Some people are suggesting that the Baylor Bears' Robert Griffin III will be a better NFL quarterback than Stanford Cardinal Andrew Luck, but that is ludicrous. Luck is primed to be the next Peyton Manning, while Griffin is set to be a disappointment at the next level.
When considering which quarterback has a chance to have a Cam Newton-caliber rookie season in 2012, it's pretty clear. Here are four reasons why RG3 will be an NFL bust.
Moving to the NFL means a player will be facing a higher caliber of competition than he faced in college; that's true for every prospect. However, Robert Griffin III will be facing much better defenses than he faced with the Baylor Bears, no matter which NFL team he ends up on.
The Big 12 has some excellent offenses, but those offenses are aided greatly by the lack of good defenses across the board in that conference. Only one Big 12 team ranked in the top 25 in the country in total defense this season, while four Big 12 teams ranked lower than 100 in that category.
There is much less parity in the NFL. There are good players on every team. The Green Bay Packers rank last in total defense, and they have guys like Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson.
Griffin benefited from playing against sub-par defenses in college, a luxury he will not get no matter who he plays for in the NFL. Griffin may not be able to succeed when he's facing a defense that knows how to shut playmakers down.
The track record of running quarterbacks in the NFL is not very good. Yes, Cam Newton had an excellent rookie season, and yes, Michael Vick was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL last year. But Vick took eight years to perfect his passing game, and there are numerous other examples of running quarterbacks disappointing at the next level.
Vince Young could never seem to lock down the starting job with the Tennessee Titans, and now he's a backup. JaMarcus Russell is not even in the league anymore.
Not all running quarterbacks are busts, but they have a lower success rate because (with their legs as a crutch), they tend to fail to develop their passing skills as fully as other quarterbacks. Moreover, if they're like Vick, they take a beating and struggle to stay on the field.
According to most draft experts, the Washington Redskins will be the team that takes Robert Griffin III in the 2012 NFL craft. With the lack of success that organization has had in the last two decades, that doesn't bode well for Griffin.
In the long term, the Redskins are hurt by Dan Snyder's stupidity, which has led to a number of poor personnel decisions over the years. In the short term, Griffin would be limited by the total lack of playmakers on that offense. Roy Helu, Jr. and Evan Royster may be good someday, but neither is a premier tailback. And the aging Santana Moss is the only threat at wide receiver.
The Redskins have ample resources and a wide, dedicated fanbase, and yet they've only made the playoffs three times since 1993. Something is wrong in Washington, and it's seemed like a nearly impossible place for a quarterback to succeed.
Robert Griffin III had some phenomenal performances this season for the Baylor Bears. He threw for five touchdowns against the TCU Horned Frogs and four against the Oklahoma Sooners, with no picks in either game. He had 37 touchdowns and only six interceptions on the year.
However, in the Baylor Bears' biggest games, he has often dropped off significantly. He threw two interceptions with only one touchdown this year against the Big 12 Champion Oklahoma State Cowboys. And he did the same (two picks, only one touchdown) last season in a loss to the conference champion Oklahoma Sooners.
Overall, Griffin was a prolific college quarterback, there's no doubt about that. But when he played the best of the best, he was considerably less productive. This makes one wonder how he'll fare when he faces NFL teams each week.