Cleveland Browns: Why Trade Up for RG3? Because He's Worth Your Admission

Noah Poinar@@noah_poinarCorrespondent IFebruary 16, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 10:  (L-R) Coach Art Briles and Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winner Robert Griffin III of the Baylor Bears speak at a press conference at The New York Marriott Marquis on December 10, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns fans have heard all the RG3/Michael Vick comparisons. 

Are we really enamored by this comparison?  Not really.  Definitely not enough to back the team  if they were to decide to trade up for him. 

Remember that the quarterback who’s all but a lock to go ahead of Griffin (Andrew Luck) is widely regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning.  He’s the guy we want.  That’s the comparison we like—Manning not Vick.  

Vick is an undersized, inconsistent quarterback with durability issues and no Super Bowl rings.  The year he just had quarterbacking the "Dream Team" doesn’t sit too well with us either.  

So yeah, all of these comparison’s of RG3 to Vick aren’t all that inspiring to the "common Cleveland folk."   

It’s the Peyton Mannings and the Tom Bradys we want, they’re the type that win you Super Bowls, right?  They’re the pocket passers that this league is founded on, right? 

Fair point.  There’s only one problem with that.  Cleveland Browns fans aren’t exactly in the position to be setting their sights on a Super Bowl.  At least not one that would happen anytime soon.  

For that reason, I’m fine with trading up for the player whose game most resembles Vick.  Actually, I’m all for it.         

I’ll be the first to say I’ve never been the biggest Vick fan, even before learning of his dog days.  Despite that, I remember when Vick first entered the league and took it by storm.   

He was a sensation.  A marketing phenomena.  Bo Jackson-esque.   The most electrifying, titillating quarterback in all of football.  You wanted to watch Vick.  You wanted to see him live.  You wanted to play as him on Madden.  You wanted him on your fantasy team.  Michael Vick was a huge deal.  

You can’t accurately quantify “The Michael Vick Experience” as far as its correlation to the success of Vick and the Falcons.  But I can assure you that it did wonders for a franchise with a not so glorious history of winning.  I mean it had to, right? 

Well, at this hour RG3 looks like he could very well be a better version of Vick.  Keeping in mind that Griffin appears to have the character edge over Vick, and probably won’t be committing federal crimes on innocent pooches anytime soon. Wouldn’t you welcome the “The RG3 Show” in Cleveland?  

Wherever Griffin ends up going, it’s very likely they’ll be treated like NFL Royalty.    

Griffin is projected to go No. 2 overall in a draft class that contains the likes of Matt Kalil, Justin Blackmon, Trent Richardson and Morris Claiborne—some of the safest future all-pro locks we’ve ever seen grouped together in one draft class. 

It’s also a draft that happens to be deep with quarterbacks. Despite this, we’re infatuated with an undersized QB who comes from a spread system. Huh?

Yes we are, and the ‘infatuation‘ part of that is the reason he’s worth a trade up by the Cleveland Browns.  

The NFL Draft has become a giant marketing platform.  That’s how much attention this draft thing receives these days, and that’s how ridiculously popular the league is.

Because of where Griffin stands on big boards and mock drafts, and because he is an athletic specimen who looks like he came from a lab, he’s already been talked up to the point where he is going to be a 'big deal.’ 

A really, really, big deal. 

We don’t see quarterbacks like Griffin at the top of wish lists very often.  That’s because we flat out don’t see players like him every day.

Nevertheless, Griffin is up there, and he will be an enticing NFL quarterback who will be much talked about in 2012.  Miraculously, the Cleveland Browns are in a prime position to trade up and make him their own.  

I don’t want to trade up, you don’t want to trade up, none of us do.  But when’s the next time an opportunity like this will present itself?  

I don’t know whether Griffin will be a bust, a Pro Bowler, or just a mediocre starter.  None of us do.  The only thing we know for sure is that when he makes his first NFL appearance behind center, he will be a galvanizing enigma in this league.  

In other words, when the 2012 NFL season kicks off, everyone is going to be interested in watching to see what Robert Griffin III does.  And I’m not just talking about the team that drafts him, I’m talking the entirety of the NFL community.  

That’s something the Cleveland Browns should take note of.  Why?  Because the Browns have never had that kind of exposure and attention surrounding their team.  Never.               

Griffin might not ever be as good as Andrew Luck or Michael Vick, but his unique and incredibly athletic skill set actually make him one of the safer quarterback prospects to come out in some time.

That’s the power of an enigma quarterback with blazing speed and a cannon arm.  Metaphorically speaking, he’s worth the price of admission.  The Browns could really use a “worth the price of admission” guy.  Josh Cribbs just isn’t cutting it the way he used to.    

Griffin has no experience in a pro-style offense under center. However, consider that, of all the quarterbacks who operated in the spread during college, only two have attained what you would call “elite success” in the NFL. 

Those two are Michael Vick and Cam Newton.  Probably two of the most athletically gifted quarterbacks we’ve seen in the past twenty years, if not ever.  Last year Newton was actually a very risky pick because up until that point it was Vick on an island alone. 

Griffin is arguably more gifted than either of the two.  It’s why some are suggesting the Colts pass on Luck and take him instead.      

Ideally, you want a quarterback who operates from the pocket.  Everyone knows that.  There are certain times, though, when exceptions are made.  Griffin is one of those exceptions, as Newton was before him. 

That’s why scouts have basically thrown out the book of quarterback standards when it comes to rating him.  He’s past that threshold.  His ability (primarily his speed), is great enough to the point where he can “cut corners” in the NFL. Meaning, Griffin can have instant success as a unpolished, raw NFL quarterback. 

If you haven’t had a chance to watch RG3, you can use that basis alone to get a pretty good idea as to how special a player he is. 

Can the Browns win a Super Bowl with that type of quarterback?  No idea.  I do know this though...

A fan base such as the Browns, one that’s been deprived of excitement for so long, could use an electrifying guy like Griffin. I’m talking purely from a morale boosting standpoint, not a “getting us to the promised land” standpoint.     

On top of that, the younger generation of Browns fans—the ones who are on the verge of extinction because they’ve never seen the Browns as anything but laughable losers in their lifetime—surely need a guy like Griffin. 

At the very least to help get them from point A to point B—to give them a reason to forego their planned forfeiture of their Browns fanhood.   

After all, every 12 minutes, a child is born into a Browns household only to grow up rooting for another team.  That really needs to change.  Thankfully RG3 is the guy capable of doing just that. 

We’ve got two more months to dissect Griffin.  Until then here’s all you really need to know about regarding RG3's prospectus as a Cleveland Brown...         

If they choose to nab him, Browns’ fans’ are going to want to make a point of watching this team each and every Sunday.  He’s going to give the fan base, as well as the entire city, some mad, mad hope.  The franchise is going to get an immediate jump in dollar value and vested interest.  He’s going to draw national attention, maybe even warrant some nationally televised games (we love those).    

The point I’m trying to make isn’t that Robert Griffin III is the guy who will get us to where we want to be (Like I mentioned, it’s a guess as to what he’ll do at the next level).  The point is that he will make the Cleveland Browns a buzz worthy team entering the 2012 NFL season.  He will immediately make the Browns relevant.  Aside from the build-up entering the 2008 season, that’s never really been the case for this team, as of late.  

For Browns fans, that’s what you call a moral victory.   It’s the benefit of investing a high pick on a quarterback.  They truly can breath new life into a franchise.  Brady Quinn (bench in 2007) and Tim Couch (new expansion team)  didn’t come with that.


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