Don't Let Preseason Fool You, RG3 Will Have Better Rookie Year Than Andrew Luck
After Andrew Luck's dazzling preseason debut, in which he threw for 188 yards and two touchdowns on 10-of-16 passing, many were quick to name him the favorite for the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year award.
To me, Luck hasn't even made his debut yet.
That'll come September 9 in Chicago against the Bears.
While Luck certainly looked comfortable in the pocket, was in sync with the Colts' pass-catchers and was accurate on nearly all of his passes, we mustn't forget the man selected immediately after Luck in the 2012 draft: Robert Griffin III.
Both phenomenal collegiate prospects will transition rather seamlessly to the NFL, but the Redskins' quarterback will have the better rookie season.
To some, including yours truly, RG3 has a better arm that Luck—a cannon capable of effortlessly delivering the football down the field. While arm strength doesn't necessarily mean a quarterback will flourish (see: Boller, Kyle), it undoubtedly helps.
Next, Griffin III's downfield accuracy is better than Luck's.
The numbers don't lie.
Last year at Baylor, RG3 completed 72.4 percent of his passes at an utterly ridiculous 10.7 yards-per-attempt average. Luck was far from inaccurate, but his 71.3 completion percentage came at an 8.7 yards-per-attempt average.
Certainly, their completion numbers could flip-flop in the NFL, but based on everything we know now, Griffin III is the more precise downfield thrower.
Because of RG3's insane accuracy statistics, Redskins coaches should give him ample opportunities to push the ball vertically, which should result in many big plays.
Luck doesn't receive the credit he deserves in terms of athletic ability and "escapability," and Griffin III's first love is staying in the pocket, but the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is clearly more elusive with a better burst when running the football.
Who will have the better rookie season, Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III?
Behind what sometimes can be a shaky offensive line in Washington, Griffin III will amass more rushing yards than Luck as well.
Lastly, Griffin III has a slightly more established receiving corps in the nation's capital, although neither the Colts' nor Redskins' receiving contingents border on "elite."
Pierre Garcon's a shifty playmaker entering the prime of his career, and Santana Moss is still serviceable, as is Josh Morgan. Fred Davis emerged in 2011, totaling nearly 800 yards receiving on 59 catches. Sure, Luck has Reggie Wayne, the best wideout on either team, but the rest of his pass-catching group is relatively inexperienced or unproven.
Both will play from behind more often than not, which should lead to inflated numbers at season's end. (Actually, RG3 will probably play from behind more often than Luck because the Baylor product is in a deeper, more competitive division.)
Listen, I'm not bashing Luck—the guy's as steady as they come and will have a fine rookie campaign. But in terms of the better statistical rookie year, give me Robert Griffin III, by a slim margin.
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