Protecting the Horseshoe

An NFL Blog with an Indianapolis Colts Focus

NFL Films’ Greg Cosell: RG3 is Superior to Andrew Luck

I’ve always enjoyed Greg Cosell of NFL Films–particularly on the actual NFL Films blog. I get the feeling he watched a lot of tape and he has a weekly column or two dedicated to the scouting of certain players of interest.

This weekend he became the latest to take to task RG3 vs. Luck, and he says that Robert Griffin III is a bit more toolsy.

I have watched 5 games of both Luck and Griffin, all from their final collegiate season. Is that enough? Some might say yes, others no. Here’s what I saw. Luck ran a very controlled and condensed offense that featured multiple tight end personnel and a high percentage of compressed formations. He had a lot of freedom at the line of scrimmage to call plays and make adjustments based on defensive fronts and coverages. That’s an essential attribute as he transitions to the NFL, one that has dramatically increased in importance in the last number of years with the complexity and sophistication of defenses. There’s no question Luck is well ahead of the learning curve in that area.

Folks, he’s just getting started here.

Overall, Luck was not asked to make many tough throws at the intermediate and deeper levels. I did not see those. I will not say he can’t make them, but based on the 5 games I evaluated it’s a projection. In addition, Luck had a tendency to lift his back foot off the ground before releasing the ball. That prevented him from driving through his throws and at times negatively impacted his velocity and accuracy. He would lean over his front foot and push the ball. That can be corrected with coaching and repetition, but it’s a concern that must be addressed.

He also added that Luck was “not a special passer based on film study” and that Luck “was an economical player who was at his best as a timing and rhythm, short to intermediate passer.”

And here’s where it got interesting to a degree, with comparisons to Matthew Stafford, Cam Newton, and even the great Peyton Manning sprinkled in.

He is not the same kind of arm talent as Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton. While charting Luck, I was compelled to reflect on Manning. Was Manning a special passer coming out of Tennessee? Most would probably say no. It raises the question: what is the connection between arm talent and high football IQ as it relates to NFL success? We know where it led with Manning. Also remember Peyton’s arm strength increased as played in the NFL.

Cosell then moved on to Griffin, which by the tone of this post you could probably guess he’s very high on.

Griffin predominantly ran a shotgun spread offense with 1 back and 4 wide receivers. What immediately jumped out was arm strength. He had a very compact and easy delivery with natural velocity. There was a snap to his throws.

There were two more aspects of Griffin’s game that Cosell really liked. The first was his patience and composure in the pocket, and the second was his ability to throw from different arm angles (Cosell refers to them as “platforms” and remain accurate.

This is just one man’s opinion that will have no bearing on the selection of these two players, but it makes for an interesting read. Cosell even suggests in the final line of his post that only time will tell who will be the better NFL player. But it’s nonetheless interesting to see the differing opinions pile up before draft day arrives.

And there’s little to no guessing going on as to who the Colts see as having the brighter NFL future.


March 25, 2012 Posted by | Indianapolis Colts, NFL Draft, NFL Films, Washington Redskins | , , | 1 Comment