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Griffin would have been even higher on this list, perhaps even No. 1 overall, should it have been written before he re-took the job from Colt McCoy in Week 9. The former No. 2 overall pick behind Andrew Luck was as sure of a bet to be an NFL star as Luck was, and in his rookie season proved to be the best of a very special rookie class.
In 2012, when he won Offensive Rookie of the Year, Griffin threw for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns, rushed for 815 yards and seven more scores, all while leading Washington to an NFC East crown and a trip to the postseason. It immediately inflated the confidence in the nation’s capital, because after years and years of mediocrity under center, the fan base finally believed it had found a franchise quarterback.
But the injury to Griffin in Washington’s first-round playoff game to Seattle would prove to be a turning point. The following season, Griffin looked … off. He went 3-10 in 13 games before another injury ended his season, one in which he threw for 16 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
With a full offseason of rehab under his belt entering 2014, Griffin again failed to play up the bar he set for himself back in 2012. Griffin was ineffective in Week 1 before another injury pushed him to the sidelines for the next two months. With Kirk Cousins struggling in his place and McCoy playing serviceable enough to win the team some games, Griffin returned, picking up where he left off at the start of the season as an incapable passer that lacked the escapability that used to make him special.
Now Griffin is backing up McCoy and there are major questions swirling in D.C. about his long-term future with the team. Some coach is going to believe he can turn the quarterback around. However, Griffin’s play over the last two years suggests otherwise.
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