Originally Posted by Sorter
I like them all.
The question becomes, which quarterback would you want to build your team around?
From Hank Gola's article in the NY Daily News on Thursday:
Quarterbacks like Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick and Cam Newton – guys with both cannons and jets – all have an indefinite expiration date, a window, perhaps, of when they'll be their best. The more a QB runs, the more he's exposed to injury – knees, concussions and otherwise.
But for football fans in general, everybody got screwed when the Redskins mishandled RG3's knee injury. Hopefully, RG3, motivated athlete that he is, pulls an Adrian Peterson and comes back from surgery as good as new. But if he doesn't, we've all been denied seeing the best of a once-in-a-lifetime player.
That's the shame of it, that perhaps we got just a glimpse of his potential for just a stretch of his rookie season.
Thankfully, Wilson, Kaepernick and Newton have avoided injuries so far, but each time one takes off and a bigger defender is bearing down on them, their fans have to be holding their breaths.
Running quarterbacks are nothing new of course. They used to be called scramblers. Gil Brandt, the former Cowboys GM, joked that they'd hold up a sign "Stop, Roger, Stop" whenever Roger Staubach pulled in the football. But somehow guys like Staubach and Fran Tarkenton avoided serious knee injuries. Quarterbacks, in general, did. Joe Namath was an exception.
Then, as the speed and size of the players increased, so did the injury factor. Randall Cunningham never was the same after he blew out his knee the first week of the 1991 season. With Michael Vick, it's been more of a cumulative effect that has worn down his body and battered his brain.
Vick was still an exception when he came out of Virginia Tech. He debuted with the Falcons as the first modern video-game quarterback. Now, with the influx of the quarterback/athlete and the threat that he can bring to an offense, these guys are going to be easier to find – and more difficult to measure.
When the Colts were deciding between Griffin III and Andrew Luck as the No. 1 pick, they knew either one could turn around their franchise. They went with Luck in part because, as a more traditional pocket passer, he'd have the longer career.
The question will come up again when Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel comes up for the draft. Plenty of teams will be lining up for him, but it's going to take an organizational commitment because of the style of player he is.
ESPN's business analyst Andrew Brandt, a former player agent who worked for nine years in the Packers' front office, agrees that special considerations have to be taken.
"Obviously it depends on which running quarterback," Brandt said. "The Redskins went in with their eyes open with RG3 and the fact that he had an ACL injury in 2009. They were still willing to mortgage their future to trade up to get him. Whether someone would do that for a non-special talent remains to be seen. It's tough to make a blanket statement. I think teams are going to look at styles and project out durability issues."
The Redskins' commitment to Griffin makes their handling of his injury all the more questionable because they changed their entire offense to suit him. It was RG3's team before he ever set foot in Redskins Park.
"Every team has its own evaluation and the Redskins made a choice that this investment is going to be worth whatever it took," Brandt said. "Now a running quarterback taken in the fourth or fifth round (Kansas State's Collin Klein for example) is a different animal. It depends on the investment level and the buy-in from the coaches about how to run things.
"A lot of times it revolves around what you have in place already," Brandt said. "The Redskins were certainly convinced that whatever they have in place was not working and they were going to move on to whatever system would put Griffin in the best system to succeed. That's a large investment way beyond the money."
It remains to be seen whether these new-age quarterbacks can flourish or whether they're flashes in the pan, as brilliant as those flashes may be.