Could RG3 top Cam Newton's numbers?

February, 11, 2012
2/11/12
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Cam Newton made an immediate splash for the Carolina Panthers, breaking Peyton Manning's 13-year-old rookie passing yards record.

Newton
Newton
Griffin
Griffin
Could the Cleveland Browns get similar results if they draft Robert Griffin III?

ESPN Insider KC Joyner believes so. In his Insider post, Joyner says RG3 has the physical skills and track record to threaten Newton's mark of 4,051 yards.

One of the likely reasons for the statistical edge is that the Baylor Bears' offense had more pro-style tendencies than the run-heavy spread offense Newton played in at Auburn. That allowed Griffin to attack defenses in a wider variety of ways than Newton was able to and should help reduce his pro transition time.

Another edge for Griffin is that his senior season was his fourth as a starter (though it should be noted he missed most of his sophomore season due to an injury), while Newton tallied only one season as a starter at an FBS school. That level of extra training time is a highly valued trait among talent evaluators for good reason, as studies have shown it tends to bode well for NFL success.

It's debatable whether RG3 will still be on the board when the Browns are on the clock with the fourth overall pick. Knowing the possibility of the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins trading in front of them, the Browns might have to consider moving up if they are committed to RG3 as their franchise quarterback.


While Joyner presents a convincing argument on why RG3 can be the next Cam Newton, no one really knows how he'll turn out in the NFL. In many instances, a quarterback's supporting cast can determine success. Newton had the benefit of throwing to Steve Smith and handing the ball off to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart.

It could be tougher for a quarterback coming to the Browns at this point. Cleveland doesn't have a clear-cut No. 1 receiver and doesn't have one proven running back, much less two like Carolina. That's why drafting a quarterback like Griffin can only be the first step in building the Browns' offense under coach Pat Shurmur.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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