While Robert Griffin III signing with the Cleveland Browns won’t necessarily keep the team from drafting a quarterback, it will likely keep any other quarterback from starting for the team in 2016.
In an interview with Bull & Fox on Cleveland’s 92.3 FM, Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network said in no uncertain terms that Cleveland’s plan is to make Griffin the starting quarterback.
“The team is bringing [RG3] in with the anticipation that he’s going to start. I think that Hue Jackson is far more impressed with Griffin than many of us realize right now.”
Looking at the early portion of Griffin’s career, it’s easy to see how Jackson is impressed by his new quarterback. Griffin certainly has great athletic ability. And in his rookie season of 2012, showed that he can be a good leader on a playoff team.
The problem with making him the presumptive starter is everything that’s happened since 2012. Griffin didn’t take a snap in 2015 after being a healthy inactive for the vast majority of Washington’s games. During the 2013 and 2014 seasons, he was 5-15, threw 18 interceptions, only 20 touchdowns, and generally had a hard time staying on the field.
There’s no real problem for the Browns if by the time the 2016 season gets underway, Griffin is under center. The problem comes with making that declaration right now — more than five months away from the start of the season. Griffin just hasn’t done enough in recent years to justify such faith.
Griffin is certainly talented, but he also brings question marks. With that in mind, Cleveland would be well advised to draft someone in the early rounds that would compete with RGIII for the job immediately.
Griffin can eventually be the Week 1 starter, but he should have to emerge from a field of two (or more) viable competitors to do so.