This is an Atlanta Falcons blog but occasionally we will tackle topics that are outside of just talking about our team and our teams opponents. This week we are talking about NFL quarterbacks. Specifically we discuss Peyton Manning and whether or not he will be able to come back from his injuries and which young prospect you would draft: Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III?
Armchair GM: Who do you take if you had the first pick in the NFL draft: Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III?
Michael: Personally I would take RG3. Nothing against Luck, he’s a good QB, and will probably help a team out to an extent. But I’m just seeing another Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, Ryan Leaf (ok..maybe not that bad) etc in Luck. He’s a QB who is good, but who is made to look much better by a notoriously weak defensive conference. I think if I were an NFL scout, the Pac12 and Big12 would be the last 2 major conferences I would look at for a QB. RG3 on the other hand also plays in a weak conference, but he’s shown that he has more tools than Luck, not to mention an amazingly accurate arm to go along with his blazing speed. Just imagine..A Michael Vick who throws an accurate pass and has football smarts? Astounding. Oh..and then there’s the socks. Seriously..those alone should have bolstered RG3′s draft status at least one spot.
Matt: I feel the difference between Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin are pretty big. They are completely different quarterbacks, with the prototypical-sized QB running a pro-style offense, and the smaller, speedier QB running more of the typical college spread-type schemes.
RGIII is getting some poor criticism that was in line with what Aaron Rodgers received the year he was selected one spot before Jason Campbell. The college quarterbacks that do not run a pro-style offense create huge problems with trying to scout a player: can they read a defense, audible, get rid of the ball quickly?
I know Andrew Luck will be the popular decision based on his incredible understanding of football and underrated physical abilities. I may regret this, but I think Griffin is the guy for me. He has a higher ceiling with the stronger downfield arm you see from the Rodgers/Brees types when they scramble from the pocket. With the increase in spread-type schemes in the NFL to accommodate these players, and a player who completed almost 73% of these types of passes, in the right scheme Griffin has the potential to be an elite quarterback.
For Indianapolis, I do not think they can take the riskier Griffin. That team needs a quicker, but more reliable pick to help the city forget about Peyton Manning. If they could keep Manning for two more years, they could have Griffin learn and soon direct an electric offense.
Kevin: I am a huge college football fan and I watch a ton of the college game. RG3 was amazing last season and he simply has some intangibles that cannot be ignored. While he will no doubt be compared to guys like Michael Vick and Vince Young, he is a much more complete package than either of those guys were coming out of college. RG3 is a past-first quarter back that has the ability to pull it down and hurt you with his legs. Griffin has a huge arm as well and can make difficult throws on the run and against his body.
People talk about guys like Matt Ryan not being able to throw a deep ball. RG3 has an elite level deep ball. Just ask Bob Stoops. Andrew Luck feels like more of the “safe” pick than RG3. To be honest, Luck never really wowed me last year and I watched all of his big games (no, I’m not basing my opinion on how he picked apart Duke or Washington State). Luck had some nice moments (OT against USC and the drive to get there) and I think he can be an above average NFL QB but I just don’t think he has the upside of RG3. Call me crazy.
The big news story this past week was Peyton Manning getting released from the Colts. Let’s not forget that he missed all of 2011 with a neck injury. Has Peyton Manning played his last game?
Michael: First and foremost, Manning is a “player” He loves the game of football and he WANTS to play. He wants to be that guy who leads a team to victory. He may never actually go into coaching just because he’ll be so frustrated about not being able to leave the sidelines and jump into the huddle. I think he’ll be like Joe Montana…finding a team who can use his services until the time comes for him to hang up the cleats. Montana didn’t set the world on fire in KC, nor do I think that Manning will be hoisting any Lombardi trophies for whatever team he goes to, but he will put some butts in the seats and help to tutor whatever young QB(s) that team has.
Matt: I believe Peyton Manning has made close to $200 million, strictly from the Colts, in his football career. I see nothing that makes me think he has any reason to hang up his cleats. Do not ignore that Manning threw for a career high 4,700 yards in 2010. Peyton is the most attractive free agent in a decade because of his football drive. If Brett Favre can manage up 19 seasons in the NFL, Manning can play for more than 13.
While there is plenty of Peyton related information out there right now, Manning should be going to a team with a strong offensive line and a top-end wide receiver or two. With the news that him and Reggie Wayne are a dual commodity, the list of potential teams is not as small as you would think.
Kevin: Peyton should definitely hang up the cleates and call it a career. There is nothing worse than seeing that icon finishing his career to a thud in a different uniform than he’s played in his entire career. Will he? No he won’t. Peyton has too big of an ego to let Indianapolis have the final say in his career. He wants to go out on his own terms. Despite his health and potential injury he will give it another go. I do feel he will play again, but I don’t see him ever replicating what he had in Indianapolis. He will spend the rest of his career on lesser teams never sniffing the play-offs.