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Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III hoists the 2011 Heisman Trophy in New York City. Kelly Kline/Heisman Trophy Trust/Handout Photo via US PRESSWIRE

For RG3, a high price, the right call


The Washington Redskins have put all of their chips on the table and are ready to go all-in on Heisman Troph-winning quarterback Robert Griffin III, trading three-first round picks and a second-round selection to the St. Louis Rams for the No. 2 overall pick the right to select the Baylor signal-caller.

News of the blockbuster deal broke hours after it had become clear that future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning had settled on a list of potential destinations which did not include D.C.

Thank god.

Anyone whose read some of my maiden posts on this blog knows by now that I’m completely in the tank for RG3. His talent on the field is obvious — he possesses a strong and accurate arm, he knows when and how to change the trajectory of his throws in order to ‘lead’ receivers open, he has and exceptional athleticism and prefers to throw from the pocket but can obviously make plays outside of it.

But there are lots of talented college quarterbacks who flame out in the pros due to issues with their character or makeup, attributes often referred to as ‘intangibles.’ Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell come to mind immediately.

So it wasn’t until I read about Griffin’s background (both of his parents are ex-military, he graduated high school and college early with a degree in political science, has mentioned going to law school, is engaged to his high-school sweetheart) and saw him speak publicly at the Heisman Trophy ceremony and NFL combine, where he showcased as much at-ease confidence and charisma as I can ever remember a player having, that I decided I wanted him in the B&G, no matter the cost.

Griffin obviously has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL. It’s his aforementioned ‘intangibles’ that, to me, make him a slam dunk prospect. You hear a lot of people refer to an immeasurable ‘it factor’ that most star players have — Griffin has it in spades. Every single thing about him screams ‘superstar.’

Let me also be clear that, assuming I did not have the benefit of hindsight, I would not have made this trade for any quarterback in the last eight NFL Drafts except for Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan and, maybe, Sam Bradford. Obviously Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger have proven worthy of such a price and Cam Newton may in the near future while Matt Ryan has not been as good an NFL quarterback as I expected. But the point stands that, in my non-NFL scout opinion, RG3 is a good a prospect as any quarterback in the last decade, except for maybe Luck.

This trade, and abandoning the two-year sideshow that would have been Peyton Manning in D.C., is absolutely what the Redskins needed to do in order to begin anew and usher in a bright future. Now Coach Mike Shanahan (and, more importantly, offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan) have a young, stud quarterback to tutor, much as Shanahan had in Denver with a young John Elway from 1984 to 1987, Steve Young in San Francisco from 1992 through 1994 and again in Denver with Jay Cutler from 2006 through 2008.

Finally, Redskins fans have good reason to be optimistic about what this team can accomplish over the next decade.

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Tags: NFL Draft Robert Griffin III Washington Redskins