- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2012

The pick is in. As expected, the Redskins selected Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, with the second pick of the NFL Draft on Thursday.

The Redskins made it clear months ago that Griffin was their man. The question is if Redskins fans are equally enthused.

“I love him,” said Zach Tilkens, 24, school teacher watching the draft with other fans at a downtown restaurant. “He’s just a hard-working guy. He seems like the guy that will really put in the hours, no matter what it takes. He’s just going to let the rubber hit the road and make it happen.”

Steven Montgomery from Anacostia said he was born just a couple of months after Washington won its first Super Bowl. He’s hoping to see RG3 lead the Redskins to the next.

“This sets our future for at least 10 years. It’s hard to put into words how impressed I am. I haven’t heard nothing bad about him,” said Montgomery. “I’m happy about what we gave up for him. I just seriously think it’s going to work out for us.”

Others aren’t so quick to jump on the bandwagon.

“I don’t want to say anything because he hasn’t played yet,” said Tony Erickson, 37, from Takoma Park. “It’s all hype. Maybe next year - after seeing him play - even if they lose, I’ll feel better. But right now, I don’t want to get too hyped.”

Lance Cook, a bartender at Union Pub, took it one step further.

“I think the kid’s going to get killed. We don’t have an offensive line. We don’t have a receiver over 6-foot,” said Cook “We’ve got an aged team, and we continue to put an aged team out there every year, instead of building a team with young rookies. I had a conversation this weekend with an ex-Redskin that this is ridiculous. Over and over they do the same thing.”

Cook said that trading up will jeopardize the ability to build in the future. But many fans back the decision to trade up.

“Making this trade up was certainly the best move possible for this organization,” said Matt Harman , 24, a school teacher. “Obviously, his athleticism is great. That’s something that we really haven’t had in the past. But the thing that’s really going to take him over the top is his head. He’s really smart, graduated college in three years. If they have a guy that can grasp the system, and make good decisions, we could really see some realy great things come of this.”

Sipping on a beer, his buddy Taylor Tarter chipped in, “I’m not saying he’s a Tom Brady or a Peyton Manning, but if you believe he’s a franchise quarterback, would you give those picks up for a Tom Brady? Would you give those picks up for a Peyton Manning? Drew Brees? Phillip Rivers? Heck yeah you would.”

A man who gave his name only as Blahz said he’s been a Skins fan since the cradle said he’s happy to see the team getting younger.

“I think it’s good that we got some new blood, but we still got a lot to build as a team. We need to build our offensive line. We need to build our offense in general. But we’re making the steps we need.

He added: “Is this going to be our turnaround year? Hopefully yeah. I say, ‘We’re going to the Super Bowl! Damn Right.’ “

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