SPORTS COLUMN: Andrew Luck vs. RGIII

Loaded with potential, the 2011 National Football League Draft class has been heralded as the most talented since the 2004 class that unveiled Phillip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger, and Eli Manning into the league.

Most people are aware of second pick Robert Griffin III’s explosive season and how he single-handedly revived the Washington franchise. Amidst all the hype surrounding the Redskins’ QB, fans forget that there was a player who was picked before him—Andrew Luck.  RGIII was able to do wonders for Washington thus far, but Luck, without a doubt, has completely out-performed RGIII.

Let’s compare the situations that both of these quarterbacks came into. RGIII was picked by the Redskins after they traded up in the draft to get him. Luck was picked by the Colts (9-4) after having the worst record in the NFL. The Redskins were coming off a 6-10 season compared to the 2-14 season of the Colts. In addition, the Colts’ roster was absolutely decimated after the 2011 season when they lost veteran players such as Pierre Garcon, Jeff Saturday, Dallas Clark, and Gary Brackett to the rebuilding process. The Redskins (7-6) were already a decent team with a great supporting cast when they picked RGIII. Griffin was literally handed success on a silver platter by coming into a solid team, while Andrew Luck fought day in and day out to keep his team in every game.

I haven’t even mentioned the quarterbacks these two were replacing. Luck was replacing Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning—the Sheriff, the greatest Cerebral Quarterback to step onto a football field. Luck was replacing a future Hall-of-Fame quarterback, but who did RGIII come in for? Rex Grossman? This isn’t even a debate! Without a doubt, Luck was placed into a high pressure situation while RGIII had no pressure on him, because it’s basically impossible to be worse than Rex Grossman.

Now let’s take a look at the offense that each team is running. RGIII and the Redskins are running a low stakes offense filled with spread options and bubble screens. There are also many Baylor plays that were implemented in the Redskins offense to make RGIII comfortable. On the other hand, the Colts threw a pro-style offense playbook at Luck and asked him to do the impossible. They asked him to average 40 throws per game while hauling the ball down field in high-risk plays. RGIII finishes games where he throws a mere 15 passes, so don’t give me the argument that RGIII has one of the highest completion percentages amongst NFL quarterbacks! How hard is it to throw off of short slant routes and bubble screens compared to deep corner and post routes? Not at all.

I know for a fact that both of these quarterbacks will be successful in the NFL, but Andrew Luck will ultimately have the better career. Luck is on a road to greatness, exemplifying leadership and poise to the highest degree. He has led his team to the playoffs while the Redskin’s season is still in the dark.