Saturday, 10 March 2012

Hail to the Redskins putting their money where there mouth is

I was only thinking the other day, whilst listening to the ESPN Football Today podcast, that it's a little tiring how the theoretical discussion around 'trading-up' dominates pre-draft conversations, when in reality these blockbuster trades involving any of the top three picks are few and far between.

That was until I woke up yesterday and saw the Washington Redskins will be drafting Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III (affectionately known as RG3) after giving up their 2012, 2013 and 2014 first round picks and their 2012 2nd round pick to the St Louis Rams to move up to the #2 overall 2012 draft spot.

I can well imagine the Redskins courted Peyton Manning, the former Indianapolis Colts superstar gunslinger, before making one of the biggest pre-draft trades in NFL history.

Manning was only just released by the Colts on Wednesday, but according to NFL Total Access analyst and former St Louis Rams running back he was never going to sign with the Redskins, mainly because he still wants to play his brother Eli in a future Super Bowl. (Eli's team the New York Giants and the Redskins both play in the same division in the National Football Conference, the NFC East).

With only the unproven Green Bay Packers backup Matt Flynn available in the high-end of free-agency the Redskins were almost forced to make an offer the Rams couldn't refuse.

So did the Redskins pay too much for a guy who hasn't even snapped a ball in the NFL? Lets look at RG3's stats from his four-year college career before making a judgement;
  • 78 passing touchdowns
  • 17 interceptions
  • 33 rushing touchdowns
  • 10,366 yards passing and 2237 rushing yards
  • 2011-12 Heisman Trophy winner
Going into a bit more depth RG3 averaged 4.2 yards a carry when rushing, good but not spectacular. His 2011 passing stats were however off-the-charts, 4,293 yards, 37 td passes (and only 6 interceptions) and a phenomenal 72.4% completion rate.

Some more interesting pub facts about RG3 and his college team;
  • He was actually born in Japan, in the Okinawa Prefecture, to USA posted military parents. (Okinawa is currently home to 16 US military bases and the Ryukyu Golden Kings basketball team.)
  • As a high-school student he ran just 1/100th of a second above the national record for 300m hurdles
  • He missed the majority of his sophmore season (2009), sustaining a tear to his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
  • His college team Baylor (in Texas) last had one of their quarterbacks in the NFL Pro Bowl in 1963, a guy by the name of Cotton Davidson, who was playing for the Oakland Raiders
  • Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary is a Baylor alumni
  • The last time the Redskins drafted ANY Baylor player was in 1991 when they selected Charles Bell the defensive back in the now defunct 9th round of the draft
  • When the Redskins won their first ever Super Bowl (in 1983) their kick and punt returner was a guy called Mike Nelms.....a Baylor graduate
  • He has the Baylor all-time record for the team's longest pass completion (94 yards in 2010)
RG3 ran a 4.41 seconds 40 yard dash at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, the second fastest official clocked time in that position ever (behind Michael Vick) but decided not to show the salivating scouts his passing prowess, instead leaving that for his 'pro-day', where college's show-off their pro prospects in their home environment complete with familiar ball catchers.

I think the Redskins did pay a lot to acquire the rights to RG3, but as for it being too much it is too early to tell.

If RG3 can become the fourth Redskins quarterback to ever lift a Vince Lombardi Trophy then as Leslie Crowther would say 'Come on down...the price is right!'.

(For legal reasons - picture above is fake and created by

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