Washington Redskins: RGIII's Closest Pro Player Comparison

Brian Filler@Brian_FillerCorrespondent IJuly 4, 2012

ASHBURN, VA - MAY 06:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins practices during the Washington Redskins rookie minicamp on May 6, 2012 in Ashburn, Virginia.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images


Cam Newton?

No, the truth is there is no one currently in the NFL who combines all of RG3's abilities.

In order to truly compare Robert Griffin III to current NFL quarterbacks, we need to examine specific parts of his game.

By comparing individual aspects, we can then add up the parts to get a more accurate picture of what RG3 might be like in the NFL.

Now, there will be a final overall player chosen to compare to, and I doubt you have heard anyone make this comparison yet (but don't skip to the end, you'll ruin the build up!)

Arm Strength

Robert Griffin has an absolute cannon that can strike at any moment.

Now, we are not talking about JaMarcus Russell, but RG3 can launch the football 70 yards with no problem. The arm strength also comes naturally to RG3, so it requires less effort to throw a deep ball.

Unlike a Mark Sanchez, who must take an extra half-second to gather up extra momentum and power, RG3 can throw bombs with no delay.

If you are not convinced, Leonard Hankerson's gloves can vouch for the Griffin's arm strength. 


Accuracy is a key component for any successful quarterback, and Robert Griffin is a very accurate one indeed.

Griffin improved his accuracy every year at Baylor, and finished last season with a 72.4 completion percentage

Most people are familiar with RG3's deep ball highlights that feature impressive accuracy, but I am most impressed with his accuracy on short routes.


On three-step drops, Robert Griffin throws one of the most accurate balls, in tight windows, that I have ever seen. His accuracy, on quick slants in press man coverage, is up there with Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady.

Now, I am not saying RG3 is Rodgers or Brady, but he displays that level of accuracy on short range passes, especially from the shotgun.


A quarterback's release is one of the most important and underrated parts of being a passer.

The release is a shortened way of describing the speed at which the football is delivered and the angle of the quarterback's arm when delivering the ball.

Griffin has an incredibly quick release that enables him to deliver the ball with incredible velocity. 

The release is one area in which Griffin is much more like Cam Newton than Michael Vick. Both have a quick release but Vick is more prone to dropping his elbow and using a sidearm release.

Griffin is especially closer to Cam Newton on deep balls, with an over-the-top snap that unleashes a dart.


The ability of quarterbacks to extend plays in and around the pocket is an incredible tool.

However, the ability to transform the quarterback into a ball carrier with world class speed—now that's a deadly weapon.

Griffin has olympic class speed and can use his legs to extend the play or make one on his own. 

In this category, Griffin is more like Michael Vick than Cam Newton.

All three have excellent mobility, but Newton is more of a long-striding runner based on his height. Vick and Griffin have similar running styles with quick chop steps that give them great lateral agility and acceleration. 


Pocket Presence 

Presence in the pocket has always been important, but the overall value is less clear with more mobile quarterbacks.

Quarterbacks like Brady and Rodgers, use pocket mobility to step up or side-step and extend the play. Players like Ben Roethlisberger are more likely to extend the play by abandoning the pocket and working towards the sideline.

While Griffin possesses world class speed, he is much more of a pocket passer than some people think.

Unlike Jake Locker or Christian Ponder, who tend to be more accurate outside of the pocket, Griffin is at his best inside the pocket.

Griffin only takes off when he needs to, making his running less predictable and all the more dangerous.


Toughness is a cliche' word to describe the quality I'm referring to—the ability to take hits properly and stand in the face of danger.

Some quarterbacks will allow themselves to take a beating on countless plays, in an effort to win the game (Vick & Roethlisberger). Others will lean away from pressure and allow their quarterback play to suffer (Gabbert).

Griffin is much of the former than the latter. He will stand in the pocket and allow defenders to absolutely punish him, in an effort to make the right play.

The problem Griffin runs into, is just like that of Vick and Roethlisberger: His body pays the toll for his toughness, making Griffin more susceptible to injury.

Adding It All Up

In the end, the quarterback RG3 resembles the most is...Matthew Stafford (with Michael Vick's legs).

As I said at the beginning, there is no player who possesses all of Griffin's traits but Stafford has most of them.

Stafford is a quick release quarterback with a rocket arm and is most comfortable in shotgun formation. He is also an incredibly tough quarterback who has suffered multiple injuries as a result of his toughness (and poor O-line play). Finally, Stafford has underrated pocket presence, keeping his eyes downfield and extending the play with quick strides.

Clearly, Stafford does not have 4.3 speed, but the rest of his game is very similar to Griffin's. 

Ultimately, I was forced to combine two players to fully embody Robert Griffin III, but that is a testament to how talented he is.

With Matthew Stafford's arm and heart, and Michael Vick's legs, Griffin is one of the most purely talented quarterbacks in the NFL (without having taken a snap).


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