Is Robert Griffin III Already a Top 10 NFL QB?

John Rozum@Rozum27Correspondent IOctober 15, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 14: Robert Griffen III #10 of the Washington Redskins walks off the field after the game against the Minnesota Vikings at FedExField on October 14, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Vikings 38-26. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III is flirting with elite NFL quarterback status only six games into his rookie campaign.

The question, however, is how elite?

We're talking Top 10, because RG3 has literally carried the Washington Redskins on his back early in 2012. And entering as the No. 2 overall pick on top of being the Heisman Trophy winner, the young man has definitely lived up to expectations.

Still, is he already among the 10 best under center in pro football? Well, let's breakdown how he's fared thus far in comparison to his quarterback brethren.

Who Stands Out in the AFC

The obvious guys come in the form Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers. From a career perspective and how they're performing in 2012, these four have been the most consistent.

Right now, Rivers leads the AFC with a 67.9 completion percentage and Big Ben is at 64.6. Altogether, these four gunslingers combine for 39 touchdowns to only 13 touchdowns. Other AFC notables include Joe Flacco and Matt Schaub.

We have to keep in mind that efficiency is the most important—both the regular season and postseason. Now yes, Rivers and Schaub don't have the playoff resume by comparison. Nonetheless, Schaub led the league in passing yards in 2009 and Rivers has been impressive since taking over for Drew Brees in 2006.

And speaking of Brees, he's one of the best in the NFC.

NFC Not as Deep

Along with Brees, the NFC presents us with elite quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Eli Manning and Matt Ryan.

Ryan is in the midst of a career-year right now by sporting a 67.8 completion percentage with 1,756 passing yards. Anyone can rip Eli for not putting up numbers like Peyton, but the younger Manning threw for 4,933 yards in 2011, which was more than his older brother had ever reached.

Not to mention both of Eli's Super Bowls.

Last season was also an impressive dual between Brees and Rodgers. This season, Brees is keeping the New Orleans Saints' hopes alive by himself, and we just saw Rodgers slice up the Houston Texans.

One other NFC quarterback of note is Matthew Stafford.

In terms of career, RG3 can potentially have him surpassed, because Stafford dealt with injuries early on before dominating in 2011. This year, Stafford has more picks than scores, so he must improve for the Detroit Lions to have any shot at returning to the postseason. 


RG3 By the Numbers

Although RG3 has not attempted nearly as many passes as anyone mentioned above, he has been extremely efficient when throwing the ball.

He leads the NFL with a 70.2 completion percentage and is second with 8.34 yards per attempt. As one of only three quarterbacks with a rating over 100 flat through Week 6 (pending Monday night game, Peyton Manning), Griffin III also has Washington averaging 29.7 points per game.

That ranks tied with the Giants at No. 3, but it's not like the Redskins scored the majority in one game. The least came against the Falcons (17) and every other game has been no less than 24.

Obviously that attributes in large part to a scoring defense as well.

Nevertheless, RG3's ability to dish the rock around at all levels deserves recognition. Four different players—none of which are running backs—have at least 16-plus receptions and 200 yards receiving.

So it's not like RG3 is constantly dumping the ball off on a screen or checkdown for easy completions and yards. His 379 rushing yards and six touchdowns on the ground and his attribute as a dual-threat makes him stand out even more.

Griffin does need to continue his development from under center and making audibles while staying in the pocket. What he's displayed is the utmost potential, unlike Cam Newton, to deliver consistent passes and only scramble as a last resort.

Everything being said, is RG3 a Top 10 NFL quarterback? Yes, no and then yes again.

Here's what I mean:

1. Yes, when we are strictly talking in terms of the 2012 NFL season,

2. No, when we are looking at quarterbacks from a career perspective, and

3. Yes, in regards to RG3's potential, which may put him as a Top 10-er before the season concludes.


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