NFL Draft 2012: Why Robert Griffin Can Be Better Than Robert Griffin
In the 2012 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins selected Robert Griffin out of Baylor with the second pick of the draft. Two-hundred-and-one picks later, the New York Jets selected Robert Griffin out of Baylor.
No, you read that right. There were two Robert Griffins from Baylor.
The other, Robert T. Griffin, is a mammoth offensive lineman who lived largely in the shadow of the other Griffin. Now that's all fun and dandy and makes for some snappy headlines. But here's my crazy thought:
Robert T. Griffin can have a more successful career than RG3.
In the history of the draft, NFL quarterbacks taken in the first round have about a 50 percent success rate. You have your Peyton Mannings, and you have your Ryan Leafs. No matter what the hype or the scouts say, every quarterback has bust potential.
One-two quarterback tandems haven't fared well either, with one prospect at least usually failing.
Robert Griffin III certainly has bust potential. He was somewhat of a draft riser—if not for Matt Barkley coming back to USC, he would have certainly been the third quarterback picked. He also has quite a few criticisms. Per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Bob McGinn (via ESPN) one NFL scout said, "He's just running around winging it. He's [Michael] Vick but not as good a thrower."
McGinn also reported via ProFootball Talk that another scout spoke on the comparisons to Cam Newton: “He has better arm action and is more accurate with his deep ball, but he’s not as good as Cam Newton. As much as is written about his athleticism, his athleticism under duress in the pocket isn’t even close to Cam Newton’s. This guy, the only way he gets big plays with his feet is if he’s got a wide-open field and the sea opens for him.”
Many cite Baylor's non-pro style offense as another hindrance to his success.
Meanwhile, Robert T. Griffin has the potential to be a solid starter on the New York Jets line in the future. He certainly has the size at 6'6", 330 lbs—he's huge. He is raw, no doubt, and needs development. But if he can develop his skills and strength, he could be a quality starter.
You want examples?
Look at the Jets line now. Both of their guards are quality starters. Both were late-round picks. Matt Slauson was selected only 10 picks ahead of Griffin in the 2009 draft and appears to have a solid career ahead of him.
Brandon Moore was undrafted. He was a Pro Bowler this year. Moore, 33, is entering the final year of his contract. The Jets like to develop their guards, instead of drafting them early. Slauson replaced the excellent Alan Faneca two years ago. When Moore leaves, the Jets will look inward for a replacement. Look for Robert T. Griffin to compete for that spot and potentially be a quality starter for years to come.
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