If you didn't know any better, you'd think that NCAA star quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin were already NFL MVP's who'd won multiple Super Bowls. The key however is that they are exactly what I just stated, they are stars in college, and are totally unproven on the professional level.
Now, there is no denying that Luck and Griffin are elite prospects who certainly have great potential. However, I just witnessed an argument on ESPN in which Skip Bayless and Steven A. Smith argued over whether or not they would trade Tony Romo, the franchise quarterback of the Cowboys for Griffin or Luck, with both on opposite sides of the issue.
My immediate reaction: I can't believe what I am witnessing.
Luck and Griffin are good players. But how could a team be willing to trade their Pro Bowl caliber starting quarterback, who is still young and hasn't really missed significant time due to injury, aside from a broken collarbone a couple season ago, for these two unproven rookies?
I guess in the bigger picture, and what I'm really trying to get across is that too much pressure and hype is already being placed on the shoulders of these two young players. Just because they were great in college doesn't mean that the expectations should be so incredibly high for them in the NFL.
Who is to say that they won't end up like Ryan Leaf or JaMarcus Russel? Both of those guys were also considered can't miss prospects, and they ended up playing horribly and washing out.
Is it too crazy to say that there is a chance either Griffin or Luck won't end up like Leaf or JaMarcus? The answer should be no, because you just never know with quarterbacks in the NFL.
I firmly believe players should receive less praise and hype coming out of college and that it should be reserved until they prove their worth in the NFL. Luck and Griffin might turn out to be Hall of Famers, but they could just as easily have mediocre or sub-par careers.
Let them, as well as everyone else, earn their praise. Don't just hand it to them because they ran fast or jumped high at the combine, or threw for a lot of touchdowns at the college level. They deserve credit of course, but I'll hold back saying they are "once in a generation" players until they prove it at the next level.