Will Robert Griffin III be better than Andrew Luck? He could well be in 2012.
In article on CBSSports.com, NFL blogger Will Brinson makes the case that while Luck is likely to be a better quarterback in the long run, Griffin should play better this year and his team will win more games.
The short-term reason is that the Redskins have better offensive talent than do the Colts. Of course, that is in a relative sense; neither team is loaded with impressive players at the offensive skill positions. But running back Roy Helu is better than any running back on Indy’s roster and Pierre Garçon (who the Redskins signed after the linked article was written) would be the best receiver. Add in Evan Royster, Leonard Hankerson and Jabar Gaffney and RG3 will have some decent options when it comes to weapons.
Meanwhile, Luck will have receiver Reggie Wayne, who still should be reliable but at age 34 not explosive. With Joseph Addai gone, Luck will be handing the ball off to Donald Brown and Delonte Carter, both of whom have some potential. Still, Griffin will have the advantage in terms of supporting cast.
The Colts will eventually restock their offensive talent base in the draft and in free agency. One advantage the Griffin has over Luck that could be more lasting is that Mike Shanahan’s offensive system fits him like an old sock. Well, RG3 doesn’t wear old socks but you get the idea.
“Quarterbacks who succeed under Shanahan need to be cerebral, they need to be athletic, and they need to possess the inherent ability to look downfield while being mobile. This is Robert Griffin in a nutshell,” wrote Brinson.
There will be a learning curve for both Luck and Griffin but it appears that RG3’s will be considerably shorter. Add that to a superior talent base—in fact, a superior roster from top to bottom—and you have the recipe for a stellar beginning for the Redskins’ rookie and a rocky start for the new kid in Indy.
That doesn’t mean that Griffin will have the upper hand for the rest of their careers. “Luck, I believe, will end up having the better performance over the course of his career,” concluded Brinson.
Time will tell and it will be a lot of fun comparing the two top picks as their careers unfold.