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Robert Griffin III and irrational exuberance

3/12/2012

Today's "Get off my lawn!" moment is brought to us by Reuben Frank of CNSPhilly.com. Reuben has apparently heard some of the same chatter I've heard in the past few days from Philadelphia Eagles fans and some Dallas Cowboys fans who are worried that the Washington Redskins' big trade up in the draft to get (presumably) Robert Griffin III threatens to move their teams further down in the standings. Reuben believes this to be hogwash, and has written a piece throwing cold water on the notion that the Redskins will win next year's Super Bowl because they draft this particular quarterback:

Only two quarterbacks drafted with one of the first three picks since 1990 have won at least one playoff game before their fourth year in the league. You might recognize their names.

Michael Vick. And Donovan McNabb.

So if you're worried that the Redskins have somehow tipped the competitive balance of the NFC East by acquiring the pick that they'll use to draft RG3, think again.

Even Peyton Manning didn't win a playoff game until his sixth NFL season, and Eli didn't win one until his fourth year. Vick and McNabb both won one in their second season, but McNabb didn't get to the Super Bowl until his sixth year in the league and Vick still hasn't been to one.

All a top-three pick gets you is a remote chance of landing a stud. And a far, far greater chance of landing a dud.

We do love the occasional injection of perspective and context, especially as it pertains to draft and free-agency season. I go back a couple of weeks, to when Jerry Jones said of course he wouldn't trade Tony Romo to move up and get Griffin or Andrew Luck. Jones was being reasonable, because the fact is, if Griffin or Luck turns out to be half as good as Romo already is, they'll be ecstatic and so will the Colts and Redskins.

There is no reason to doubt that Griffin can someday be a successful star quarterback in the NFL. There's no reason for Redskins fans to be anything but excited that their team made the bold move to trade up and get him. But for fans of the Cowboys and Eagles, there's no reason to despair and worry that the move suddenly makes your team inferior to the one that finished last in the division this past year. We believe Griffin can be great. We already know that Romo and Vick are. That difference is significant, and it's worth remembering at times like these, when overreaction comes so swiftly and easily.