With the level of hoopla surrounding Robert Griffin III I felt it was time to weigh in with some analysis of the Washington Redskins #2 overall draft pick and new franchise quarterback. There is no doubting his skills, speed and versatility. He has great downfield vision and throws a fantastic ball. Accolades aside, I am just not as convinced these traits alone will translate into success if you take a long look at his current situation. The first mistake many will make will be comparing Griffin to Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and expecting a similar season from the new Redskins signal caller.Â Newton is a beast at 6â€™5â€ and 248lbs â€“ the body necessary to endure the beating that a quarterback who plays his style of football. As a result, he remained relatively injury free and scored 35 total touchdowns (21 passing and 14 rushing). Quite honestly, Newton surprised me with his arm skills, much better than I anticipated, but I digress. That certainly helped in his transition, without question.
Griffin is 6â€™2â€ and weighs in at 220 lbs. You have to wonder if heâ€™ll be able to hold up to the hits that heâ€™ll undoubtedly take at the NFL level. If you donâ€™t think this kid will have the undivided attention of opposing defenders, think again.
Also consider the offensive talent that surrounds Newton as opposed to the talent that is awaiting Griffin. There is no Steve Smith on the Redskins, not even close. Sure, I like Santana Moss as much as the next guy, but look for his fantasy viability to take a decided downward spiral. Same can be said for free agent acquisition Pierre Garcon. Â The waiter will undoubtedly have to WAIT.
Now letâ€™s compare the backfields. The Panthers had quite a nice tandem of versatile options in RBâ€™s DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. The Redskins?? Musical chairs of mediocrity. That should be a big area of concern. The tight end position is one that actually favors the Redskins. Fred Davis was able to flourish with the dreck they had previously at the QB position, it certainly canâ€™t get much worse with Griffin behind center. With that in mind, it will be in Griffinâ€™s best interest to set up a nice rapport with Davis (and Chris Cooley if heâ€™s healthy) early and often, starting in training camp.
If you take a gander at the Redskins 2012 schedule, after week 4 – look out. After starting the season on the road with a bounty-less New Orleans Saints and a trip to St. Louis to meet the Rams, week 5 starts a scary stretch of games that includes Minnesota, NY Giants (2x), Pittsburgh, Philadelphia (2x), Dallas (2x), and Baltimore. These stout defensive units will be looking to welcome the rookie into the league, to say the very least.
As much as it seems, this is not a knock on Griffin. He is a talent, a stand-up guy, and I wish him nothing but success as be begins his NFL career, something I can only dream of as I sit here banging away on my laptop. Sighâ€¦. However, with the accolades and financial benefits comes criticism, and there will be plenty of it especially in the â€œwhat have you done for me latelyâ€ world that is fantasy football.
Obviously if you are in a dynasty league, RGIII is a no-brainer. He has the upside to be a nice gem to place on your roster and cultivate. However in re-draft leagues you have to approach him much more deliberately. The risk/reward scenario leans heavily to the risk side of the spectrum, and if you are looking for Cam Newton-type production in year one, you will find yourself extremely disappointed, especially if you make a play for Griffin prematurely. If you must play the daredevil role, fortify yourself and then make the move. If one of your combatantâ€™s jumps the gun – donâ€™t fret, I have a suspicion you will be glad it wasnâ€™t you.
If it is your lifeâ€™s wish to secure a Redskins signal caller for 2012, grab QB Kirk Cousins in one of the final roundsâ€¦ And wait.
Iâ€™ll be back at you with some more insight regarding off-season move analysis, training camp positional battles, and other news as the 2012 Fantasy season descends upon us!
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