Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are two players who’s unbelievable play in College separated themselves from the rest of their class, and established them as elite rookie quarterbacks heading into this NFL season. Although they play the position differently, they are very similar to each other, both having picked up major achievements this past year, Luck being the1st overall pick, and RGIII winning the Heisman award. As well they are both heading into their first NFL season with the starting QB job of teams that mightilly struggled this past season.
All these similarities bring up the question: Who will have a better rookie season, Luck or RGIII? The arguments for both sides of that question are below, in another bustasports debate. Just like in all debates, the author who gets the most votes in the poll below will get $5, so vote wisely.
The NFL Draft’s top two picks, Andrew Luck and Robetr Griffin III (RG3), are coming into their respective rookie years amidst an unprecedented amount of hype that has catapulted their prospects for the upcoming season into the spotlight.
But, who will have the better rookie season?
To begin, at the start of last season, every college football fan, and most NFL fans, had heard the name Andrew Luck, and were familiar with his status among college football’s elite.
Prior to last year, ESPN had Baylor’s quarterbacks ranked 5th in the Big 12. RG3 wasn’t even on the radar.
I’ll give it to him: RG3 is the superior athlete. But, we aren’t comparing Michael Vick to Tom Brady here. Let’s keep things in perspective. After all, in the 40-yard-dash, RG3 ran a 4.41; Luck ran a 4.67. Griffin had a 39” vertical; Luck had a 36”. Luck is also taller, and he weighs more. So, the athletic prowess is undoubtedly there for both quarterbacks.
But, that won’t carry you all the way in the NFL. There are intangibles like football IQ, an area where Luck is apparently NFL ready, that often matter more than athleticism. To give more substance to this, Luck regularly made adjustments at the line of scrimmage during his college career. He was able to read defenses and adapt his team’s approach at the last minute to make plays.
Griffin ran a spread offense from the shotgun. Although he was an excellent pocket passer, he regularly made plays with his legs, which was a big part of his success. Luck, on the other hand, was more apt because of how he could preemptively determine a defense’s scheme. I’m not saying RG3 can’t. But, I am saying that Luck did so more often and more effectively. RG3’s kind of ability, though coveted, doesn’t always successfully translate into the NFL. Luck’s does.
RG3 has never played in a pro-style offense. Luck has. Right off the bat, Andrew Luck has an advantage because he won’t have to make too many changes to his game.
RG3, on the other hand, is more used to running around, making plays with his feet, and taking a lot of shots downfield.
Each team’s offensive line also plays a part in the potential success for their quarterbacks.
The Indianapolis Colts are coming into the 2012 season with a restructured offensive line that has enough experience to know what it will take to protect Andrew Luck. With names like Costanzo, McGlynn, Satele, Ijalana, and Justice, it’s hard to think the Colts’ o-line will turn in the same kind of subpar performance from last season.
The Redskins’ offensive line is shaky according to Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. Moreover, RG3 will play in a division with some of the NFL’s premier defensive names, such as Jason Babin, Jason Pierre-Paul, Trent Cole, Justin Tuck, and DeMarcus Ware.
Are we to believe that with guys like that coming after him, RG3 will be elusive enough to succeed with the kind of game he plays? Furthermore, if he wants to take chances down the field, RG3 will be throwing to a lackluster receiving core that will be covered by the likes of Nnamdi Asomugha, Antrel Rolle, and a competitive, solid Dallas Cowboys secondary.
Andrew Luck will play against the Jaguars, Titans, and Texans in the AFC South, with Houston being the only real defensive powerhouse.
With this, I mean to say that RG3’s competition is significantly better than Luck’s. That’s another strike against him.
You could make a case for either Luck or Griffin as to who will have a better rookie campaign. But, Luck’s skill set transfers better into the NFL. Luck also has a better offensive line, and won’t be playing against defensive players who are of the same caliber as those RG3 will face.
All of this considered, I’d find it hard to accept that RG3’s potential to have a better rookie season is greater than Andrew Luck’s. [/one_half]
By: Charlie DiSturco
Robert Griffin III, the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, is ready to have a breakout rookie season. The Washington Redskins were right-on with their pick (RGIII), who could be this year’s Rookie of the Year. But to win the Rookie of the Year, Griffin III will have to out-perform the first overall pick, Andrew Luck, who was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts. The debate continues on who will be the better quarterback, but to me, I support the phenom, Robert Griffin III. Here are some reasons why RGIII will have a better rookie season than Andrew Luck:
Although Andrew Luck may be a slightly better passer than Griffin III, Griffin III is more athletic. Robert Griffin III is a faster quarterback and will use his speed to amass a lot of rushing yards. In the 40 yard dash, RGIII was .20 faster than Andrew Luck. Although Andrew Luck is an athletic quarterback, he is not the running threat that Griffin III is.
Redskins vs. Colts:
Another big upside Robert Griffin III has over Andrew Luck is his surrounding team. The redskins have a better offensive linemen and receivers. This will enable RGIII to be a more effective quarterback than Luck, who will be wondering who is going to hit him as he drops back to pass. RGIII will have more time to find his receivers, who will provide better targets. Behind the return of Jamaal Brown and the presence of Trent Williams, Griffin III will be more protected than Luck.
Andrew Luck will have to open his season against the Bears, Vikings, and the Jaguars. All three of those teams have very good defenses and the ability to pressure and sack Luck all game behind the shaky Colt’s o-line. Luck will get his ‘welcome to the NFL’ hit along with a chance of injury, As for Griffin III, he faces a shaken New Orleans Saints, Rams, Bengals, and Buccaneers. All those teams either aren’t good on defense or have players out. Along with RGIII, I expect his Redskin’s team to start the team as well.
Robert Griffin III is coming off an amazing year from Baylor. Already having a Heisman Trophy under his belt, I expect big things from him. Robert Griffin III is coming from Baylor, a college without many stars. As for Luck coming from Stanford, his team was talented and contained many stars. Griffin III was basically the whole Baylor team, carrying them on his back. Luck did lead his team, but there were other players there to help. Another talent RGIII has over Luck is his arm-strength. Griffin III was phenomenal in college delivering the ball to his receivers down the field. I expect this to continue at the pro level. RGIII also surpassed Luck in completion percentage and yards per attempt. Griffin III completed 72.4% of his passes and average 10.7 yards per attempt. As for Andrew Luck, he completed 71.3% of his passes and averaged 8.7 yards per attempt.
After all these statistics and advantage over Luck, do you still expect Luck to overcome RGIII this year? In the long term I expect both quarterback to be special, but this season, I predict that Robert Griffin III will out perform Andrew Luck and win the honor of being Rookie of the Year.[/one_half_last]