Where would you draft RG3 in 2013, knowing that he's coming off major knee reconstruction?
ACL injuries not nearly as concerning in 2013
In the past, I would have said that Griffin III is an enormous risk coming off a major knee reconstruction. After all, he does use his legs to compile a lot of his fantasy points. But after a season that saw Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles and Knowshon Moreno find statistical success less than a full season removed from an ACL operation, well, I'm not as concerned. RG3 has been through this before, as he suffered an ACL tear at Baylor in 2009. The following season, he posted 30 total touchdowns and threw just eight interceptions. Barring a setback, Griffin III should still be taken before the fourth round in most drafts.
Plenty of more trustworthy QB options
Unless everyone in my leagues decides to approach drafting RG-Knee conservatively, the 2013 sophomore won't be on my team. That's not to say I think Griffin will be a bust - simply that I won't reach to get him in the first few rounds. I've got names I consider more dependable going into next September, including: Matt Stafford, Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. As you may have noticed, I've got Griffin's fellow rookie QBs at the back end of that list. Neither of them will be returning from knee surgery, but - call me a curmudgeon (or a fool) - history suggests the second-year guys will struggle somewhere along the way ... and I want consistent weekly numbers out of my QB.
Be afraid...be sorta afraid
Well, I've pledged to not draft a quarterback in the first round. And unless there was a compelling option in the second round (Drew Brees for instance), I probably won't draft a quarterback that early. I could see the panic of RG3's knee as the cause for him to tumble into the fourth round. But even then, I would have a hard time taking him even at the bargain basement prices. He would have to be pretty far along in his rehab process to make him appealing, even there. But I figure that's where he's going to go.
Draft RG3 and have a backup plan
Best-case scenario for RG3 is that he's back in a limited manner during training camp, so you're going to have to go on faith a bit even if the team says he's on track to start the season. If you're in a league where RBs are at a premium, you can relax because you can wait, not draft RG3 and then get a good QB in the fifth round. But if your league merits you take a QB early? Then you have a decision to make. My rankings for QBs would look like this right now: Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton and Tom Brady are my top 4. Next is RG3 (followed by Peyton Manning). I can still draft RG3 where I want to (probably the second round) because there's enough quarterback depth that I can get a good enough backup later on to play them if I have to. I may have to get that player a little earlier than normal (figure the seventh round, eighth at the latest) - because you don't want to wait too long and wind up starting Christian Ponder because Griffin's still on the mend.
Too many concerns to feel comfortable
Call me a pessimist, but I have a hard time using Adrian Peterson as the model for a Griffin comeback. What A.D. did this season was a borderline miracle. The added fact that this will be RG3's second major knee surgery is also cause for concern. I took him at the end of the second round in our Mock Draft, but now I wouldn't touch him before the fourth round at best. Maybe he bounces all the way back and proves me wrong. But maybe he doesn't. And with so many productive quarterbacks available at the same point in the draft (or earlier), I'd rather avoid that potential headache.