Excluding Luck, Best NFL Prospect Out of Heisman Candidates

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Collaborative Posts
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Of the Heisman candidates, we all know that Andrew Luck is considered to be the best NFL prospect. Who is the second best? Three writers weigh in.

Bunker

I’ll take RGIII. I may even take RGIII over Luck, but for the sake of this article, let’s forget Luck. The NFL is moving further away from your standard pocket quarterback. Now, I’m not jumping on the Tebow bandwagon, but I feel as though with the inexact science that is putting together a cohesive O-Line, the mobile Quarterback will have greater value. Unlike Michael Vick, RGIII is weighs more than a buck-eighty. Standing at 6’2 225lb., he has the ability to be both a pocket passer, which he showed flashes of greatness during his Heisman season and make plays with his feet. He will be a poor man’s Cam Newton next year and there’s no questioning his character or work ethic. I think RG3 is a can’t miss pick. He will bring excitement, discipline to any team. I question his ability to throw from the pocket, however, his ceiling is higher than Barkley’s. Barkley is a USC Quarterback. There is something about USC quarterbacks that when they make it to the NFL they just don’t get it done. So Barkley, like Palmer, Sanchez, and Leinart, he will fall short of the hype.

ALL II

It is hard to evaluate NFL talent from college tapes especially when the game is changing as often as today’s NFL.  I can confidently assert that we are in a pass happy era: quarterbacks control the offense more, make more calls at the line, throw farther, and process information faster.  Players like Tim Tebow and Cameron Newton give hope to the hybrid quarterback but products like Vince Young and Michael Vick give some pause.  Defensive stars get exposed and set up islands given the system they play in more than individual talent.  What has not changed is the role of the running back.

Monte Ball will be the best NFL prospect because his quickness, secondary speed, but unique ability to finish runs.  I am not totally sold on the viability of the bigger back (Richardson) as an every down back that can dominate throughout a career.  Ball’s size (maturity people…no adolescent laughs) makes me certain he will succeed at the next level.  I think he has the most pure talent after Luck and a game translatable to the professional level. When I look at other backs that achieved success in their careers, Ball reminds me of Ricky Williams – without the extracurriculars.

Cheeks

For a long time, elite athleticism at the quarterback position was an undervalued characteristic. Usually, quarterbacks who possessed exceptional speed and/or agility were asked to switch to a skilled position other than quarterback. Reasons for wanting a the quarterback to change positions ranged from less-than-stellar throwing mechanics to lack of experience in a pro-style offense. In addition, setting aside several years to develop these types of quarterbacks were thought to be a misguided use of time.

Well, times have clearly changed. Athleticism at the quarterback position is now valued (See Vick, Newton, etc.).  Provided that one shows the capability to develop the requisite skills to become a good pocket passer, mobility and speed are very coveted attributes by NFL executives, coaches, and scouts. This is why I think that Robert Griffin III will be the best NFL prospect out of the Heisman candidates besides Andrew Luck. Beyond the fact that he is a good guy and has a great work ethic, RGIII has all the tools to become a complete quarterback. He is fast1, mobile, has a strong arm, and is very accurate (72.4 completion %). But most importantly, he seems to be committed to becoming an excellent pocket passer. Most athletic quarterbacks tend to rely on their athleticism and neglect to improve on the fine details of the position (i.e. footwork, football intelligence). Such does not seem to be the case for RGIII.

1 Big 12 Conference 400-meter hurdles champion in the spring prior to his freshman season

Twitter: follow @five2pickup

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