Robert Griffin III
School: University of Baylor
Draft Position: Round 1, 2nd overall
Twitter Handle: @RGIII
Robert Griffin III is the man that single handedly re-energized an entire organization, fan base, and city in one season. The rookie sensation that dazzled us all in 2012 was clearly not the same player in 2013. The good news for the Redskins is that Griffin is now 100% healthy for the first time since his rookie season, and early indications are that he has returned to the rookie form that frequently took our breath away in 2012. The great news if you're a Washington fan is that Griffin will now pilot a revamped offense, and he is surrounded with the most talent he has ever worked with since entering the NFL in 2012. New receivers DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts join Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed to give Griffin one of the most talented pass catching groups in the league. That gives the Redskins offense, which already boasts one of the best young running backs in Alfred Morris, the potential to be scary good.
Griffin was effective in 2012, with his two leading targets in Garcon and Fred Davis missing significant time due to injury. With the talent the Redskins now have at receiver, the sky is the limit for Griffin and this offense. Griffin will also benefit from a fresh start with first year head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden was a former quarterback himself, and will help Griffin develop into a better pocket passer. If Gruden can develop RG3's pocket passing, while teaching him to use his legs to scramble and hurt opposing defenses much like Aaron Rodgers, Griffin will be able to maintain his health while still using the speed he has to hurt defenses. A healthy RGIII, in Gruden's offense that made Andy Dalton a playoff quarterback, with an upgraded receiving weapons around him should strike fear into opposing defenses. I predict an All-Pro bounce back season for RGIII with a final stat line of: 3,847 passing yards, 68% completion rate, 28 touchdowns, and 717 rushing yards with 5 touchdowns.
Roster Bubble: Makes the Roster, Franchise Quarterback
RGIII will make the roster in 2014. He is clearly the starting quarterback, an obvious lock to make the roster, and the face of the franchise. The Redskins fan base embraced Griffin like probably no other player in Redskins history after he led the team to a 10-6 record and their first division title since 1999. Griffin gave Redskins fans hope for the future, hope that the organization had finally found it's quarterback of the future, hope that the Redskins would no longer sit in the cellar of the NFC East. This season is an insanely important time for Griffin. He needs to take the next step as a pocket passer, and work on protecting himself so that he can stay on the field.
The simple fact is that Griffin is a rare talent. When healthy, the Redskins can build a contender around him, but without him the Redskins become a completely different team. Much like Peyton Manning was to the Colts in 2011, Manning's team entered the season as title contenders, but one neck injury later and the Colts finished with the worst record in the league. Rarely does one player mean as much to a team as Griffin does. The success of the Washington Redskins starts, and ends with Griffin. If he takes the next step in his development, and protects himself better, those same feelings of hope will gush over Redskins fans dreaming about the next 10-15 years of success with Griffin leading the way. However, if Griffin cannot return to his rookie form, or gets injured again, that hope is replaced with doubt and questions about the future and the cost of acquiring him two years ago. Griffin works harder than just about anyone, and it's a pretty safe bet there is a brighter future ahead for football in Washington that starts with Griffin.
One of the many RGIII "Catchphrases"
Blessed to have another day #GoCatchYourDream— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) July 21, 2014
Football gives me the platform to impact this world in a positive way #KnowYourWhy— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) July 19, 2014
Training Camp is around the corner!!! All the work we put in will be worth it #KnowYourWhy— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) July 19, 2014