Last year, a scathing assessment of quarterback Cam Newton from Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly stirred up a storm of criticism and debate in the weeks preceding the draft.
In the end, the critique didn’t keep Newton from being the first overall pick in the draft. Or from having the best rookie season of any quarterback in NFL history.
This year, with the Redskins in the process of converting their penciled-in selection of Griffin to tattoo ink, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shares some negative views on Griffin, from multiple unnamed scouts.
“‘Everybody is just assuming because of the Heisman and the socks and all that bs. . . . they are ignoring a lot of bad tape that he’s had,'” one scout told McGinn. “‘I don’t think he has vision or pocket feel, which to me are the two most important components of quarterbacking. He’s just running around winging it. He’s [Michael] Vick, but not as good a thrower.’
“He has better arm action and is more accurate with his deep ball, but he’s not as good as Cam Newton,” another scout said. “As much as is written about his athleticism, his athleticism under duress in the pocket isn’t even close to Cam Newton’s. This guy, the only way he gets big plays with his feet is if he’s got a wide-open field and the sea opens for him. He’s got a little bit of a selfish streak, too. Everybody was laying on Cam, but for some reason this guy has become gloves off. He doesn’t treat anybody good.”
Another scout “questioned the way Griffin deals with people.”
In our assessment, Griffin has been treated well by the media because there has been no evidence of anything to suggest that there may be a problem with his interpersonal skills. Newton had off-field issues, along with a certain sense of entitlement/grandiosity that bled through from time to time in the things he said. Griffin has performed well whenever in the media spotlight, coming off as down to earth and well-adjusted, even as the trophies and attention and hype have piled up at his doorstep. If there are scouts who view Griffin as selfish and as someone who “doesn’t treat anybody good” (how can we expect kids to use proper English when the adults routinely talk like cavemen?), they haven’t previously said so.
And now that the Redskins have long since locked on to Griffin, how can anyone regard any anonymous criticism of Griffin as inherently credible?
McGinn also reports on the Wonderlic scores of multiple quarterback prospects. None are dramatically high or low, which means that no one will be saying much of anything about them.
Meanwhile, Nawrocki’s assessment of Griffin’s negatives focus only on on-field issues like height, experience in the one-look shotgun spread offense, his sidearm/three-quarters delivery, a tendency to vacate the pocket prematurely, and a delay in seeing and sensing pressure. There’s nothing about any failure to “treat anybody good” or selfishness.
If there were real concerns about Griffin’s treatment of others and/or selfishness, the information surely would have come out a long time ago, not long after Griffin’s spot at the top of the draft board was secured.