QB Robert Griffin III, Baltimore Ravens
HT: 6-2, WT: 223, Born: 2-12-1990, College: Baylor, Drafted: Round 1, Pick 2
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Average draft position
Current as of August 25th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Edelman (68), J Maclin (69), Robert Griffin III (70), E Sanders (71), M Colston (72)
Position: M Ryan (66-QB8), C Newton (67-QB9), Robert Griffin III (70 - QB10), C Kaepernick (74-QB11), T Romo (85-QB12)
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Robert Griffin's 2013 season didn't go as planned, but that shouldn't deter fantasy owners from betting on him in 2014. Griffin rushed back from a torn ACL and was clearly never 100%, particularly when it came to trusting his legs. Mounting losses fostered tension with Coach Mike Shanahan, culminating in Griffin's benching and ultimately Shanahan's firing. Griffin gets a new lease on life with head coach Jay Gruden. Gruden managed to turn a middling talent like Andy Dalton into a 4,000-yard, 27-TD passer...imagine what he can do with Griffin. Combine that with the addition of DeSean Jackson and you've got every reason to think Griffin will bounce back into the top tier of fantasy QB1s.
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2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Griffin's return to football was anything but auspicious - a near-disaster of a home opener in front of the zealous Washington faithful. Months of rust, rehabilitation, and lack of contact drills resulted in one of the poorest performances of Griffin's young NFL career, even if the final score indicated otherwise. Put as simply as possible - and to not belabor the point any further - Griffin looked bad. While his arm strength was undiminished, his mechanics were terribly clunky. He failed to step into throws and routinely finished them off-balance. The gorgeous touch he had on his passes in 2012 was absent; he repeatedly floated wobbly passes towards his receivers. Griffin's intercepted pass intended for Pierre Garcon was practically telegraphed, sailing at a diminished velocity towards Garcon and easily picked off by cornerback Cary Williams. Griffin's decision-making was also suspect, to say the least. More often than not, he threw to his first read, never bothering to scan the field to watch the play develop. This allowed the Philadelphia defense to easily anticipate Griffin's intended target. Griffin also threw into double and triple coverage rather than seeking out the open man - including an intercepted pass intended for Santana Moss on a deep crossing route, which cornerback Brandon Boykin snagged. In Griffin's defense, the Eagles blitzed on practically every down, forcing him to get rid of the ball early or take a sack. Griffin did run, albeit gingerly, when he was flushed out of the pocket, but the Redskins called few, if any, designed runs. The sophomore quarterback from Baylor did his level best to seek extra yardage while avoiding contact. Griffin found greater success towards the conclusion of the game when Washington elected to run its hurry up offense. Relying on quick, rhythmic passing coming off three-step drops and hitting intended targets, Griffin led three scoring drives in the second half, including an impressive twenty-four yard pass to Leonard Hankerson for a garbage time touchdown that kept the Redskins on life support. Ultimately, Robert Griffin III looked more like a rookie in his 2013 home opener than he ever did as an actual rookie. Without a run game to lean on, coupled with Philadelphia's incessant pass rush overwhelming the Redskins' offensive line, Griffin was altogether worse for the wear.
Week 2 - Coming off of a Week One performance marred by mechanical errors, faulty decision-making, and general skittishness, Robert Griffin III looked to bounce back against a Packers defense that got shredded by the 49ers in San Francisco. The stat sheet indicates Griffin reached a few single-game benchmarks quarterbacks like to reach - over three-hundred passing yards and three touchdowns - most of that came after a series of three-and-outs Washington down by thirty points. A combination of Packer blitzing and Griffin's hesitancy to run made for another long day for the sophomore from Baylor. The Redskins attempted to disguise Griffin's ongoing convalescence with some read-option fakes, which were ultimately just inside handoffs to Alfred Morris. Green Bay, to Washington's chagrin, was not fooled, and repetitive blitzing forced Griffin to throw many balls away; Griffin only took one sack against the Packers. Without the threat of Griffin breaking off a huge run, and Alfred Morris sidelined due to the Redskins in perpetual hurry-up mode, Green Bay was content to blitz a handful of defenders and drop the remaining defensive backs into coverage, anticipating the pass. The results for Griffin, who took a couple of hits against the Pack, were mixed. His mechanics were definitely better, with his throws being more crisp, more precise. He scanned multiple reads on pass plays, rather than hitting his first, like he did last week. Griffin seemed less afraid to go for broke and threw into tight coverage more than once. His lone interception was more on Joshua Morgan than Griffin, though Morgan was in coverage and the tipped pass easily picked off. Two of Griffin's three touchdowns go to the ball skills of his receivers - Garcon for his excellent control after the catch, Moss for fooling the Replay Assistant - while Griffin's third touchdown was simply firing the ball to the open man in Jordan Reed. While the Redskins were, to the impartial eye, not blown out for the second week in a row, Griffin and his teammates were somewhat embarrassed on the field of play. When searching the game tape for a silver lining, Griffin seemed, at the very least, more comfortable leading the Redskins' offense, and his throwing mechanics were decidedly more sound. However, without the ability to run - still feeling the effects of the injury that ended his 2012 season - Griffin struggled.
Week 3 - Candidly, it is hard to assess if Robert Griffin III made strides in the right direction or not in his third game back from injury. Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan's playcalling choices seem to indicate, at the least, an incremental confidence in Griffin's physical improvement. Shanahan and company dialed up a few designed runs and allowed Griffin to take the ball himself on some read-option plays. The Redskins relied heavily on play-action passing against the Lions, something they did not do as much against Philadelphia or Green Bay - games in which Griffin primarily called plays out of the pistol. The number of bootlegs against the Lions also seemed to increase from previous weeks, which was a welcome sign. Griffin seemed at least confident in himself to execute plays on the run, or find extra yardage while avoiding hits from defensive players. This opening up of the playbook by the Redskins - however slightly opened it was - was that glimmer of hope Redskins fans and RG3 fantasy owners desperately sought. In theory, this diversified playcalling was warmly embraced. The execution ended with a lot to be desired. While still a master of deception of the read-option and play-action passing game, Griffin's passes took a step back. He underthrew receivers. He overthrew receivers. He had a pass intercepted by Lions cornerback Chris Houston that should have sailed over the club level of FedEx Field, given the number of Detroit defenders in pursuit. Not only was Griffin inaccurate, but he also sought out the high-efficency outlet over the big-play gamble. Only once did Griffin take a truly deep shot down the field - a perfectly thrown bomb into the awaiting arms of Aldrick Robinson. Though Griffin and the Redskins thought they had an easy touchdown, Replay Assistant overturned the catch after the slow-motion playback indicated Robinson bobbled the ball on his way to the unkempt turf at FedEx Field. Otherwise, Griffin and the Redskins were content to dink-and-dunk, resulting in the day's most hollow three-hundred-yard-passing performance. Griffin also fumbled three times, including once on a head-first dive that resulted in a live ball and a recovered fumble by the Lions defense. Needless to say, the sophomore quarterback's decision-making against Detroit was not flawless. Speaking conclusively, Griffin needs a defense that can at least slow down his opponents' offense, paving the way for a run-heavy attack that features him and Alfred Morris plowing through defensive fronts. Otherwise, as long as games remain out of control and Griffin is relegated to being a pocket passer the Redskins want to keep upright, his upside, along with the rest of the Washington offense, is capped.
Week 4 - Easy does it for the still-not one hundred percent Robert Griffin III. With the Redskins not playing from behind the entirety of the contest in Oakland, Washington was able to balance its run/pass mix to something that resembled its 2012 offense, resulting in a tidy, if unimpressive game from Griffin. Each week seems to feature a different offensive gameplan from the Redskins, with Washington mixing in traditional, huddle-up offense, the read-option, and this week, the hurry-up, no-huddle style of offense popular at the collegiate level. Griffin ran several series of the hurry-up from the pistol and the shotgun and seemed to have no problem calling plays from the line. Washington threw in a couple of designed runs for Griffin, but the sophomore quarterback was still limited to three carries for ten yards. Through the air, Griffin was serviceable, but not dazzling. The Redskins elected a lot of high-efficiency pass plays for its offense, with Griffin throwing dump-offs and short passes. Again, another element missing from the Redskins' 2012 offense, which usually featured a handful of deep shots off play-action. In any case, Griffin proved confident against a fairly toothless pass rush and did not make many mistakes on pass plays. Griffin's most impressive play of the afternoon came on first-and-ten at the Oakland forty-two yard-line. Facing a collapsed pocket and an Oakland defense ready to pull him down, Griffin spun out of the pocket, ran towards the line of scrimmage, and threw a bullet to Roy Helu. Helu galloped forward for a fantastic twenty-eight yard gain and scored a touchdown on the next snap. Griffin's quick strike to Garcon, his only passing touchdown of the game, was accurate, though Garcon really did most of the work on the score. Each game for Griffin continues to be a preseason game of sorts, with the Redskins asking a bit more of him each time and adding offensive wrinkles to get him back up to speed. With the normally laughable Redskins defense facing a smattering of Oakland backups, Washington hheld its own and did not ask Griffin to throw a boatload of passes. Griffin was able to manage the Redskins' first win of the season with careful decision-making and a balanced run/pass mix. With incremental improvement, he could dazzle in the coming weeks.
Week 6 - With the Redskins coming of their first win of the season and a bye week following, one had to wonder when the Redskins would turn Robert Griffin III loose in order to shore up a stagnating offense. The kid gloves came off Griffin on the big stage in Dallas, with mixed results. Griffin ran wild against the Cowboys, averaging well over eight yards per carry, even breaking off a twenty-six yard run that looked eerily close to 2012 RG3 - complete with hard, explosive cuts. However, for all the success Griffin had on the ground, he looked like a lost backup in the passing game. The second-year quarterback completed fewer than fifty percent of his passes and missed his receivers in bad ways on several pass attempts. In Griffin's defense, the Cowboys' decimated defensive line seemed up to the task to pressure the Redskins' quarterback, and Dallas had Griffin running for his life on Sunday night. With the Cowboys repeatedly flooding the pocket, Griffin had to get the ball out as quickly as possible, often without much success. His throws were often off the mark and his receivers were left hanging. Such scattershot passing left Griffin without any passing touchdowns and one embarrassing interception. On the Redskins' tenth offensive series, Griffin tossed a deep pass to the Dallas end zone that got picked off by cornerback Orlando Scandrick. Leonard Hankerson was in the camera's frame, to illustrate that he was at least in the vicinity of the pass, but Hankerson could not have possibled caught the pass. Each week seems to be two steps forward and one step backward for Griffin, whether it is struggling with his throwing mechanics, his ability to sell play action, running the offense, or running the ball. Perhaps he will put it all together sometime soon, but it has not happened yet, giving Monday morning quarterbacks more incentive to criticize the Redskins' decision to rush Griffin back following last season's season-ending injury.
Week 7 - It took six games for Robert Griffin III to return to dual-threat prominence. Facing the Bears at home, Griffin captained the Redskins to a dramatic victory that featured almost five hundred yards of total offense from Washington. Griffin started the afternoon tilt with a twenty-three yard run off a read-option play, signaling that he was that much closer to being the electrifying quarterback he was in 2012. Griffin finished the day averaging over seven-plus yards per carry, looking comfortable on designed runs and read-option plays. His elusiveness as a runner seems to be re-established, though that second-level burst Griffin had as a rookie remains absent. Mechanics-wise, Griffin seemed a bit more polished and confident in his ability to make throws; the Redskins' offensive line provided him with an unusually clean pocket against the Bears. Griffin still made questionable decisions at times, like his pass intended for Leonard Hankerson that Charles Tillman anticipated immediately and picked off. Griffin's deep bomb to wide receiver Aldrick Robinson - while beautifully thrown - was also a bad decision, saved only by Tillman falling down before the ball arrived in Robinson's hands. Occasionally, throws were behind pass-catchers or completely out of the area of any receiver. The touchdown pass Griffin threw to Jordan Reed was, on the other hand, perfect in terms of touch and placement - out of the reach of Bears safety Chris Conte. It is fairly evident that the Shanahans trust Griffin to execute their play-calling more than in previous weeks, as Washington dialed up more bootlegs, option runs, and passing plays that were not wide receiver screens. This is encouraging to Redskins fans and fantasy owners of Robert Griffin III. washington's matchup against the Bears felt like Griffin's first game where he was fully in control and he was able to rely on his strengths as a runner and accurate passer. Griffin's incremental rehabilitation from his 2012 season-ending injury appears close to completion; if he can stay upright and healthy, he will continue to improve as a quarterback.
Week 8 - The Redskins took the statistics-based narrative that Denver was stout against the run and sieve-like against the pass a little too literally in their offensive playcalling. The results were painful, literally and figuratively - Robert Griffin III took three sacks and thirteen hits while completing half of his passes and getting picked off twice. Practically gone were the designed runs that Griffin used to to roast the Bears in Week Seven; the Redskins substituted those runs for go-for-broke deep shots against Denver. Griffin was, by and large, a mess against the Broncos. He threw into double coverage and repeatedly failed to read the defensive scheme properly. The interception Griffin threw Pierre Garcon's way was Garcon's doing - the receiver slipped. The following series, Griffin got his as he threw, changing the ball's trajectory for another interception. The Redskins' offensive line, built for run-blocking in a zone scheme, had challenges pass-blocking against Denver's defensive front. Griffin, meanwhile, seemed incapable - or at least unwilling - to run the ball for positive yardage. The results were seven rushing yards against one hundred and thirty-two cringe-inducing passing yards. Griffin's longest pass play was a fourteen-yard screen pass to Pierre Garcon. His other passes were quick outs, screens, and the undesirable "dump off" for miminal gain. The thirteenth and final hit Griffin took in the fourth quarter kept him out of the game, at least for precautionary reasons. The Redskins will need to balance their playcalling with at least a handful of designed runs in order for Griffin to successfully use play-action as well as set up man-to-man coverage for Redskins receivers. Otherwise, Washington seems destined to struggle, given Griffin's performances as a pocket passer in games against the Eagles, Packers, and Broncos.
Week 9 - Griffin certainly hoped to bounce back against the visiting Chargers after an atrocious performance in Denver during Week Eight. Griffin did just that, leading the Redskins to a thrilling overtime victory over the Chargers and their forgiving defense. Completing a season-high seventy-plus percent of his passes, Griffin looked sharp in a game that witnessed him stick to a pocket-passing role. His passes, especially into tight windows, had precision and zip on the ball. His decision-making process was sound, buoyed by an offensive line that kept Griffin upright and gave up zero sacks. San Diego did bat several of Griffin's passes down at the line, however, including one in the end zone for a touchdown. However, generally unhurried and in control, Griffin was able to get over nine yards per pass and seemed in sync with his receivers, particularly Pierre Garcon - who the Chargers let roam the middle of the field at will. The Redskins did not elect to run Griffin much, and he was limited to a mere six carries for seventeen yards. Washington's play-calling in general harkened back to the earliest weeks of the season, when the Shanahans sought to keep Griffin protected and leashed. Hopefully, Washington is not hiding a Griffin injury and perhaps the Redskins simply elected to go with what the Chargers wished to give up. Griffin, it should be noted, did not score a touchdown of any kind of the third game in the 2013 season.
Week 10 - Griffin turned in his most efficient game of the season in Week Ten on the road against the Vikings. His three touchdown passes tied a season high and he did not turn the ball over. The Vikings allowed Griffin and the Redskins to move the ball relatively easy between the 20s both on the ground and through the air, playing off coverage and biting on play-action more often than not. The Minnesota pass rush did get to Griffin, sacking him four times, as he held on the ball too late on a handful of snaps. Minnesota's defensive game plan was evident from the first snap - to hit Griffin at the mesh point. When he was not getting buried by the Vikings, Griffin made smart decisions on his reads and did some of his best work on the season when it came to putting the ball where only his receivers could reach it. The Redskins offense found its greatest success on play action, where Griffin was able to hit his receivers in stride and get several yards after the catch. The second-year signal caller clearly had a much greater trust in his throwing mechanics than he did earlier in the year. On the ground, Griffin averaged over six yards per carry, though the Redskins did not lean on him in a heavy amount of designed runs. In 2013, Washington seems much more content to use the read-option as a play-action fake rather than a running play.
Scoring wise, all of Griffin's touchdown passes came in the red zone, given the Redskins' ease running the ball and achieving big gains on play action. Griffin's short touchdown passes to Pierre Garcon, Logan Paulsen, and Jordan Reed were for the most part the effort of the receivers taking short passes across the stripe rather than Griffin having to show a tremendous amount of accuracy or touch. Griffin did throw the touchdown pass to Paulsen through a tight window in a split second. However, the story of the Redskins' offense against the Vikings was their inability to get any more than three points on two separate occasions facing first and goal - once on their first drive, and once on their last drive. Across eight snaps, Griffin threw six incomplete passes, the final being a perfectly-thrown fade pass to Santana Moss that the veteran receiver could not complete for a score.
Week 11 - Griffin turned in an absolutely putrid first half in Philadelphia, failing to crack thirty passing yards. He turned it in the second half, capitalizing on busted coverage on fullback Darrel Young to complete a sixty-one yard score. Griffin then found himself on the right side of an end zone desperation heave to Aldrick Robinson, who trapped the ball between his arms and chest to put six on the board for the Redskins. Following both of those touchdowns, Griffin was able to convert two two point attempts - once on an out route pass to the newly-promoted Nick Williams, the other Griffin took into the end zone himself. With three-and-half minutes to go, Griffin was able to drive the Redskins from their own four yard-line into the Eagles' red zone, but threw up a duck in the Philadelphia red zone that Eagles cornerback Brandon Boykin intercepted to ice the game. His fourth quarter theatrics aside, Griffin was decidedly ordinary, even less-than-ordinary, against an Eagles defense he dropped over three hundred and twenty-yards on Opening Night. Philadephia got a significant amount of pressure on Griffin, sacking him four times and blitzing to force bad throws. The Eagles also gave Griffin little room to run, though he did accumulate double digit carries for the second time this season, so Washington trusts Griffin to run for yards. Griffin ended up questioning Washington's playcalling from the sidelines in Week Eleven, and deservedly so. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan seems not to know the game situation - passing while he is up (like the Redskins did at Denver) and running while he is down (as the Redskins did at Philadelphia) - and that affects the both the confidence of the quarterback and the Redskins' ability to be competitive in games. With injuries to his receiver corps, disagreement in the Washington camp about playcalling, and Griffin taking even more hits at Lincoln Financial Field, the Redskins will head into the stretch run decidedly beleaguered.
Week 12 - Guessing how the Redskins offense will perform week-to-week is something of a fool's errand in today's NFL, with Washington capable of running wild one game and not getting off the bus the next. Unfortunately, the Redskins had lower to go than their abysmal performances against Green Bay and Dallas, as they absolutely hit rock bottom against the visiting Forty Niners, attaining fewer than two hundred total yards of offense. Griffin, coloquially, got destroyed by a San Francisco defense intent on making him run for his life. The Redskins' undersized offensive line gave its quarterback no time to go through his reads or find an open man, forcing him to scramble for precious yardage. Griffin took four sacks and absorbed seven additional hitsas the Forty Niners turned him into a burgundy-clad rag doll. In the process of getting hit by Aldon Smith, Griffin flicked up an easy interception for Donte Whitner, with no Redskins receiver in the vicinity. When given the time to throw, Griffin was sloppy and off target, almost incapable of hitting his receivers - like the NFL's answer to Chuck Knoblauch. Washington attempted to combat San Francisco's blitzes with screen passes, dump offs, and pass plays off the read option, but the Forty Niners did not bite. That Griffin even survived the night is just short of a miracle. Given the lack of playmakers on offense for the Redskins, offensive line included, and Griffin's fragility - and his recuperation from injury contextualized in the wake of Adrian Peterson's recovery - Washington will certainly need to evaluate if it is in the franchise's best interest to keep submitting Griffin to such punishment without the possibility of reward.
Week 13 - Griffin and the Redskins came out swinging in the first quarter, scoring on the first two of their three drives while running thirty-seven total plays. Griffin looked in control running a no-huddle, hurry-up offense that involved a lot of checking down and quarterback keeper runs. As New York adjusted to Washington's playcalling, blitzing frequently, Griffin got progressively worse, getting bottled up on runs and throwing inaccurate passes. New York sought out to stop the effective running attack of the Redskins and exploit Griffin's shakiness reading coverages. Griffin was able to take advantage of the Giants' off coverage on his receivers, making quick decisive throws to open men - he ended up completing sixteen of his first seventeen passes. The second half was far worse, as the Baylor product completed only eight of his fifteen attempts. That Griffin was able to check it down and go through multiple reads is encouraging, given that in previous games he relied on play-action to set up single coverage and he would throw to the most "open" man. Washington really got the most out of Griffin on option plays, as he carried twelve times for eighty-plus yards, often reading the defender crashing in towards the dive or pitch option rather than himself. All of this running caused Griffin to careen off the field several times, crashing into other players and stadium walls. Another mixed bag of a performance for Griffin, who showed maturity in the pocket and a willingness to run, though even a decent performance from him is not enough to lift his team out of the NFC East cellar.
Week 14 - In the middle of a massive second-half skid with anyone named Shanahan in jeopardy of losing his job, Robert Griffin III turned in one of his more mediocre performances against a tenacious Chiefs defense. He took two hits and a whopping six sacks, though no hit was particularly jarring. Griffin was, to be blunt, sloppy. His passing was inaccurate as ever, routinely missing his targets - though his completion percentage was not aided by the number of passes he threw out of bounds to avoid taking a sack. The Redskins were unable to get much going on offense in general, and facing a colossal task of coming back from a multiple touchdown-deficit proved too overwhelmimg for an offense based on time of possession control and running. Given the Redskins' inability to run and the Chiefs' ability to get after Griffin, the Baylor product having a bad game was all but assured. He got easily picked off by linebacker Dennis Johnson, who read his eyes perfectly through a steadily falling snow in Landover. As he has in the past, Griffin locked on one receiver and did not go through his progressions. Kansas City being able to anticipate the pass resulted in heavy blitzing, which resulted in a panic, scrambling Griffin, which resulted in a heavy dose of hits and incomplete passes. All in all, it was a forgettable day for Griffin, and one for Redskins, most of who left at halftime. With the level of drama escalating between Griffin, head coach Mike Shanahan, and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, it is possible that Griffin could sit in Washington's remaining games as Shanahan and Snyder use him as a pawn in their professional chess match.
Week 15 - The timing of Robert Griffin III's shutdown - following a snow-covered shellacking at the hands of the Chiefs, in the midst of an imbroglio between Dan Snyder and Mike Shanahan - came as no surprise. Elevating second-year quarterback Kirk Cousins to the QB1 position was certainly fortuitous for Cousins - facing an Atlanta defense residing at the bottom of the barrel in most defensive metrics. Cousins, in his second start in two seasons, looked very much the part of a starting NFL quarterback, despite presiding over a Redskins offense that looked like a Benny Hill routine at times. Washington turned the ball over a zany seven times, with Cousins fumbling once and throwing two interceptions. Other than turning the ball over an undesirable amount of times, Cousins looked fairly polished in a wild tilt in the Georgia Dome. The Michigan State product, when kept upright, showed a terrific ability to read the Falcons defense, go through progressions, and find the open receiver. When rolling out and facing pressure, Cousins exhibited impressive arm strength, not to mention accurate passing. His touchdown pass to tight end Fred Davis came on a slick rollout and arrived on a dime into Davis' waiting hands. The Redskins relied on bootlegs much more than they had in the past with Robert Griffin III, and also used much less play-action off read-option. Cousins appeared comfortable under center and in the shotgun, though he was most impressive on the Redskins' last drive of the afternoon. Attempting thirteen straight passes, Cousins threw for six first downs and ten completions driving the Redskins seventy-seven yards before hitting wide receiver Santana Moss on a quick out route for his third touchdown pass of the game. Unfortunately, he was unable to hit Pierre Garcon on the run when the Redskins attempted a two point conversion with the game on the line. Optimists will point to Cousins' performance as polished and savvy, as he threw for over three hundred and eighty yards and three scores on the road. Pessimists will point to Atlanta's sieve-like defense and the team having three wins through Week Fourteen. The truth is likely somewhere in between. Cousins certainly looked at ease and in command, though he needs a tougher test in order to create any sort of legitimate quarterback controversy in WAshington, especially with Robert Griffin III announced as the starter for 2014.