Robert Griffin III Is Something Different; Don't Call Him the Next Michael Vick

Jason CappellContributor IIIOctober 27, 2012

Robert Griffin III (10) and Michael Vick (7)
Robert Griffin III (10) and Michael Vick (7)

Both have game-breaking speed and play in the NFC East.

The similarities start and end there. 

Many scouts made the mistake of comparing Redskins rookie Robert Griffin III (RGIII) to Michael Vick. But the fact of the matter is there are a number of glaring differences between the two quarterbacks.

Michael Vick is a run-first quarterback. He looks to move the chains with his legs instead of throwing the ball downfield. On the other hand, RGIII is a true dual-threat quarterback. Not only does he beat you on the ground, he also makes you pay with his pinpoint passing game.

It is only seven games into RGIII's career, and he has already posted a remarkable 70.4 percent completion rate (No. 1 in NFL), along with a 101.8 passer rating.   

Even Redskins teammate DeAngelo Hall believes that Robert Griffin is much further ahead than Michael Vick was at the same stage in his career (h/t Brad Biggs, Yahoo! Sports).

I feel like he's light years ahead of Michael Vick because he understands mentally what it takes to be great. Mike felt like he could go out athletically and be great. RGIII is like I know athletically I'm pretty good, but I want to be mentally great. If I can be mentally great and athletically good or great then it is scary. His ability to want to be that great quarterback now and just a great athlete is what is going to separate him from all the other guys out there.

Griffin has done the one thing Vick failed to do early in his career as the Falcons starter: throw the ball effectively. In his early years, Vick keyed in on tight end Alge Crumpler and relied heavily on Warrick Dunn and the Falcons running game.  

Griffin has frequently targeted a wide number of receivers, including Leonard Hankerson, Santana Moss, Fred Davis and Pierre Garcon.

In Vick's first year as the Falcons starter (2002) he completed a subpar 54.9 percent of his passes and accumulated a mediocre 81.6 QB rating. Although the Falcons made the playoffs that year, Vick succeeded primarily on the ground, rushing for an astounding 777 yards and eight touchdowns.

When Vick joined the Atlanta Falcons in 2001, everyone asked the same two questions: How good can he be, and how good will he be?

Nearly a decade later, with Vick now the quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, those questions remain unanswered. It took Vick almost a decade to become an adequate thrower. However, Vick’s passing ability improved greatly when he joined the Eagles in 2009, after serving a 21-month prison sentence for his role in a dog-fighting ring. 

Throughout Vick's 10-year career, he has endured his fair share of legal troubles. Vick already spent two years of his career in prison, and he isn't getting any younger.   

Though heavily scrutinized for his off the-field-conduct, Vick is a franchise quarterback. He has a cannon for an arm. While his arm strength is sometimes forgotten, Vick can throw the deep ball with great velocity, albeit with mediocre accuracy. 

Despite his shortcomings as a passer, Vick is an outstanding athlete. Vick was drafted in the 30th round of the 2000 MLB draft by the Colorado Rockies, despite not playing baseball since the eighth grade. With that said, MLB executives were sold not only on his arm strength but also his freakish athleticism.

Vick might actually be faster than Griffin; his 40-yard dash time at the combine was 4.33 seconds, which was 0.08 faster than Griffin's this past February. According to their combine measurements, Vick measured an inch shorter and 13 pounds lighter than RGIII.

New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle offered this comparison of the two stud quarterbacks (via Marc Sessler,

I haven't watched too much film on RG3 yet. I've just seen highlights and this, that and the other. But, of course, they're different. They're two totally different quarterbacks and I think that their game as far as their offensive approach is extremely different. RG3, as you know, he can run the ball. I think he runs the ball a lot more than Michael Vick. I mean, he's a fast guy. He has a very, very strong arm and I think he's an all-around quarterback, he's going to get better with time.

The composure RGIII has shown in his rookie year is unprecedented. The way he handles himself in front of the Washington media is mature beyond his years.

Griffin looks like he is capable of leading a Redskins revival, which would be bad news for not only Vick and the Eagles, but also for the rest of the NFC East. The division is only getting more competitive, especially with Griffin's fireworks going off every week.

Already this year Griffin has a higher quarterback rating, a higher completion percentage, more rushing yards, more rushing touchdowns and fewer turnovers than Vick. 

It has only been seven weeks into his young career, but RGIII handles himself with the confidence of a 10-year veteran both on and off the field. Griffin has demonstrated the ability to lead his team from behind and has orchestrated numerous clutch 4th-quarter drives. Griffin shows poise and patience in the pocket and makes all the throws needed under pressure.

This season Redskin fans have drooled over Robert Griffin III' s talents, pronouncing him the "King of DC."

Eagles fans can’t say the same for their quarterback. The turnover-prone Vick has heard boo-birds, as they wait for the rookie Nick Foles to get his shot.