Where RGIII's 2012 Campaign Ranks Amongst Other Great Rookie Seasons

Chris Roling@@Chris_RolingFeatured ColumnistNovember 23, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 22:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins warms up before taking on the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day at Cowboys Stadium on November 22, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins has had one of the greatest rookie seasons in recent memory through only 12 weeks, but where does it rank when stacked up to some of the all-time great rookie quarterbacks in recent history? 

To be fair, RGIII being one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL isn't all that surprising. In fact, the Redskins front office was fully expecting that from him after giving up a boatload to the St. Louis Rams in order to make Griffin the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. 

Griffin has turned the Redskins into a legitimate franchise over night. In 11 games, Griffin has thrown for 2,193 yards and 12 touchdowns with only three interceptions. He has an outstanding 101 rating and is completing 67 percent of his passes. 

RGIII was a hot topic coming out of Baylor because of his propensity to be a dual-threat quarterback. He's delivered on that hype as well, rushing for 613 yards and six touchdowns already. 

A nightmare for opposing defenses, Griffin makes opponents fear his ability to run the ball, which gives him weaker coverages to pick apart through the air. That's exactly what Griffin does, and if the stats didn't' paint a clear picture, he does so with pinpoint accuracy. 

When comparing Griffin's numbers to other rookies, he's clearly in the upper echelon.

For example, one of the only quarterbacks with a similar rating at the conclusion of his rookie season was the Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger

In his rookie season Roethlisberger went 8-1 while completing 66.4 percent of his passes for 2,621 yards to go with 17 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He finished with a 98.1 rating.

Taking things a little further back, Dan Marino only went 5-4 as a starter with 2,210 yards through the air with 20 touchdowns and only six interceptions.

Most recently, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers is considered to be possibly the greatest rookie quarterback in NFL history, at least statistically. 

In 2011, Newton passed for 4,051 yards, 21 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He proved to be a dual threat like Griffin, rushing for 706 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. 

Griffin clearly matches up to three of the greater rookie quarterbacks of all time, but he may have trouble even winning the Offensive Rookie of the Year because the man taken ahead of him in the 2012 NFL draft is keeping pace. 

Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts is having a stellar season after replacing Peyton Manning. He's thrown for 2,965 yards, 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Luck has proven to be a dual threat himself, rushing for 163 yards and five touchdowns. 

The 2012 quarterback draft class has been arguably one of the best in history so far, and Griffin has had a large part in that. 

It's clear Griffin is headed for great things in the future, and Luck vs. Griffin may be the next modern classic quarterback rivalry. Luck has the edge in victories, but Griffin statistically has been a better quarterback to this point.

How things play out between the two the rest of the season is hard to tell, but Griffin is clearly on pace to have one of the greatest rookie quarterback seasons in NFL history. He may not elevate the Redskins to the postseason, but his statistics speak for themselves. 

Robert Griffin III has already had one of the greater seasons we have witnessed from a rookie, but the exciting part is he is nowhere near finished yet. 


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