If only Skynet had chosen to send Robert Griffin III back in time to terminate John Connor ...
If you're reading this, it's safe to assume that you managed to keep your head out of the oven following the heart-warming beating the Dolphins took from the Jets on Monday night. Congratulations. In a season that has become survival of the fittest (or, rather, most tolerant) fans, you're working your way right up the food chain.
But here's the bad news: the Dolphins have a lot of holes on their roster right now, and even a fairy-dust-pooping prospect like Andrew Luck isn't going to fix Miami's horrendous defense or lack of genuine talent along the right side of their offensive line. And that's the point of these posts--to introduce you to the quarterbacks most likely to be wearing aqua and orange next year, as well as the lesser-known college prospects who can help get the Dolphins out of the doldrums.
I've been getting a lot of requests to profile a certain quarterback who has gained some serious notoriety over the last two months, so let's take a look at a signal caller who would become an immediate possibility for us if Andrew Luck isn't available when we make our selection. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you ... RG3.Robert Griffin III, QB Baylor
For those of you who don't know, Robert Griffin's 2011 season has been nothing short of ridiculous thus far: 22 touchdowns, two interceptions 1,950 yards passing and a completion percentage of 78.0 (it was 80.3 percent prior to Griffin's three-touchdown, 430-yard-passing performance against Texas A&M last Saturday). And Griffin doesn't play in a typical college dink-and-dunk offense, either. Baylor loves to throw deep, and will do so early and often. Therefore, you could argue that Griffin is easily the most accurate passer in the country. And if you watch any of his tape, you'll have a hard time believing someone can actually throw a deep ball that accurately. Seeing is believing, however, and Griffin is absolutely the real deal.
So why was he such a secret until this season?
Well, he really wasn't, actually. Griffin was 2008 Big 12 Player of the Year, and has completed at least 60 percent of his throws every season while at Baylor. He's big enough (6'2", 220) to play quarterback in the NFL, and is much more than the dual-threat passer that experts have labeled him. In fact, Griffin's as pure a passer as you'll find in college football, boasting excellent mechanics, a quick release and prototypical arm strength. He stands tall in the pocket, keeps his feet moving while scanning the field, and throws a very catchable ball with excellent velocity.
Of course, there's another major facet of Griffin's game, and that's his ability to make plays outside of the pocket. Griffin is very fast for a quarterback prospect, throws just as accurately on the run as he does in the pocket, and is just plain dangerous as an open-field runner. "Slippery" is an excellent word to describe Griffin's ability to run with the football. However, Griffin's slim frame means he should probably be a bit more conservative with the Houdini-escaping-the-pocket stuff at the next level.
Griffin has the smarts to succeed in the NFL, and clearly understands what opposing defenses are trying to throw at him each week. He is, by all accounts, an extremely likeable kid, and boasts all the leadership skills and intangibles scouts look for in an NFL quarterback. Griffin's also developed his ability to manipulate defenses with pump fakes and off looks while playing for Baylor, and should get even better in that department over the next few years. In terms of upside, it does not get any better than this guy.
There's just very little to dislike about Robert Griffin III: he's outrageously gifted--both physically and mentally--and well liked by everyone around him. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Griffin poops money.
Which NFL quarterbacks does he compare favorably to?
Let's get this straight: Robert Griffin III is not the next Michael Vick. Griffin isn't as fast as Michael Vick, and, while possessing a very strong arm, doesn't quite have Vick's ballistic arm strength, either. However, RG3 has the skill set to be the total QB package in the NFL, and is already a more polished pocket passer than Vick could ever hope to be. RG3 also boasts much better mechanics, footwork and awareness than Vick has shown during the majority of his NFL career.
If you absolutely need a comparison, though, former Eagles great Randall Cunningham might be a good start: an accurate passer with a crazy-strong arm and the sheer talent to effortlessly make plays from just about anywhere on the field. I also see a little bit of John Elway in Griffin's game, with his ability to scramble for a first down one play, and then effortlessly flick the ball 70 yards downfield the next play.
Verdict: I absolutely love Griffin as a prospect, and there's good reason to believe he'll be a legitimate top 15 pick by wintertime. If Andrew Luck is out of the question, maybe we'll think about making Robert Griffin III the future of the Miami Dolphins.