In the Mix

December 13, 2014

Rookie Quarterback Hype

In the past few years, we’ve seen a number of college quarterbacks win the Heisman Trophy, get drafted into the NFL as first round draft picks, start their professional careers to grand fanfare and subsequently, implode. Consider this:

Tim Tebow: Heisman Trophy winner. First round draft pick. First season super hype. Denver Broncos seasons 1 and 2. Traded to the New York Jets for season 3. Traded to New England Patriots for season 3 on practice/off season squad only.

What team does he play for now? None…

Robert Griffin III: Heisman Trophy winner. First round draft pick. Super hype even before throwing his first NFL pass. Injured season 1 – LCL sprain/ACL surgery. Lack-luster season 2. Season 3 – dislocated ankle.

Still playing for the Washington Redskins, but, their last 3 seasons have not turned their program around as discussed…

Johnny Manziel: (Full disclosure: I am a Clevelander and a Browns fan till death. This fool makes me hot…) Heisman Trophy winner. First round draft pick. Johnny Football! Rehab at the end of first season with THE CLEVELAND BROWNS. WTF.

Played during his rookie season, but, the talent didn’t match the headlines.

The NFL is suffering from Rookie Quarterback Hype. I hate to add to their already impressive gallery of news clips, but, do you see a pattern?

To be fair, I should call out a few rookie quarterbacks who are not falling victim to RQH. But, by sheer nature of the fact that they are earning their headlines, the point could be moot…

Andrew Luck: No Heisman. First round draft pick. Starting QB for Indianapolis Colts. Made it as far as one game shy of the Superbowl after two seasons in NFL. No drama.

Russell Wilson: No Heisman. THIRD round draft pick by Seattle Seahawks. Won Superbowl in second season in NFL – returned to Superbowl in third season in NFL. No drama.

Cam Newton: Heisman Trophy winner. First round draft pick. Took a struggling Carolina Panthers to the playoffs for first time in nine years in his third pro season. No drama. In fact, who is this guy?

I hope the writing is on the wall. I’m trying really hard to be impartial, but, this is pretty obvious.

Tim Tebow is signing endorsement deals… Andrew luck is playing football.
Robert Griffin III is in surgery… Russell Wilson is playing football and winning the Superbowl.

Johnny Manziel is having “House Parties” and returning from rehab… Cam Newton is single-handedly holding together a struggling team and making it to the playoffs. He’s playing football…

This ends at a conversation about the difference between fame and football. TimTebow, though a visible christian, let the devil take over his football career. RG3 let his ego be fueled by anticipation and Mr. Football is just a meathead. Sorry, I couldn’t think of a better adjective.

So, now we have Marcus Mariota. Heisman Trophy winner. First round draft pick (projected). Hype? TBD.

Prediction: Mariota looks like he might be okay. I’m sure his loss in the first ever NCAA Football National Championship game humbled him and showed him that expectation doesn’t win the game… you gotta play football to win the game…