INDIANAPOLIS — Bumped into Jim Kelly at the Buffalo airport this morning on my way here for the NFL Scouting Combine, and within seconds of exchanging pleasantries, we were discussing what the Bills might do with the third overall pick of the draft.
Kelly didn’t sound too thrilled with the prospect of the Bills using it on Auburn’s Cam Newton. Like others who question Newton’s validity as a potential franchise quarterback, Buffalo’s Hall of Fame QB is uncomfortable with placing too much stock in one outstanding season that also included controversy over eligibility issues.
“When you use a pick that high, you’d better be a hundred percent sure about what you’re getting,” said Kelly, who was on his way to Los Angeles for the premiere of the movie “Hall Pass” (he has a business partnership with directors/co-writers Peter and Bobby Farrelly). “Well, maybe you can’t ever be a hundred percent sure about anyone, but …”
Kelly then pointed out that he “read somewhere that 65 percent or more” of the quarterbacks taken in the first round have flopped. Of course, the former University of Miami passer that the Bills selected in 1983 would fall in the other 35 percent.
Although the Bills employ him in the capacity of a goodwill ambassador and he is known to have business connections that he hopes will one day lead to his involvement in owning the team, Kelly has no official say whatsoever in the team’s draft plans. But he does have plenty of opinions, and he clearly seems more comfortable with the Bills sticking with Ryan Fitzpatrick — “That guy is tough,” he said — and using the third pick on a top-notch linebacker or defensive lineman.