On the eve of the NFL draft in which the Washington Redskins will select Robert Griffin III to be their new quarterback and, they hope, rescue them from decades of mediocrity at the game's most important position, Jason Reid caught up with the last quarterback for whom the Redskins traded up in the draft -- Jason Campbell, in 2005. Campbell once carried the hopes and dreams of Redskins Nation, though he didn't come with the hype that attends Griffin's arrival, and he's enjoyed watching the Griffin situation unfold from afar:
"You know, man, it's really kind of crazy when I think about what's happening with him," Campbell said, pausing for a hearty laugh before continuing during a phone interview Monday.
"A lot of the stuff that's going on with him, it was like that for me back then. All the media, the expectations coming in, knowing that [the franchise] is counting on you ... I've definitely seen this before. I lived it."
Griffin must exceed Campbell, of course, or else the whopper of a trade the Redskins made to put themselves in position to draft him will be an all-time bust. This story is a worthwhile reminder of the manner in which Griffin's situation is about to change after he's drafted and once he goes to work learning the Redskins' offense and developing as a professional quarterback. He faces expectations well beyond any that were ever held for Campbell, mainly because of the seven years that have unfolded since Campbell's draft without the Redskins solving this same problem. Everybody loves Griffin now because he represents promise, and that promise feels almost limitless. But he will, ultimately, be judged on the way he performs and what he delivers.