Now in no way is this a knock on Andrew Luck. He is an amazing talent who has proven himself on the collegiate level and has a bright future ahead of him. He has worked with below-average skilled players and in some ways is a shadow of his own success. We have seen so much of him that all we can do is critique the small stuff.
Luck has the potential to be an amazing NFL quarterback, but Griffin III has more. Not only does he have more, but it's not even close.
When I see Andrew Luck I see the most consistent college football in the last decade. Over the last two years, he has maintained a 70% completion rate while throwing over 30 each of the last two seasons. There was less than a 200-yard difference between the two seasons and his quarterback rating was within one point during that time as well.
This is his downfall. In the pros, you get rewarded for keeping up this kind of success. On the college level the scouts want to see you get better each season. The fact that there was no difference between his sophomore and junior season puts a dent in his potential.
Over that same amount of time RGIII's improvement was through the roof. What makes his last season even more impressive is that the one before that was very good. In his third year at Baylor, RGIII threw for 3,501 yards while completing 67% of his passes with 22 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. He also ran for over 600 yards with eight rushing touchdowns.
Pretty good right? He continued to improve during his Heisman-winning fourth season. He showed that growth and potential NFL teams drool over. How does over 4,000 passing yards, 72% completion rate with 37 touchdowns and two less interceptions sound? He even ran for more yards and had two more rushing touchdowns than his junior season.
Both players showed great poise in big games. Andrew Luck made a crucial mistake in the USC game and proceeded to take ownership, putting on a clutch performance that concluded with a dramatic overtime win. Luck is used to the big stage as he's been on it for two-plus years now.
RGIII burst on the scene and performed when the lights shined bright, including that Heisman spotlight. From the early going he embraced the Heisman race and lived up to the challenge. His four-touchdown, 479-yard performance against BCS powerhouse Oklahoma all but sealed the Heisman race and elevated him to Luck's level.
Who would you draft #1 overall?
When I see the biggest differences in potential I see it in personality and athleticism. Have you ever really heard Andrew Luck speak? He doesn't say too much and comes off as a very pleasant but quiet young man. Obviously not a fallback, but remember this is the guy who is supposed to replace Peyton Manning. The same Peyton who has hosted Saturday Night Live, done commercials with Justin Timberlake and has been the face of the NFL for better than a decade now.
RGIII has the personality needed to be the face of a franchise. While most will say it's all goofy socks, I say he's a person that put Baylor football on the map. Think about that: Baylor football. What do you think he can do with, for example, the Cleveland Browns?
Athleticism on the NFL level for quarterbacks has become just as important as how far you can throw a football. RGIII can move around far better than Luck, which opens up potential and a coach's playbook all the more. At 6'2'' and 220 lbs., the comparison to Michael Vick should never even come up when it comes to RGIII. Instead, think of a player who is the same size and shares a similar skill set: the reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers. If that doesn't get a struggling franchise's juices flowing, then I don't know what does.
Potential is a confusing word. While it has a positive connotation and describes where you could go, it can also tell you where you're not. RGIII is not on the same level as Luck right now. Nobody has a clue which quarterback will be more successful at the next level. Andrew Luck has the tools to be a great player but lacks the potential of a man with Superman socks.