Will the Redskins Poor QB Draft History Change with Robert Griffin III?

Until recently, the Washington Redskins have been known for three major things. Free-agent bust, draftees’ never panning out and losing records. So will drafting the Heisman winning quarterback turn the Redskins around? Or will he be another name to the list?

Since 1936, the Washington Redskins have drafted a total of 11 quarterbacks in the first-round. Of those 11, one lived up to the expectations of a first-round draft pick, Sammy Baugh, in 1937. Besides Norm Snead, who was drafted in 1961 and later traded in ’63 for Sonny Jurgensen, not one of the first-round quarterbacks for the Redskins panned out.

In fact, the Redskins have had more success taking quarterbacks after the first-round. Eddie LeBaron (Round 10, 1950), Mark Rypien (Round 6, 1986) and Gus Frerotte (Round 7, 1994), that was till he (Frerotte) decided to sprain his neck after ramming his head into the wall for a touchdown celebration. Each of those quarterbacks put up nearly triple the amount of numbers the first-round picks did.

However, when it all comes down to it, the Washington Redskins have had more success trading for quarterbacks, rather than drafting them. Sonny Jurgensen, Billy Kilmer, Joe Theismann, Doug Williams, Mark Brunell, Brad Johnson, etc. Each of them either one a Super Bowl with the Redskins or at least took them to the playoffs.

In the past 12 years (including 2011), there have been 10 Heisman winning quarterbacks. Of those 10, three (Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch and Jason White) either never took a snap in the NFL or are no longer playing NFL. One is currently a bench warmer, (Troy Smith) and the other five are starters, but only two appear to be a winners (Cam Newton and Sam Bradford).

Matt Leinart is currently a backup in Houston, which shouldn’t be surprise with Matt Schaub there, but if you can’t make it as a starter in Arizona, what does that say? Tim Tebow (ranked 27th in the league) has been more dangerous as a HB running the ball, than he has been throwing it. Carson Palmer turned the Raiders season around, but when it mattered most he couldn’t get the job done, such as in Cincinnati.

Besides two quarterbacks in the past 12 years, the rest have been nothing to boast about. Are fans supposed to believe that drafting Robert Griffin III will not only fix the Heisman ‘curse,’ but also the Redskins 75 years of first-round quarterback draft bust?

Due to that history, the Redskins should stick to doing what has brought them a winning quarterback – either drafting a QB after the first-round or trading for a QB. Perhaps Mike Shanahan already knows something with the recent Peyton Manning and Kyle Orton rumors?

While Robert Griffin III is similar to Michael Vick with his speed and Cam Newton with his arm strength, his size is a major detriment, especially in a division where quarterbacks are constantly being abused. Consider the blows Cam Newton took in Carolina this season. Can Robert Griffin sustain those with his size?

Before being injured against Texas Tech this past season, Griffin rushed for two-touchdowns while throwing for one and 106 yards (7/11). His backup, Nick Florence, thew for 151 yards (9/12) and two-touchdowns. Does that mean Robert Griffin III is ‘that good,’ or does it mean the team in general was?

Look at Matt Flynn in Green Bay. After his first game (a loss to the Patriots), he threw for 251 yards, three touchdowns and one interception (24/37). Luck? Possibly. But then there’s his second start, where he faced the division rival Detroit Lions, who were trying to keep their spot in the wildcard. Flynn threw for 480 yards, six touchdowns and one interception (31/44), not only a backup to his performance to the Patriots game, nearly a year earlier, but also a Green Bay Packers record-setting performance. That’s right, something Aaron Rodgers hadn’t done, nor Brett Favre.

What about his injuries? Robert Griffin III has already had one concussion, which might not sound like a big deal, but look at where Jahvid Best is headed, possible retirement. How about the knee injury he sustained during his sophomore year – causing him to miss the entire season? We’re these all flukes? Or just another risk with a scrambling QB?

I’m not saying that Robert Griffin III will continue the first-round bust line with the Redskins, or even the Heisman QB reputation either. I just think there’s more to consider, than to believe he is the savior and will magically fix all the Redskins problems instantly (keep in mind he’s not NFL ready).

If Shanahan decides to draft him, I won’t be upset because the kid clearly has talent, I am just a bit skeptical thanks to our history. As I’ve said before, Shanahan is leading the Redskins in the right direction – and I’ll stick to believing in him until proven otherwise.


Posted on February 20, 2012, in Washington Redskins and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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