With the rise of young quarterbacks like Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, there's a debate on the horizon. How much mobility does a modern NFL quarterback need? The success of Griffin and Wilson can't be overlooked, but there's another side to this coin.
While Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin add and element to a team's offense that is otherwise absent, it doesn't come without a cost. Quarterbacks that are asked to run on a regular basis must absorb hits far more often than a pocket passer. The risk for injury skyrockets because of those hits, and putting a huge investment at risk isn't something teams should be doing on a regular basis.
Coupled with the risk for injury is the risk for a collapse. If a running quarterback is injured, the team is nearly required to have a backup quarterback that can run nearly as well. If the team in question lacks a mobile backup, the injury changes the entire way that offense functions. If the injury to the starting quarterback is significant, a team's offense may need to be completely rebuilt midseason, and that's not a recipe for success.
At this point, the benefits of starting a running quarterback has outweighed the costs. This has been the case for the Redskins, Seahawks and 49ers, but we've only seen this trend for one season. Our sample size is far too small at this point, and we'll continue to see this trend evolve in the coming seasons.
My gut feeling points to this being a trend. Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III and Collin Kaepernick may have long, successful careers, but the smart money remains on pocket passers with laser-rocket arms and pinpoint accuracy. There's now a niche for quarterbacks with a running skill set, but there will always be more room in the NFL for a quarterback that can stand tall in the pocket 40 or more times a game, making perfect passes.