We have an Insider analysis piece from Ben Alamar that examines the difference in performance so far between Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, who was the No. 1 pick in April's draft, and Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was picked second. Ben's conclusion after looking through the numbers is that while both have performed at very high levels so far for rookies, Griffin is developing more quickly as an NFL quarterback than Luck is. Ben's conclusions include:
That Griffin is getting rid of the ball more quickly than Luck is.
That Griffin bears less of the responsibility for the sacks he's taking than Luck does for his.
That, while Luck throws the ball downfield more, Griffin does so more efficiently. (Fifty-seven percent completions on throws 10 or more yards downfield, compared with 49 percent for Luck.)
That the downfield passing numbers show that Griffin is being more judicious and perhaps reading defenses better.
The stats show Luck takes longer to get rid of the ball than Griffin and throws the ball down the field a lot more than Griffin. This suggests Luck is pressing too much and not recognizing when to check down as quickly as Griffin is. Griffin, in part, is doing a better job of quickly recognizing when he has a good opportunity to go deep and when he needs to get rid of the ball. This gives Griffin the current edge as both players strive to fulfill the promise of the draft slots.
Still, both rookies are performing at an extremely high level, and all signs point to both of them continuing to progress toward the levels of the Mannings and Bradys of the league. Griffin is the early leader out of the gate, but both will get there eventually. And when they do, we'll be comparing which elite QB is better.
Since these two will always be compared due to their proximity in the 2012 draft, I'm sure this won't be the last time we bring this up. But if you were wondering which rookie quarterback has performed better, there appear to be some numbers to suggest it's the one in Washington.