Right now, Robert Griffin III [RG3] is the most talked about draft prospect in the nation. Nobody in the 2012 NFL Draft class will attract more hoopla or headlines than the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, even though he isn't expected to be taken with the number one pick in the April 26 NFL Draft. But this fall when we're watching the highlights on our favorite NFL recap shows, I'm almost certain RG3 will be wearing a Redskins jersey.
The Indianapolis Colts hold the number one pick in this year's draft. Most football insiders are almost certain that the Colts will select former Stanford University quarterback, Andrew Luck. On March 9, the St. Louis Rams traded out of the number two spot. The Rams are sending the Redskins the No. 2 pick in the 2012 draft in exchange for the No. 6 overall pick this year, the team's first round pick next year and in 2014 as well as the Redskins' second round pick this year. The Rams are committed to their current quarterback, Sam Bradford. Given the franchise's need to add several quality players, the Rams did not hesitate to give up the number two pick to acquire several picks in return.
Now that the Redskins hold the number two pick, it's no secret that Washington has its sights on Griffin. The truth is if the Redskins don't choose RG3, it will be a huge mistake. The Cleveland Browns, along with a few other teams, were interested in moving up to draft Griffin. However, none of them were willing to pay the hefty price the Rams were demanding.
The NFL is a quarterback-driven league. You must have a really good one otherwise you're in trouble.
The two quarterbacks who led their teams to the Super Bowl this year combined for 10,168 passing yards and 68 touchdowns. Both of these quarterbacks, Eli Manning and Tom Brady, have won multiple Super Bowls.
The most recent quarterbacks to help lead their teams to Super Bowl titles are a who's who of NFL play-callers: Eli Manning (the Giants beat three-time champion Tom Brady), Aaron Rodgers (the Packers beat two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger), and Drew Brees (the Saints defeated former champion Peyton Manning).
Are you starting to see a trend?
Before that, it was Roethlisberger winning his second ring, Eli leading the Giants to their first of two titles (over a three-time champion at quarterback). If you continue to go back, Peyton won his only championship to date, Roethlisberger winning his first (over former champion Kurt Warner), and Brady helping the Patriots go back-to-back. Of course, there are exceptions, but in today's NFL having a quality quarterback is essential.
The Redskins have an opportunity to get a quarterback who most football experts believe is going to be elite. The team has given up several picks to position itself to get a high-caliber quarterback. If you are sold on a quarterback prospect, and you truly feel he has the qualities to be special, then mortgaging the majority of your draft class is never too much. I compare finding a franchise quarterback to finding your dream home. If you know this house is the one, you must do what it takes to acquire it.
There's no getting around it, the Redskins must get significantly better quarterback play this season, if they want to improve on three straight double-digit loss seasons. There had been talk about the Redskins not moving up to the No. 2 draft position, and signing a veteran quarterback instead. But signing a veteran, such as, Kyle Orton, will only fix the problem for the moment.
As I see it, the Redskins have a hole in its living room window, and Orton or some other veteran will just be serving as a piece of plastic and tape to cover the hole temporarily. But drafting Griffin – if he turns out to be the star he's predicted to be – would mean that the team actually replaced the broken window pane, and the problem has been addressed.
I don't have a problem with using plastic and tape to cover the hole on a short-term basis, until you can get the windowpane replaced. It's a good solution for the time being. But it's about time the Redskins found some long-term answers. Head Coach Mike Shanahan is entering his third season and he still doesn't have his future quarterback. Now is the time to draft that quarterback. RG3 clearly has more upside for the Redskins than any other player in this year's draft.
Obviously, the Redskins have taken the correct first step in the quest for Griffin. Now they need to close the deal by drafting him on April 26. I firmly believe that selecting the standout quarterback from Baylor gives them the best chance for long-term success.