Draftonomics: Robert Griffin III Edition

The draft is certainly afoot, and in the very near future you’re gonna be seeing a lot of this guy: Baylor QB and golden boy Robert Griffin III.  But is he a better talent than his Left Coast counterpart, Stanford’s Andrew Luck?  Short answer is “yes”.  Long answer is “yes, and I’ll show you why”.

The date was September 2nd.  TCU/Baylor was gonna be a goodie – we already knew that.  But I’m not sure that anyone could have predicted the fireworks that ensued.  TCU QB Casey Pachall’s stat line would have been outstanding on most other nights: 25-39 for 251 yds., 4 TDs and 1 pick – not to mention a rushing TD.  But there was another player on the field that day; one that, to quote Soulja Boy, was “ballin’ out the atmosphere”.

On that day, RGIII went 21-27 for 359 yds., 5 TDs and no picks.  It was a stupid good game, and it was also a harbinger of what was to come.  Griffin III would go on to hit the 5 TD mark twice more in 2011, and also eclipse 300 yds. in every game but 4.  He also proved that he can win not only with his arm and his legs, but with his heart, as he led his squad through several rollercoaster affairs – the most prolific being a 67-56 barnburner against Washington in the Alamo Bowl.  “But Armando!”, you say to your computer monitor, “That’s all well and good, but how does he stack up to Luck?”  To which I would reply “Pipe down, I’m getting to it, Disembodied Voice From the Internet”.

There are gonna be folks that say that Andrew Luck is the better get than Robert Griffin III.  Hell, there are gonna be some folks that think that Ryan Tannehill is a better get than Robert Griffin III.  They might have compelling arguments, but the stats don’t lie.  There have been very few “mobile quarterbacks” with the kind of arm and accuracy that RGIII has.  Top 6 in 2011 in total passing yards, avg. yds. per pass, comp%, TDs, and passer rating.  Sure, Luck was also up there in TD and passer rating, but was able to best RGIII in precisely ZERO of those stats.  For the haters who say “Don’t forget, Mr. V., that Baylor was a pass-happy team, so of course RGIII was better”, remember that Baylor RB Terrance Ganaway had more rushing attempts AND more rushing yards than his Stanford counterpart, Stepfan Taylor.

The final part of the equation is the future.  How will each one fare as the years roll on?  I think this is actually the easiest piece of the puzzle.  See, center Jeff Saturday is a HUGE reason why Peyton Manning was so successful in Indy.  However, Jeff Saturday will be spending his Sundays in 2012 on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.  Not only that, but long-time starting tackle/guard Ryan Diem retired in late-March, leaving two big O-line holes to fill.  Washington immediately becomes the safer team for a young QB to at least not get a concussion every other week.  Sure, he’ll get his share of pressure, but not as much as he would in Indy.  Besides, with his speed and elusiveness, he can shake free and toss the ‘skin to one of several sexy targets, such as underrated Josh Morgan, feast-or-famine Donte’ Stallworth, and ex-Colt Pierre Garçon (yeah we got the special ç with the squiggle on the bottom, because we’re damn classy).

Truth is, neither of these teams will be relevant for a long time – at least 3 years.  But Washington has a MUCH better chance of putting a run together than Indy, and Robert Griffin III will be the lynch-pin.  Super Bowl ring?  Why not?  I’ll put the over/under at 2016 and pick the under.

– AV.

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