Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 8/4/12
The evolution of the quarterback has been on going for many years.

The NFL is opening up and becoming a passing league, trying to shape not only a quarterback that can pass effectively but can also run the ball consistently.  It seems that every year there is a quarterback that is more than just a quarterback. They are a genuine athlete that changes the game with more than just their arm. 

Obviously we can go back to the days of Randall Cunningham, Steve Young, and even today with Michael Vick. They were, at the time, an enigma because many doubted their ability to throw the ball and they were considered ‘run first, pass second’ players.  As we all know, with age comes wisdom and all three of these players have learned (or had learned) how to win games with not only their feet but also with their arms. 

The great thing about all three is how difficult it was (or is) for defenses to prepare for them week in and week out.  When you have a do-it-all quarterback, they can extend plays. They can give receivers time to work a route. And they put additional pressure on the entire defense. 

In this day and age, two young quarterbacks come to mind when thinking of the dual threat at that position: Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III.

Now I understand that Griffin III has yet to play a snap in the NFL but he has all the intangibles to be successful in the league. Newton demonstrated that he can play the position and do it well over a 16-game season. He was more than effective, he was electric.

In this article, we want to look at both players and ask who would you take to start your NFL team:
1. Experience: ____ Griffin III            __x__ Newton
You cannot minimize the factor of having experience in the NFL, and Newton has the 1st year under his belt the only question is how will he do in his second?  Newton has the advantage of being with his offense and understanding the intricacies of NFL everyday life, something that Griffin III will soon discover. 
2. Leadership:  __x__ Griffin III         ____ Newton
This one I am looking at overall, on the field and off the field, I believe Newton is getting better but it really took a while for him to come into his own and he is still trying to be that leader his team needs.  For Griffin III playing at the college level and also coming into the NFL there has been no question about his leadership on the field or off.  Griffin III carries himself as a consummate professional and in Washington that is what sold them on him (not to mention his freakish athletic ability).
3.  Passing:  ____ Griffin III                _x_ Newton
Not to say Griffin III struggles to complete passes, as a matter of fact he threw for over 4,200 yards and 37 touchdowns last season at Baylor so, needless to say, he is an effective passer.  From my perspective, Newton seems to have really worked on being a more complete quarterback (passing for over 4,000 yards and 21 touchdowns in the NFL) and in that he has improved his passing. He also wanted to erase the stereotype that he was a run first, pass second quarterback.
4.  Rushing:  _x_ Griffin III                 ____ Newton
Griffin III has not played in the NFL as of yet but based on his play last season, he seems to be the better rusher, but I am sure there could be differing opinions.  Newton surprised many in the NFL with his ability to run the ball and that allowed him to be critical in goal line situations for the Panthers.  It seems that Griffin III is faster and lighter on his feet, although both can make things happen with their feet, I give the edge to Griffin III.
5.  Better NFL career: _? _ Griffin III _? _ Newton
Honestly time will tell but the fact that Newton came in last season and started on fire, he has set the standard for rookie quarterbacks coming into the NFL.  Griffin III has tremendous potential to be the starter for a long time in the NFL and to be a successful quarterback.  Both players seem to have the desire and passion to want to be not only quality quarterbacks but also winners in the NFL.

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