2012 NFL Draft: Robert Griffin III Deserves More Hype Than He's Getting

Kraig LundbergAnalyst IIIJanuary 8, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10:  (L-R) Heisman Trophy finalists running back Montee Ball of the Wisconsin Badgers, quarterback Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears, Andrew Luck of the Stanford University Cardinals, cornerback Tyrann Mathieu of the LSU Tigers, and Trent Richardson of the Alabama Crimson Tide, speak during a press conference at The New York Marriott Marquis on December 10, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, is one of the most dynamic athletes in college football and is projected to go in the top 10 of the 2012 NFL draft. However, the Baylor quarterback actually deserves more hype than he's getting.

It's pretty difficult to call a top-10 projection "under-hyped," and considering a lot of people think the Cleveland Browns, who have the fourth overall pick, might actually trade up to get him, it makes the claim seem even more ridiculous.

But as highly regarded as Griffin is already, there is reason to believe he is worthy of even more.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is widely regarded as the unquestioned top prospect in this year's draft, and all signs point to the Indianapolis Colts drafting him first overall.

But why shouldn't Griffin be in that discussion?

A quick look at the stats would indicate that Griffin is the superior quarterback, but obviously scheme has a lot to do with that, and Stanford's offense is more closely related to professional offenses than Baylor's is, which is an advantage for Luck. Griffin also has better weapons in the passing game, which clearly gave him the stats advantage.

However, Griffin might have a higher ceiling than Luck, and his pinpoint downfield accuracy will translate to the NFL regardless of the system he runs in college, even though it will likely take him longer to grasp an NFL system.

Drafting Griffin instead would actually work out very nicely for the Colts, because they would not have to choose between Peyton Manning and their newly-minted quarterback of the future. 

Instead, Griffin would be able to sit behind Manning and learn from the future Hall-of-Famer until he exhausts his career, at which time Griffin would conceivably be ready to take over as the Colts' franchise quarterback.

Another reason Luck is so highly regarded is because of his intelligence. Not many people would be able to major in architectural design and be the starting quarterback at Stanford University. Not only does he have to be smart, but he also has to be able to manage his time efficiently, which speaks highly of his maturity as well.

However, Griffin has also shown himself to be a very intelligent individual who would be able to absorb an NFL offense and grow quickly from coaching.

Beyond that, Griffin's athleticism and all-around skill for the quarterback position is second to none. Though smaller than a guy like Cam Newton, Griffin has superior athleticism and comparable arm strength, and he's probably more accurate to boot.

Griffin's 6'2", 220-pound frame may be a negative for some, but unlike the similarly-sized Michael Vick, Griffin is a pass-first quarterback who won't take as many hits.

Griffin is a born winner, proven by his ability to lead a program like Baylor to a 10-win season despite having little help from the defense, and his 4,293 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and six interceptions, along with 699 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, certainly don't hurt his case.

Though Andrew Luck is the consensus top prospect in this year's NFL draft, Griffin deserves every bit of the hype that Luck is getting and should get at least some consideration for the No. 1 overall pick.