There is no doubt in my mind that in 2012, Robert Griffin III looked like a once in a generation talent, alongside fellow draft class mate Andrew Luck. Griffin had the speed to be a running QB, but also possessed incredible field presence to sit in the pocket and throw as well. That accuracy, combined with extraordinary leadership qualities, gave him a huge leg up on his way to 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year. Griffin was one of the top collected rookies of 2012 as well, but it hasnt all been roses.
Collectors were as much on board as anyone, spending thousands and thousands of dollars for his top cards, and making his signature about as valuable as any rookie has ever been. They were down, but are making a slow climb back up:
Then, the injuries started to leak, and he ended up with a second torn ACL that put him down for all of the offseason. Yesterday, he got his first action of the year, and the results were mixed. The question I have centers on whether or not he has shown that he is STILL worth the investment he was in 2012. Was that question made more foggy last night? Does a weaker 2013 rookie class contribute to the fact that collectors would rather dance with the devil they know? I think all are good questions to consider, especially when injuries play a huge factor in every player’s career.
I might not be the best judge of football talent, but I really like RGIII. In a league of prima donnas with bad attitudes to match mediocre play, RGIII is the complete opposite. It sure doesnt hurt that he was one of the most exciting players to watch in 2012. The injury, his second ACL as mentioned above, is very scary – even more so now that they decided to rush him back. People keep using Adrian Peterson's recovery and resurgence as a benchmark, but Peterson never had this problem before. RGIII has already had a knee surgery, and two is never a good thing in terms of collectability.
However, things are different now that the techniques have gotten better, and recovery time is much less. Collectors are definitely factoring that into their decisions, as his cards are down from where they were back at the end of the season last year. Even though the first half was UGLY, he did show that he is very much a guy worth looking at the same way we used to. It was even more exciting considering that he was up against a guy in Mike Vick with similar style. Although there is a twinge of doubt in whether or not there is sustainability in his long term success, I have every reason to believe he will be good for a long time in this league.
It will take some time for him to get going again, but I think by week four, we will have a pretty good picture of what the new RGIII is capable of this year. If he stays healthy, we should see the same guy in 2014 that we saw last year.