Robert Griffin III becomes the Redskins’ franchise quarterback


The Washington Redskins’ long search for a franchise quarterback has finally — they hope — reached a successful conclusion: Robert Griffin III is the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, and he’s the man who will, more than anyone else, determine the Redskins’ immediate future.

Griffin has to be not just good but great to justify the picks the Redskins gave up to draft him: They won’t have a second-round pick this year, and they won’t have first-round picks the next two years, having packaged all of them together to move up from No. 6 to No. 2 and take the quarterback they loved.

Although Griffin is such a great athlete that he could have been an Olympic hurdler had he not chosen to focus full-time on football, his blazing speed is much less important than his arm and his head: The Redskins need him to be a great passer, and they need him to be a quick study of Mike Shanahan’s offense. Beyond that, any plays Griffin makes with his feet will just be a bonus.

For Shanahan, who will turn 60 during training camp, Griffin is his last, best chance to accomplish in Washington what he did in Denver, and win a Super Bowl. The Redskins are a very long way from that right now, but the acquisition of Griffin gets them a big step closer.