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Cosell deems RG3 a “superior arm talent and natural passer” to Luck

Robert Griffin III, Mike Shanahan

Washington Redskins head football coach Mike Shanahan, left, talks with Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III during Baylor pro day Wednesday, March 21, 2012, in Waco, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)


ESPN’s Merril Hoge caused a stir last week when he advised the Colts to draft Baylor’s Robert Griffin III over Stanford’s Andrew Luck with the first pick in the draft.

NFL Films’ Greg Cosell, perhaps the most prolific game-tape watcher of the sport today, indicated in a recent comparative essay that he doesn’t disagree with Hoge.

Cosell says he watched five tapes of each player. As Hoge also acknowledged, Cosell entered the film sessions with the impression that Luck “was the most NFL-ready quarterback to come out since Peyton Manning.”

By the end of his film work, however, Cosell concluded that Griffin is “a superior arm talent and natural passer” to Luck.

“Luck was not a special passer based on film study,” wrote Cosell. “He is not the same kind of arm talent as Matthew Stafford or Cam Newton. ... Luck was an economical player who was at his best as a timing and rhythm, short to intermediate passer.”

Cosell did credit Luck for his masterful ability to call plays and make adjustments at the line of scrimmage, calling it an “essential attribute as [Luck] transitions to the NFL.”

Based strictly on game tape, however, RG3 was the more remarkable quarterback.

“What immediately jumped out was his arm strength,” Cosell wrote. "... Griffin, for a power thrower, was consistently accurate. The better term for accuracy is ball location. That’s what allows receivers to run after the catch. Griffin excelled in that area.”

Cosell went on to praise Griffin’s “composure in the pocket” as better than Luck’s, as well as RG3’s ability to throw from different arm angles while maintaining consistent accuracy. Cosell suggested that Griffin, despite playing in Baylor’s spread scheme, was less of a system quarterback than Luck, who was “managed and manipulated by his offense.”

So maybe the Colts do have a decision to make at No. 1 overall.

Or maybe the Redskins are getting the best quarterback in the draft.