RG III receives low ranking from league executives, coaches

It’s one thing when one person ranks a quarterback low based on his personal film study, as Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit did. It’s another when executives from around the NFL rate him near the same spot. That’s what happened when ESPN.com’s Mike Sando polled 35 executives/coaches from around the league on every starting quarterback for this Insider pieceInsider.

It’s a fantastic piece of work and required a ton of effort -- Sando has many contacts in the NFL. Yes, they’re anonymous -- it’s how you get people to talk honestly. Very few, if any, would do so otherwise. The article provides a great deal of insight into every quarterback, including Washington’s Robert Griffin III. To say there’s low expectations for Griffin would be an understatement. He was rated 28th out of 32 quarterbacks and listed in the fourth tier. Benoit, who does a lot of film study for his evaluations -- placed Griffin at 31.

I think it’s difficult to place Griffin behind two rookies, but if someone thinks he’s finished and won’t develop, then they could make a case that’s where he belongs; the rookies are fresh clay and have a chance to be molded. I also don’t pay great attention to where a guy is ranked; does it really matter if Griffin is 31 or 26 or 28? A bad ranking is a bad ranking. For what it’s worth, he was 19th in this ranking a year ago.

Does that mean he’ll fail this season? No. Doesn’t matter what’s said in the offseason; it only matters what occurs during the season. So Griffin can prove everyone wrong. He still owns a strong arm and he’s still a fast quarterback, even if he’s not quite as elusive as his rookie season. I can tell you I’m dead tired of talking about what he hasn’t done, what he might do or what he might not do.

The NFL season is a grind physically; the offseason is one mentally because many of the same topics are rehashed and discussed -- Griffin is the No. 1 topic in my mailbags (I answer maybe one of every five about him) and on radio shows when I’m a guest. But I’m drained; I just want to see it on the field. Let’s go already. Griffin controls his fate; analysts or other team decision-makers do not. Play well and the matter is done and the narrative flips. Perhaps if the Redskins’ defense plays much better and the run game truly is the foundation, then Griffin can be placed in more favorable situations. At that point, he absolutely must deliver. No excuses. We all know that.

For now, though, the opinions of Griffin are low. I’m not going to share everything Sando learned -- it’s available on the Insider’s page (one theme of evaluators centered on his personality). But there were a couple quotes that jumped out, starting with one person identified as an offensive coach who said, "He is done. The reason is, the injury slowed his legs, and his ego will not allow him to hit rock bottom and actually grind his way back up the right way."

One person said they were surprised the Washington Redskins gave him a fifth-year option, saying he was surprised that president Bruce Allen said it was an easy decision. Allen has to say that was the case because the opposite doesn’t exactly help Griffin’s confidence. I don’t think it really was an easy decision, but I understand why they said it was. Imagine the outcry if they said it wasn’t.

Here’s an opposing view from another person: "With Griffin, I'm taking into account the new offense, the new personality at head coach, coming off an injury. He showed his rookie year that he could be a 1. He is a young guy. I'm going to give him the benefit because of that."

It’s time to start training camp.