2012 NFL Draft: Breaking Down Robert Griffin III vs. Andrew Luck

Wes ODonnell@wesodonnellFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10:  (L-R) Heisman Trophy finalists running back Trent Richardson of the Alabama Crimson Tide, running back Montee Ball of the Wisconsin Badgers, cornerback Tyrann Mathieu of the LSU Tigers, Andrew Luck of the Stanford University Cardinal and quarterback Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears pose with the Heisman Trophy after a press conference at The New York Marriott Marquis on December 10, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III just beat out Andrew Luck for the 2011 Heisman Trophy.

Is it possible for him to leapfrog the current No. 1 prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft as well?

Anything is technically possible, but it would be a surprise if the Baylor Bears quarterback went before Andrew Luck on draft day.

It wouldn't surprise everyone though. According to Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith:

"[RGIII has] so much promise that one NFL personnel director told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that there are people around the league who prefer Griffin to Luck. Schefter spoke to two other personnel directors, one who described Griffin as a surefire first-round pick, and another who said he’ll go in the Top 15."

A sure-fire first-round pick or top-15 pick won't put RGIII in front of Luck—not by a long shot. As promising and exciting as the Baylor quarterback is, he's not yet in Luck's class as a prospect.

Luck and RGIII are different in a lot of ways.

The Stanford quarterback stands 6'4", 235 pounds. He's long been considered one of the smartest and most pro-ready quarterbacks since Peyton Manning came out in 1998 and has lost only two games in the last two years.

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He's your prototypical franchise quarterback with above-average athleticism and franchise-saving intangibles.

The Baylor quarterback stands only 6'2", 220 pounds. He's long been considered one of the best athletes playing the position, just won the Heisman Trophy and has a skill set even more intriguing than Michael Vick. His rare top-end speed and decision-making combine to make him a unique dual-threat quarterback.

He'll win over anyone in an interview and has shown to be a true leader in the face of adversity.

They do share, however, absolutely dominant numbers. Both completed over 70 percent of their passes this year. Both threw over 35 touchdown passes and did enough to legitimately stake a claim in the Heisman Trophy race.

And still, when it comes down to Luck vs. RGIII in the NFL draft, the race is easily led by Luck.


There are no sure things when it comes to the NFL Draft, but Andrew Luck is damn close. He has above-average athleticism for his size, understands the game on a different level than other college quarterbacks and still has room to improve overall. He can make all the throws, anticipates when and where his receivers are going to be and does and says all the right things.

RGIII isn't far off, but his superior athleticism, decision-making and arm strength don't mask his lack of experience in a pro-style system.

He certainly has the potential and intangibles necessary to succeed, and he may even become the No. 2 quarterback in the draft if he decides to leave school, but he won't catch Luck in this race.

We'll talk about these two prospects throughout the duration of the draft process, but when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell steps to the podium in late April, Robert Griffin III is going to need luck if he wants to overtake Andrew Luck.


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