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Jobu ponders the immediate future of Robert Griffin, III

When you get taken second overall in the NFL draft, a lot is going to be expected of you. When the team that takes you with the second overall pick basically mortgages the rest of their future to get you, the expectations are a little higher. When you get handed the reigns to a struggling NFL franchise so you can turn them around before you’ve even taken a single snap in the pros, maybe the heat gets turned up even higher? That’s what Robert Griffin, III of the Washington Redskins is facing this year. So what can we expect from him?

It was one of Griffin’s teammates who actually got the expectations ball rolling this past week. Skins Wide Receiver Josh Morgan said the following:

“He’s as fast as Michael Vick, but he can make all the throws that Peyton Manning
can make and he can make all the reads that Tom Brady can make. He’s got the
whole package.”

I’m sure Morgan is just trying to become RGIII’s favorite target by using some flattery, and someone probably had a nice chat with him after he opened his mouth on this one, but is there something to what he said?

Griffin was an absolute beast in college. Playing for the Baylor Bears in 2011, the 6’2, 223 lb redshirt junior threw for 4,293 yards, 37 TDs and only 6 interceptions, ran for 699 yards and 10 more TDs and won the Heisman Trophy. There isn’t much more you can do as a college football QB. He even had 3 punts for 99 yards! No, not punt returns… actual punts!

Can RGIII turn this Redskins offense around? (AP Photos/David Drapkin)

There are probably two choices as far as fans (and haters) are concerned. RGIII is either going to live up to the hype and make the Pro Bowl, or be a complete bust. We can look to some recent QBs as examples of the two extremes. The first example is the guy who was taken with the first overall pick in last year’s draft, Cam Newton. To say that Newton, who was taken by the Carolina Panthers (a year after they took Jimmy Calusen of Notre Dame with their second round pick), met expectations is a complete understatement.

The kid from Auburn put up one of the better all-around seasons of all time. He broke Peyton Manning’s rookie record for passing yards (4,051), throwing 21 TDs in the process. He also set records with his feet, rushing for 726 yards and a QB record 14 TDs. In all, Newton set nineteen team or NFL records. Not bad at all, right?

The other end of the spectrum is a guy like Vince Young. Young had one of the better all around seasons in college football history in 2006 as a junior for the Texas Longhorns. He threw for 3,036 yards with 26 TDs, ran for 1,050 yards and 12 TDs and finished second in the Heisman race to Reggie Bush (Young got his revenge when Texas beat USC in the Rose Bowl to win the national championship). While Young had some success in his early days in the NFL, almost leading the Titans to the playoffs in 2006). To put it bluntly, Young never quite got good enough to be the Titans’ starter (When Kerry Collins unseats you, there’s a problem). After some mental issues off the field, the Titans cut Young. He signed with Philadelphia last season, but played poorly when Michael Vick was injured. Eventually he ended up in Buffalo, who recently cut him in favor of Tarvaris Jackson.

From what I’ve seen and read about RGIII, I think he’s a lot more likely to be Cam Newton than he is Vince Young. The Redskins aren’t very good, and his top target right now are Josh Morgan and Pierre Garçon. While those are nice receivers, they’re not Steve Smith like Newton had in Carolina. Griffin also plays in a very tough division, and will have to face the Eagles and Giants defenses twice each, which means he might end up on his butt a lot. All that being said, I think he’s dynamic enough to make his own offense at times, so I’ll say RGIII throws for about 3,200 yards with 18 TDs, 19 INTs, but runs for 650 yards and 8 scores. These are very good numbers for a rookie, but I think Griffin will end up being a special player in this league by the time he’s done, so I expect a solid start in 2012.

Griffin III’s Heisman Trophy Highlight Reel:

Featured image courtesy of: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Martin Stezano

About Martin Stezano

Uruguayan born and American raised with a unique perspective on the domestic and international sports scenes. It will both tickle your funny bone and enlighten your mind. Love it or hate it...just read it.