Is the Fad of the Mobile Quarterback Dead?

The mobile quarterback has become less effective in recent years. Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports
The mobile quarterback has become less effective in recent years.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

2011, with the first pick in the NFL Draft, the Carolina Panthers selected Cam Newton out of Auburn. He then went on to have the most productive rookie year in history.  2012 comes along and the Washington Redskins take a guy named Robert Griffin III out of Baylor with the second overall pick.  Also in 2012, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh benches Alex Smith for second year QB Colin Kaepernick.  RGIII won the NFC East and took his team to the playoffs.  Kaepernick took the 9ers all the way to the Super Bowl.  There was something brewing in the league.  Mobile quarterbacks where the future and these three pioneers were setting up the evolution of the position forever.

Fast forward to 2014.  All three guys are struggling.  In Newton's defense, the GM of the Panthers got rid of his two best targets in Steve Smith and Brandon LaFell.  However, collectively, all three teams have 14 wins and have had a hell of a time getting the wins they do have.  Defenses have seemed to figure out the scheme of the mobile QB and with defensive linemen running 4.4 40s, no one is fast enough to elude tacklers.

What we have left is a decent QB with no one to throw to (besides Kelvin Benjamin) in Cam Newton, a guy who is struggling with a defense that isn't as good as years past in Kaepernick, and a self-centered, loud mouthed, injury prone QB on his way out of Washington in RGIII.  The "fad," so to speak" was merely a knee jerk reaction to a few over achieving teams and now, as with all things in life, the true colors are coming out.  Not one of these guys is close to thirty and already we can see the deterioration in both their game and body.  Meanwhile, geezers like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are dropping fifty burgers in the passing TD category.

Don't get me wrong, all three guys are tremendous athletes, but it takes more to be sustainably successfull in the NFL.  Pocket passers will always be the norm in the league.  Guys like Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers who step up in the pocket and make plays with their arms will be around in 10-15 years.  The mobile quarterback project has failed and teams are going to stop playing guys with a run first mentality.  Just ask Johnny Manziel.