on this kid. Just like many others were negative about Tebow. But you know what Mel. They both know how to win games. And that is all that counts at the NFL level as long as one is a reasonably good citizen. I can’t begin to add up all of Mel Kiper’s “can’t miss” QB’s like Ryan Leaf who were complete flameouts. For some bizarre reason he is on a public hate and burn Cam Newton Jihad. Good things NFL GMs don’t listen to a word he says. But hey! he is the BEAST of The Boards! And his rumors keep us talking.

  8. mikebrownmakesmefrown says: Mar 9, 2011 12:51 PM

    @RedSox83 I am a little surprised that you would not watch ESPN. ESPN is just an extension of the NESN, so I would think it would be considered blasphemy for a Boston resident to turn their back on one of their own.

  9. contra74 says: Mar 9, 2011 12:54 PM

    Sounds like none of Kipers friends are Newtons agent.

  10. clintonportisheadd says: Mar 9, 2011 12:54 PM

    I guess Newton’s agent isn’t Gary Wichard…..

  11. billsfan27 says: Mar 9, 2011 12:54 PM

    That’s encouraging news for us Bills fans that didn’t want Newton to begin with.

    We need d-linemen. And that’s just a start.

  12. BC says: Mar 9, 2011 12:56 PM

    RedSox83 – I couldn’t side with you more. FINALLY someone stood up and said what had to be said.
    I wouldn’t take this guy regardless of where I was drafting.

  13. jimr10 says: Mar 9, 2011 12:57 PM

    Yeah , Mel, and Ryan Leaf is a better quarterback than Peyton Manning. How have you made a living all these years? Are you ever right?

  14. Mike Tomlin says: Mar 9, 2011 12:59 PM

    Yea well Kiper also thought Clausen was the best thing since Peyton Manning and just a year later the Panthers are seriously considering drafting another QB.

    Also, “Kiper predicted that one of this year’s elite quarterback prospects (Newton, Blaine Gabbert) would almost certainly be available for the Bills.” Dont the Bills pick at #3? I would hope 1 out of those 3 players are available when they pick otherwise they missed getting their card to the podium…

  15. stixzidinia says: Mar 9, 2011 1:00 PM

    Historic draft bust is my prediction for Newton. I love the media fawning over his pro day yesterday. 50 for 60……in shorts with no pass rush and no pass defense. Real impressive. LOL.

  16. demanrighthere says: Mar 9, 2011 1:01 PM

    Hmmm… so Jimmy clausen is the best last year and newton the worst this year? Maybe carolina should draft him so espn can get rid of kiper!

  17. sdchargers25 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:02 PM

    Cam Newtons Agent probably isnt paying Kiper to rank Cam high like Jimmy Clausens agent did last year.

    you cant trust Mel Kiper after the Wichard situation. Kipers ranking are biased and his connections to agents heavility influence his rankings.

    Theres a reason why his rankings/ mock drafts are always way off….

  18. r8rsfan says: Mar 9, 2011 1:02 PM

    Do Mel Kiper and “The Donald” Trump have the same barber?

  19. bowsi says: Mar 9, 2011 1:03 PM

    Kiper should realize that when a new CBA is negoiated, which will have a new rookie wage scale, that a bust will not have the same ramification to a team as they have had in the past.

  20. joshsmith199065 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:05 PM

    Is this the same guy who said when J Russell was selected #1 overall in 07 he would be a top 5 Qb within 3yrs in the league? Hows that that working Mei K lol?

    Funny how Blaine G is being overhype when he was a mediocre Qb at best at Mizzou. Only if Luck never had stayed in school, wouldn’t hear much hype on this guy. By the way how is Blaine G an elite Qb prospect?

    Luckly Mei K isn’t a GM on an nfl team, he is wrong majority of the time evaluating talent .

  21. goawayeverybody says: Mar 9, 2011 1:06 PM

    Totally misleading post on Ryan Fitzpatrick, since the Bills were actually doing much worse without him. It’s the Bills’ defense that’s the problem.

  22. EJ says: Mar 9, 2011 1:08 PM

    Ryan Fitzpatrick is a very good QB, he just needs a better supporting cast, preferably with Tackle and TE.

    Buffalo will take a DE in the first round, QB in the second, most likely Kapernick or Mallett.

    We need a QB to groom, not start immediately.

    Therefore, Newton is of no use.

  23. shieldsisland37 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:09 PM

    Aaron Rodgers also only played one year at Cal…… Look, Cam will help a bad team move the chains. Will he ever make a thread the needle throw in the superbowl? That is what we are talking about here. He will not be a complete bust, he is too athletic and he is a winner.

  24. obsession55 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:09 PM

    Kiper is an absolute joke and his puppet McShay is even worse

  25. chapnastier says: Mar 9, 2011 1:21 PM

    If Kiper says something then the opposite is true… Newton will win a superbowl next year

  26. Kave Krew says: Mar 9, 2011 1:21 PM

    Too many red flags on Newton for a bottom dweller to take a chance on. Go with a more traditional pro style QB like Gabbert if you need a QB.

    Cam will have a nice pro career with a team that has a better foundation under it – but to ask him to lead the team out of the gutter and into the upper echelon is asking a bit too much.

  27. rovibe says: Mar 9, 2011 1:22 PM

    Buffalo would be nuts to draft Newton, even if he pans out.

    They’re a team with a lot of holes to fill, and the QB play from Fitzpatrick is hardly the biggest problem. Why not focus on more glaring needs, and see how well Fitzpatrick might do with better talent around him?

  28. baboushka says: Mar 9, 2011 1:24 PM

    @stixzidinia says:
    Mar 9, 2011 1:00 PM
    “Historic draft bust is my prediction for Newton. I love the media fawning over his pro day yesterday. 50 for 60……in shorts with no pass rush and no pass defense. Real impressive. LOL.”

    Well that’s really funny. Do you give him any credit at all for going 25-1 in his last 26 games with pads and cleats on and in the face of SEC pass rushes? FYI the SEC pass rush and the BCS pass rush is an NFL caliber pass rush. Because so many of the players end up being NFL pass rushers. Get a perspective man! It’s just PRACTICE!

  29. heyooooh says: Mar 9, 2011 1:24 PM

    Forget about Akili Smith. Go back to Andre Ware…Kiper called him a “can’t miss” prospect. This guy has been a joke for a long, long time.

  30. wannabeqb says: Mar 9, 2011 1:25 PM

    If I were an NFL GM I would look at Cam they same way I would have drafted Tebow.

    If I had 2 2nd round picks, and he drops into the 2nd round, I would be interested. I wouldnt trade up for him even one position. But if he is available at my pick, I would take him because you know you are getting a winning football player but your risk level is lower.

    The thing is that even if someone really wants him and gambles, he will probably go to a desperate team, with already unhappy fans that will probably push to fire their coach within one or two years (looking at you denver!). In that case you have an excellent college level QB probably being cut or on the trade block and you can get him then.

  31. backinblack67 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:26 PM

    QB’s, with the exception of a few are the product of the systems they end up in. If Tom Brady would have been drafted into a crappy system he would not even be a starter. People just do not realize how big of a difference that good coaching and a stable system makes at the NFL level.

  32. kowboydmac says: Mar 9, 2011 1:32 PM

    If Kiper was an actual draft expert, he would be working as a GM making far more money than his appearances on ESPN.

    The thing is, Kiper is a TV personality, who just happens to dabble in draft talks. He was the original one, when no one else gave a hoot about exploiting the draft through TV media. In that sense, he’s basically a king by mock draft monarchy.

    Needless to say, ESPN keeps him around because you either watched him, listened to him, or fought his thoughts; Either way ESPN made a dime off of you, him, and their advertisers.

    On that note, I think Cam will be a fun to watch QB, but won’t win any Super Bowls without a stellar supporting cast. His style of play is too egotistical and self centered to really be productive in a pro style offense. That is unless he has a solid work ethic hiding under all that flash, and is able to adapt and spread the ball, go through progressions, and rely on his team, not himself, to win games. He did show promise at times at Auburn, but it’s a tough call. Some promises are meant to be broken.

  33. savocabol1 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:38 PM

    A reporter hosted a press conference for other reporters to ask him questions? WORLDS ARE COLLIDING!

  34. kennyzed88 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:43 PM

    i’ll feel much better when cam newton posts stop appearing on the bills’ page

  35. joshsmith199065 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:46 PM

    @stixzidinia says:
    Mar 9, 2011 1:00 PM
    “Historic draft bust is my prediction for Newton. I love the media fawning over his pro day yesterday. 50 for 60……in shorts with no pass rush and no pass defense. Real impressive. LOL.”

    Should the same be said for Blaine Gabbert after he performs on his pro day in March 17th? I doubt it, with the so called experts going to make him out to be the next coming of a Manning, Tom B, or Joe M lol. Just joking there, but wouldn’t be in shock if they compare him to a current Qb though to boost his draft stock even higher.

    Heck Mei K just made a new mock draft having Blaine G being selected to the Panthers. Whats next how withing 3yrs in the league he will be a top 5-10 Qb? lmao.

  36. rdssc says: Mar 9, 2011 1:47 PM

    The Buffalo Bills have never technically spent their first draft pick on a QB. Is it too much to ask to take a shot on a guy once. They have the Vet in place and the offensive HC who has worked with far less talent than Newton and made them winners in the NFL. There should be no question that Cam is the pick for the Bills anyone else is just another guy to plug in on a bad football team that makes then no better for the future than they were before.

  37. espnfeedback says: Mar 9, 2011 1:50 PM

    It is time that African American quarterbacks be judged on equal ground. I respect Kiper very much. He is by far the least biased of these media draftiks. If it is necessary to fit perspective draftable players into a previously known quantity inorder to communicate potential to the uninitiated, so be it. When this tequnique is used these QB’s also deserve to be compared to successful black or white qb’s instead of this relentless negative comparison to the few black qb’s who failed or who flamed out in spectacular fashion.

    When was the last time we heard any white qb exclusively compared to guys who failed such as Heath Shuler, David Carr, Dan McGuire, Art Schlister, Cade McNown, Todd Marinovich, Kelly Stoufer, Joey Harrington, Rick Mirer or Jim Druckenmiller?

  38. whodeyz says: Mar 9, 2011 1:53 PM

    If the bengals take a QB with pick 4, they are making a HUGE mistake. My percentage is with the mistake…

    God I hate being a Bengals Fan

  39. scoops1 says: Mar 9, 2011 1:53 PM

    Kiper’s job is like a teacher or a weatherman…Rewarded even if there is Failure

  40. CKL says: Mar 9, 2011 2:04 PM

    On a related note, ESPN and their people can be (and are) full of it on a lot of things but at least they addressed the topic yesterday on First Take about Justin Tuck’s comments on Newton, which I found interesting and thoughtful. Does PFT not consider that a blogworthy topic? If not, why not?

    PFT usually does a good job reporting anything even potentially NFL related. There are ” Tom Brady’s Hair and dancing skills” posts, several posts on Tiki’s possible NFL return, etc. but no blog post devoted to what Tuck said?

  41. riverhorsey says: Mar 9, 2011 2:09 PM

    it all depends on the system and coach he ends up with as to how well he turns out.

    I think possibly Jamarcus Russell would of done a lot better if he had gone to someone besides Oakland.

  42. davebrownspiral says: Mar 9, 2011 2:11 PM

    Isn’t this the same guy who proclaimed that Jimmy Claussen was the best quarterback in the draft last year, and proceeded to turn rabid if somebody even questioned Claussen’s abilities at the NFL level? Who listens to this guy anymore?

  43. ruckinfidiculous says: Mar 9, 2011 2:18 PM

    “If you hit (on Newton), you could have a sensational quarterback for ten years,” Kiper acknowledged. “(But) if you miss, it sets you back three, four, five years.”

    Real stretch there Captain Obvious.

    Mel Kiper is an every year wonder – Every year we wonder if he’ll shut up.

  44. bensstinkyfingers says: Mar 9, 2011 2:27 PM

    I will have my 4 yr.old point to names or pictures of this years prospects and I guarantee it will be almost as accurate as Kipers picks. Newton has Bengals written all over him.

  45. stixzidinia says: Mar 9, 2011 2:29 PM

    Well that’s really funny. Do you give him any credit at all for going 25-1 in his last 26 games with pads and cleats on and in the face of SEC pass rushes? FYI the SEC pass rush and the BCS pass rush is an NFL caliber pass rush. Because so many of the players end up being NFL pass rushers. Get a perspective man! It’s just PRACTICE!

    —————————–

    And yet the fact remains that the majority of SEC passers go tits up in the NFL. Go have a look at the top NFL QB’s over the last 10 years. You won’t see many SEC guys in the top 15. Newton would be slinging rock on the street corner, dead, or in jail if not for football. He’s not smart enough for anything else. Hell, he’s not even smart enough for football in a system where he isn’t running on every other down.

  46. damnskins703 says: Mar 9, 2011 2:30 PM

    Cam will not succeed in the NFL.. Defenses will crush him if he tries to run that ball… What is Vince Young doing now? They both have accracy issues then they try and run for the first down and get injured… Cam is just another Vince Young that can win in the College games but never in the NFL

  47. rodell77 says: Mar 9, 2011 2:52 PM

    Kiper is a bust!!!!! He is never right. Mayock is far better at the game. He at least played the game at the pro level. DON’T listern to this fraud.

  48. southridge23 says: Mar 9, 2011 2:57 PM

    rdssc says: Mar 9, 2011 1:47 PM

    “The Buffalo Bills have never technically spent their first draft pick on a QB. Is it too much to ask to take a shot on a guy once”

    ========================================
    ehh, this is too easy…

    a. “Technically” they spent a 1st rounder on JP Losman
    b. The 3rd overall pick of the draft and a guy you’re looking at paying upwards of $35 mil guaranteed isn’t exactly the spot to roll the dice and “take a shot”.

  49. eagleswin says: Mar 9, 2011 3:03 PM

    baboushka says:
    Mar 9, 2011 1:24 PM
    @stixzidinia says:
    Mar 9, 2011 1:00 PM
    “Historic draft bust is my prediction for Newton. I love the media fawning over his pro day yesterday. 50 for 60……in shorts with no pass rush and no pass defense. Real impressive. LOL.”

    Well that’s really funny. Do you give him any credit at all for going 25-1 in his last 26 games with pads and cleats on and in the face of SEC pass rushes? FYI the SEC pass rush and the BCS pass rush is an NFL caliber pass rush. Because so many of the players end up being NFL pass rushers. Get a perspective man! It’s just PRACTICE!
    =============
    You do know he racked up half those wins at a JUNIOR college not the SEC right?

  50. zn0rseman says: Mar 9, 2011 3:15 PM

    shieldsisland37 says:
    Mar 9, 2011 1:09 PM
    Aaron Rodgers also only played one year at Cal……
    ——————-

    Yeah, but Rogers is not a good comparison because he sat on the bench for four years, learning from one best QB’s in the league, and did get put into the starting lineup until he had a fantastic supporting cast and a favorable schedule. Do that with any competent QB and he should be successful. Very few QBs are setup for success like that.

  51. zn0rseman says: Mar 9, 2011 3:31 PM

    espnfeedback says:
    Mar 9, 2011 1:50 PM
    It is time that African American quarterbacks be judged on equal ground.

    When was the last time we heard any white qb exclusively compared to guys who failed such as Heath Shuler, David Carr, Dan McGuire, Art Schlister, Cade McNown, Todd Marinovich, Kelly Stoufer, Joey Harrington, Rick Mirer or Jim Druckenmiller?
    —————————-
    Yes, because mediocre QB’s that are black, like MicheL Vick, Donovan McNabb and Jason Cambell are not incessantly over-hyped by the media today. And of course we never hear a white QB prospect being referred to as “the next Ryan Leaf”. And there are never any valid comparisons between scramble-first rookie black QBs and scramble-first bust black QBs like Jamarcus Russell, Aaron Brooks, Akili Smith, Tavaris Jackson, Ray Lucas, ect, ect, ect…

    Because the sports media is conspiring to keep the black man down. Riiigghhhttt.

  52. rdssc says: Mar 9, 2011 3:54 PM

    southridge23
    Go back and read what I wrote, first pick. JP Loseman, Jim Kelly were their second picks in the first round. They have never taken a QB with their first pick in the first round.
    And yes ever team takes shots on their top 10 picks some bust some don’t. I’d rather us the pick on a guy that could be a franchise changer. They won 4 games and are picking 3rd it can’t get much worse.

  53. thefiesty1 says: Mar 9, 2011 3:55 PM

    I hope he’s still available at nine for Dallas. They always draft so well.

  54. tv426 says: Mar 9, 2011 4:35 PM

    Wow! I just slammed Mel in another post and now I have to say that I agree with him. Miracles never cease.

  55. espnfeedback says: Mar 9, 2011 10:55 PM

    zn0rseman says:

    Yes, because mediocre QB’s that are black, like MicheL Vick, Donovan McNabb and Jason Cambell are not incessantly over-hyped by the media today. And of course we never hear a white QB prospect being referred to as “the next Ryan Leaf”. And there are never any valid comparisons between scramble-first rookie black QBs and scramble-first bust black QBs like Jamarcus Russell, Aaron Brooks, Akili Smith, Tavaris Jackson, Ray Lucas, ect, ect, ect…

    Because the sports media is conspiring to keep the black man down. Riiigghhhttt.
    ———————
    Thanks for proving my point my friend. When people such as yourself get overcome by emotion, you’re susceptible to allowing false prejudices to cloud your judgment and recall of FACTS. The mere statement that Multiple time Pro Bowl QB’s such as Vick and McNabb who have consistently led their teams to playoffs, conference championship games and once to a Super Bowl are mediocre is laughable.

    Furthermore, in your valiant but failing effort to say that Aaron Brooks, Ray Lucas and Tavaris Jackson, none of whom were drafted before the 4th round if I recall, were busts is again testament to why knowledge of your subject matter and cold hard expertise is necessary. Hell son Ray Lucas was a converted wr/special teams player before he was called on to play QB due to a rash of injuries…..HA! Good Luck….You’re gonna need it.

    72  

  56. ilivincin says: Mar 11, 2011 9:37 AM

    As a Bengal’s fan (don’t laugh, I’m stuck with them) I am in favor of drafting Cam Newton. Carson is done here, what hope do we have if they don’t draft a QB? Maybe Kolb? Well, he’ll be a mediocre QB at best, if not, Philly would keep him. Drafting anyone else but Cam, this year, looks like you’ll get a guy who maybe can win a few games, but none of them are game changers like Cam has proven. He won’t be able to run the same way he did in college, though his ability to excape pressure and sometimes run for a first down will be vital. The only way MB will fill the seat this year, is to make a splash. Possibly your only shot this year Mikey. Who Dey 2011!

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