Andrew Luck will be the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. There are some potential major storylines attached to his selection, whether it is by the Colts or the Rams, or acquired in a trade by someone else. But my guess is the second quarterback off the board could cause the most commotion on draft day.
Robert Griffin III is 6’2″, 220 lbs. and will become the fastest guy playing quarterback in the NFL from the moment he is drafted. He is a bright, well-spoken, confident leader who possesses both a strong and accurate arm. He is a military brat (and I say that kindly) who was born in Japan and was well-travelled before landing at Baylor with coach Art Briles. Briles had recruited him to Houston, but when he was hired at Baylor, Griffin would follow.
Griffin was a 4-star high school recruit, that drew a lot of interest around the country, but clearly not as much as he should have. There is little not to like about the young man, and that will be one topic discussed undoubtedly between today and the draft: Is he the best quarterback available?
When searching for comparison’s, the one I believe that will come up most often is that to Randall Cunningham. The former Eagles star was as dynamic an athlete to ever play the position of quarterback. He was a little taller (6’4″), but the size and speed are similar. Cunningham didn’t win a Heisman at UNLV, but he did lead a non-traditional football school to it’s best season ever (11-2) in the same way RG3 elevated Baylor.
Griffin could be even better however, because of his accuracy. Cunningham was closer to the inconsistencies of someone like Mike Vick, completing less than 60% of his passes. Vick and Cunningham each are at 56% for their careers, and have QB ratings of 82.9 and 81.5. Griffin broke the college quarterback rating mark and completed over 72% of his throws. No promise that numbers like that will translate, but its a good starting point.
Beyond how he’ll stack up as a topic of conversation, I also believe he could be the most highly sought after player on the board. There are many quarterback-needy teams that could be willing to pay a fortune to move up and select RG3.
The current draft order, with a week to go in the season, looks like this:
|1||Indianapolis Colts ||2-13||.552|
|2||St. Louis Rams ||2-13||.571|
|3||Minnesota Vikings ||3-12||.565|
|4||Cleveland Browns ||4-11||.516|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars ||4-11||.529|
|6||Tampa Bay Buccaneers ||4-11||.545|
|7||Washington Redskins ||5-10||.476|
|8||Miami Dolphins ||5-10||.511|
|9||Carolina Panthers ||6-9||.482|
|10||Buffalo Bills ||6-9||.498|
|11||Kansas City Chiefs ||6-9||.516|
|12||Arizona Cardinals ||7-8||.476|
|13||Philadelphia Eagles ||7-8||.500|
|14||Seattle Seahawks ||7-8||.509|
|15||San Diego Chargers ||7-8||.516|
|16||Chicago Bears ||7-8||.556|
|17||Tennessee Titans ||8-7||.453|
|18||Dallas Cowboys ||8-7||.467|
|19||New York Jets ||8-7||.502|
|20||Oakland Raiders ||8-7||.507|
|21||New York Giants ||8-7||.518|
|22||Denver Broncos ||8-7||.524|
The Rams, Vikings, Bucs, and Jags already have young, 1st round picks as their current starters. The Browns have a question mark in Colt McCoy, while the Dolphins and Redskins don’t have a viable plan in place at the position. Those latter three teams could be battling in trade talks with one of the others to move up to select RG3.
And with the price of doing business lower with the new CBA in place, the value of a top ten pick is higher than ever before. A team can command a fortune to acquire a high pick.
Robert Griffin III has yet to declare for the draft, but said following last night’s Alamo Bowl that he’d be making a decision shortly. With Matt Barkley returning to USC for his senior season, RG3 can’t possibly see his value any greater than it is right now.
I think he can be a star in the NFL. I think he’ll be the star of the draft too.