Robert Griffin: 5 Reasons 2012 NFL Draft Co-Star Will Make an Immediate Impact
Despite all of the chatter amongst NFL analysts, Robert Griffin III will likely be the next quarterback of the Washington Redskins. Many speculate that Griffin is not ready for the NFL, let alone a competitive NFC East division complete with the reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants as well as superstar Michael Vick and his Philadelphia Eagles.
At the beginning of the 2011 campaign, NFL draft analysts projected RGIII as a second- or third-round pick.
His Heisman Trophy-winning season changed all that rather quickly.
Griffin's 2011 season at Baylor revealed his many talents, including his rocket of an arm, unmatched strength at the quarterback position, mental toughness, and down-to-earth nature. The revelation catapulted him into the "top five draft pick" discussion.
While two scouts have claimed that Griffin has a "selfish streak" and questioned "the way Griffin deals with people," Griffin professionally ignored the criticisms and continued to focus on draft day—a day of rejoicing for the Redskin faithful.
Griffin hails from a working-class ethos that is reflected in his family values and expressed through his mental toughness and maturity, something sure to shock the NFL come Week 1.
Here are the five reasons RGIII will make an immediate impact in the NFL.
NFL.com reported that RGIII ran the 40-yard dash in a 4.41 seconds, which is the third-fastest time for a QB in NFL combine history—only behind Michael Vick and Reggie McNeal.
Watching film from Baylor's terrific season erases any question about whether or not Griffin has speed under center, and his 40 time hints at his previous success running track.
Aside from the lightning-quick speed, Griffin also dominated both the vertical and broad jump events at the combine, demonstrating the true athleticism he'll bring to the NFL.
The Perfect Fit for a Head Coach
Griffin comes from a successful spread offense at Baylor and may have some training-camp troubles adjusting to Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan and his West Coast offense.
Even former Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb expressed his opinion on ESPN’s First Take, contending that Shanahan and Griffin would lack cohesiveness because Shanahan would "refuse to adjust his system."
Nevertheless, Griffin's maturity and respect for the game will certainly carry him through this transformation process.
What Donovan McNabb fails to mention is the fact that Griffin is basically the polar opposite of McNabb, especially regarding self-interest.
Griffin will arrive at Redskins camp with one thing on his mind: Winning.
It is ridiculous to think that the Heisman Trophy candidate will try to take over the Redskins offense like McNabb did. When in reality, Griffin's calm, collected and extremely coachable nature will be a perfect fit with a veteran coach like Mike Shanahan.
Strength of Schedule
Some of the Redskins' easiest games come early in 2012, including a Week 2 matchup against the 2-14 St. Louis Rams.
Last season, the Rams had the worst offense in the NFL; though that can easily change with their eight picks in this year's draft, all for dumping their No. 2 overall pick to Washington.
The good news for Griffin and the rest of the 'Skins offense is that their Week 2 game against St. Louis will be a perfect opportunity to make adjustments following their Week 1 battle against the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints have nothing but problems ranging from their front office and "Bountygate," to losing their head coach Sean Payton and even an unhappy franchise quarterback and team captain in Drew Brees—all problems that are probable to drown the once-dominant Saints in 2012.
If Shanahan puts Griffin and the rest of the 'Skins offense on the same page, Washington is fully capable of surprising the NFL with a 2-0 start.
Redskins Solving Wide Receiver Woes
The Washington front office has proven its excitement to explore the free-agent market in an effort to create that instant impact for RGIII.
Unfortunately for the Redskins accounting department, the NFL sacked $36 million from their salary structuring, claiming it gave them an unfair competitive advantage.
It's not an immediate infraction as the sum will be paid over a two-year period, but with a new star player coming into the club, the $36 million would certainly be beneficial in the free-agent market.
Aside from the league troubles, the Skins clearly had roster issues and needed to attack free agency to provide for the Heisman winner.
Washington's offense ranked 26th in the league last year sans a 1,000-yard wideout and averaged just 18 points per game. Even more ridiculous is the fact that up until Week 16, every touchdown catch was caught in the end zone—further proving the need for a downfield threat.
The Redskins have started the offensive growth by signing former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon for five years, as well as former San Francisco 49er and Virginia Tech standout Josh Morgan.
Once the No. 2 selection of RGIII is made, the Redskins will look to 2012 to better compete with the defending Super Bowl Champion New York Giants and the rest of the highly competitive NFC East.
National news has been made by some of the criticisms on Griffin. These countless attacks target his "star" status that many feel is not NFL-worthy just yet.
Instead of celebrating his uniqueness and Heisman Trophy-worthy athleticism, ESPN allows NFL players like Von Miller to proclaim:
He can throw the ball pretty well, and he’s fast. But if you hit him enough times, he’s going to wear down. He can run and throw, but I wouldn’t put him in that same class as [Michael] Vick, Cam [Newton] or [Josh] Freeman.
It's interesting to hear such a comment from Von Miller, seeing as how every NFL quarterback gets blasted, none more frequently than Mike Vick. Perhaps Miller made these comments because the Texas A&M alum would like to bring more attention to former Aggie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Whatever the case may be, RGIII is purely motivated to prove all doubters wrong. And that makes him extremely similar to last year's NFL Rookie of the Year, Cam Newton.