Just as the news media was in the tank for a certain presidential candidate in the 2008 elections, the sports media is in the tank for quarterback Robert Griffin III.
To listen to these mainstream sports media types, Griffin is a sure thing to be a star while Peyton Manning would be another Donovan McNabb mistake for the Redskins and Matt Flynn would be another Kevin Kolb failure.
Griffin is the Heisman Trophy winner and exciting to watch. But guess how many Heisman Trophy quarterbacks are in the NFL Hall of Fame as a quarterback. One – Roger Staubach. Paul Horning won the Heisman as a QB but played halfback in the NFL.
Manning is a sure-fire, first ballot NFL Hall of Famer, a Super Bowl winner – and he’s much better than McNabb ever was. Yes, he’s coming off an injury, his best years are probably behind him and he’s 36 years old but, if he’s healthy, some team can win for two or three years with him. The Redskins haven’t won in a while. Do they really want to keep building for the future? They’ve been building for the future for years. Even if the Redskins were to get Manning, they could still pick a good QB prospect in the second round (or even late in the first round if they trade their first pick for a couple of other picks). Manning could start for a couple of years while grooming his backup. Who better to have as a mentor?
These sports reporters bad mouth Green Bay’s Flynn because he played so well in a meaningless game at the end of the season and because he plays for such a good team anyway. The guy threw for 480 yards and six touchdown passes in a professional football game. Griffin hasn’t done that.
Some are so excited because Griffin reminds them of Cam Newton, who was the flavor of the month with his offensive numbers with the Panthers as a rookie. Griffin is certainly athletic and he can run but how many running quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl or made the NFL Hall of Fame. Don’t say Fran Tarkenton. It took him 15 years to run as much as Griffin did in college and he was scrambling for his life, not running the ball from the snap of the ball. And remember, for all the excitement Newton brought to the Panthers, they won six games.
Maybe in two or three years Newton will lead the Panthers to the playoffs, don’t know. Not only are running QBs more likely to get injured, but do the Redskins really want to see an exciting QB for three or four years before they win. The NFL is a win now league today. And, don’t laugh, the Redskins aren’t that far off. They beat the Super Bowl champion Giants twice after all.
Griffin may end up being a Pro Bowl QB. He may stay healthy and lead a team to a Super Bowl. But no one is a sure thing coming out of college, especially quarterbacks. For sports media types to be casting aside Manning, Flynn and a host of other quarterbacks coming out of college because of Griffin’s Wow factor is kinda silly. Besides, many people (mostly those of us over 35) like the game of football as it has been for years – with the quarterback passing and running only when he has to. They certainly don’t want to see someone run the ball 15 times a game which is what Griffin did in college.
Griffin can pass, I’m not saying he can’t, but so can other quarterbacks in the draft including Ryan Tennehill, Nick Foles, Kirk Cousins, Brandon Weeden, Brock Osweiler, Ryan Lindley, Kellen Moore and even former NC State QB Russell Wilson. I’d take one of them with the second round pick.
I know I’m in the minority and I know I’m not swayed by Wow factors, but if I were the Redskins, I’d get Manning or Flynn before the draft and in the draft I’d pick up wide receiver Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State or cornerback Morris Claiborne of LSU. If they are both gone, I’d go with receiver Alshon Jeffery of South Carolina, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin of Stanford, offensive tackle Riley Reiff of Iowa or I’d trade down to get extra picks.
If they trade down for a later first-round pick, they might be able to get Tennehill but if not, again, they could get a QB with the second round pick at No. 39. Who knows? Tennehill could still be available. I suppose there is a small chance that Griffin would be available at No. 6 but it looks like Cleveland would take him at No. 4 and the Redskins would have to pay dearly to move up to get Griffin. Don’t fall for all the mainstream sports media hype. Get a veteran early and get a future signal caller later in the draft.