Comparing RG3's Running Style to Top NFL RBs

Alessandro Miglio@@AlexMiglioFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 21: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins runs against the New York Giants during their game at MetLife Stadium on October 21, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III is an incredible athlete. The star rookie can run a 4.3 40-yard dash and throw a 60-yard dart, which has helped him get off to a great start in the NFL.

The Redskins quarterback has been particularly dangerous on the ground, prompting the question: What does his running style look like compared to some of the game's top runners?

@alexmiglio I got nothing. I don't think he runs like a RB. He runs like a QB w/track speed.

— Ryan Burns (@FtblSickness) November 9, 2012

I did a bit of crowd sourcing to try to find the answer to this question. Mr. Burns is spot on here; Griffin does not quite have a running back's running style due to the position he plays.

As great as RGIII is as a runner, his style can hardly be described as power. Marshawn Lynch runs like a malfunctioning robot. Adrian Peterson is a violent breed. His teammate, Alfred Morris, runs with authority more than grace.

Predictably, I got no responses to that effect. Of course, no quarterback is going to seek contact save perhaps Cam Newton, who is 6'5: and 245 pounds.

So Griffin does not compare favorably to the brutes. There are plenty of running backs who are more finesse and speed, and there are a few that fit this bill.

@alexmiglio How about Chris Johnson?

— Brad Hill (@CaliforniaJag) November 9, 2012

@alexmiglio Maybe CJ0K? Pretty upright, effortless lateral agility when he wants to, unbeatable long speed in the open field.

— C.D. Carter (@CDCarter13) November 9, 2012

@alexmiglio none, lol.But if forced, probably CJ2K

— MS (@mstrisik) November 9, 2012

Perhaps the best contemporary running back comparison for RGIII is Chris Johnson. Johnson has unbelievable speed, using it to its full potential when he is not hesitating behind the line or trying to find a nonexistent hole. 

CJ2K runs upright with long strides, much like Griffin. It would be fun to see these two race. Maybe we can get Usain Bolt involved.

“@alexmiglio: continuing to crowd-source: with which RBs does RGIII's running style match the most? Go.”McFadden

— Scott (@speak3D) November 9, 2012

@alexmiglio McFadden?

— Schmendrick (@ATLGreg1) November 9, 2012

And our own Ian Kenyon chimed in via email:

I think you could make an argument that he runs like Darren McFadden. Similar size (6'2, 220 -- give or take), similar speed (Mcfadden 4.33, RG3 4.41), McFadden runs upright, as does RG3. 

Indeed, this is another good comparison. Griffin looks more like CJ2K than he does Run DMC, but the long strides and the sheer speed are there. Hopefully for Griffin's sake, the injuries will stay away.

Some historic comparisons were made as well.

@alexmiglio Dickerson.

— M Kush (@Kuuush) November 9, 2012

 

@alexmiglio @ftblsickness Fair enough. Closest in my mind? Probably Eric Dickerson. Upright glider.

— RumfordJohnny (@RumfordJohnny) November 9, 2012

Setting power aside—RGIII is not going to run Brian Urlacher over anytime soon—Dickerson is an excellent comparison. Like Dickerson, Griffin glides across the open field like a bird of prey, deceiving the eyes of opponents and observers that he has uncanny speed.

@alexmiglio .Robert Smith and Eddie George are two others that come to mind... and I agree that CJ?K is probably the best current comparison

— Jay Bee (@thoughtsausages) November 9, 2012

@rumfordjohnny @alexmiglio @ftblsickness Eddie George. Long strides, faster obviously. But as Johnny said, upright glider to the fullest

— Shaun M. Church (@Church_NFL) November 9, 2012

Like with Dickerson, ignore George's power in this case.

In the end, Griffin has his own, distinct running style. It's pretty good on its own.

 

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