Nonetheless, RG3 likely will be a top-five pick and is so talented that teams with large investments in young quarterbacks, such as Sam Bradford in St. Louis, will have a tough time passing up on the opportunity to draft a potential game-changer.
He has some of the same natural talents that Cam Newton had in the 2011 draft, sans the size. Griffin overcomes a slight size deficiency by simply being so athletic that defenders rarely get a shot on him. As a hurdler (out of high school) it is apparent that RG3 is extremely explosive. He drops back with absolute ease. He is able to feel comfortable enough in the pocket to step into a throw in traffic, or reset outside the pocket.
At this point, unlike Luck, he can also move the ball downfield with his feet. While many would argue that RG3 might be an athlete playing quarterback, his senior year reaffirmed that he is simply an athletic quarterback, a guy who can make all the smart throws first, and create later if necessary.
His junior year was a test to see how well he could recover from a torn ACL in his sophomore year, and he came back just as strong. Some might worry that he will look to run first at the next level, but this could easily be curbed through coaching and a good support system on the offense. He truly had one strong season in college, but playing in a talented Big 12 conference and winning the Heisman likely puts a rest to those concerns, as well."
He also rushed for 843 yards on 173 carries (4.9) and 13 scores, earning Big 12 freshman and newcomer of the year honors. Griffin started the first three games of 2009, but a serious knee injury ended his season early, taking a medical redshirt.
He returned healthy in 2010 as a sophomore and started all 13 games, finishing 304-for-454 (67.0%) for 3,501 yards, 22 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. He added 635 rush yards on 149 attempts (4.3) and 8 scores, earning Second Team All-Big 12 and comeback player of the year honors.
Griffin was extremely productive in 2011 and set several career-highs as a junior (13 starts), going 291-for-402 (72.4%) for 4,293 yards, 37 touchdowns, 6 interceptions and 699 yds on 179 carries (3.9) and 10 scores.
He earned several postseason awards after the 2011 season, including the Heisman Trophy and Davey O'Brien award winner and was a First Team All-American and All-Big 12 honors. Griffin decided to forego his final season of eligibility and enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
Griffin is an impressive all-around athlete and isn't afraid to run and use his world-class speed if the situation calls for it, but he's a pass-first quarterback with above average arm strength + his on-field swagger and winning attitude is contagious.
He has shown outstanding progression as a passer since his freshman year, but he needs to improve his pocket presence, looking to make too many of his throws outside the pocket: still far from a finished product and needs to continue his development.
Griffin has the skill-set and intelligence to thrive in any offense, but all of his experience comes from a spread, quick-strike formation. He has only adequate height and overall frame, so durability is a concern because of his propensity to take a lot of hits, but he's extremely tough.
Griffin is very confident and a first-class individual that will endear himself to pro teams.
He is still unpolished in several aspects of his game, but there is something special about him, flashing some of the same clutch, field-general qualities Cam Newton did last season: a natural throwing the ball with better than expected passing traits and a knack for making plays.
Griffin is the clear-cut second QB in this draft class and will hear his name in the top-10 picks of the draft, possibly as early as the #2 overall selection.
Accuracy: A natural passer with very good accuracy and ball placement, especially on the run. Very impressive career completion percentage (67.1%) in college. Has very good downfield touch with beautiful deep ball accuracy. Impressive feel on bucket and long throws. His accuracy dips on throws inside the pocket and looks most comfortable when he can get outside the hashmarks.
Arm Strength: An effortless passer with above average arm strength. Can make all the throws and drives the ball downfield, not shy about unleashing his cannon of an arm.
Setup/Release: Has a quick release and does a nice job with play fakes. Gutsy and fearless, standing tall in the pocket even when he knows the hit is coming. Has inconsistent lower body mechanics with messy footwork, throwing of his back foot far too often.
Has a three-quarters delivery and unconventional throwing motion with low delivery and release point. Operated out of a shotgun spread offense with various zone and option schemes at Baylor, but hardly a complicated playbook ~ doesn't have experience taking snaps from under center.
Reading Defenses: Sees the entire field and works through his progressions, manipulating the pocket and keeping his eyes downfield. Holds the ball too long and needs to improve his pocket awareness, abandoning his reads too easily.
Streaky internal clock and looks to get outside of the pocket too soon. Has questionable vision as a passer, staring down defenders and making puzzling decisions at times.
Still makes too many mental mistakes and needs to polish the mental aspect of his game. Forces throws and doesn't look off defenders ~ throws across his body too much and doesn't anticipate defenders as well as he needs to yet. Needs to develop better pre-snap awareness to see the blitz and recognize what the defense is doing.
On the Move: An elite athlete with quick feet and superior speed ~ smooth, flexible and leggy. Has magic escapability and adds an extra dimension with his legs. Makes something out of nothing, keeping defenders off balance and forcing poor angles because of his jets.
Very good patience, vision and instincts as a runner with football toughness ~ more than simply a track athlete. Has a lean frame and only adequate height. Not frail, but doesn't have the body type to withstand a consistent beating. Has more straight-line speed than shifty burst and has added 20+ pounds since his peak as a track star.
Has some ball security questions as a runner with several fumbles on his resume. Holds the ball too long and takes unnecessary hits, getting beat up physically ~ strong durability concerns and suffered a serious knee injury in 2009.
Intangibles: Exudes the natural leadership and confidence on the field that teammates respond to and follow. Very tough-minded and not afraid to take chances. Never allows himself to get too high or too low and the situation never seems too much. A determined passer ~ thrower first and runner second.
Very smart in the classroom and his intelligence translates well to the field ~ graduated from Baylor in Dec. 2010 with a degree in political science and is currently working on his master's degree. He possesses "wow" playmaking ability with a clutch gene. Plays poised and in control late in games and is comfortable in the "big" moment.
Griffin is a team-first guy and is highly competitive. Winner and leads by example. Has off-the-chart intangibles and coaches rave about his work ethic, practice habits and overall character. Has very good starting experience as a three-year starter (40 career starts) and was the youngest starting quarterback in college football in 2008.
Highly productive at the college level and set or tied 54 school records at Baylor and several other NCAA marks ~ one of only three players in college football history to throw for 10,000+ passing yds and rush for 2,000+ yds in his career (Dan LeFevour, Colin Kaepernick).
In 2011, Griffin led the Bears to their first bowl win since 1992 and was the first Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor since 1963. He set several records in track ~ in both high school and college. Is he fully committed to football? (Olympics, track, academics)"
-- Dane Brugler
- Possesses a natural feel for the game.
- Displays the ability to create with both his arm + legs when plays breakdown.
- Keeps eye level down the field when flushed from the pocket, looking to create the big play vertically first.
- Can be a magician with his legs, making defenders miss and picking his spots to run.
- Exhibits excellent feel/coordination when deciphering when to throw on the move, and despite being unorthodox at times makes everything look very easy.
- Is simply a natural passer who can throw from a number of body angles and release points with accuracy.
- Possesses excellent foot quickness, resets his feet instantly, and can quickly balance himself and get rid of the football.
- When he sets his feet in the pocket he generates good toque from his lower half and the ball really comes out cleanly. Spins it well on all levels of the field.
- Touch on bucket throws down the field is top-tier for a QB prospect.
- Is comfortable throwing receivers open at the second level and can fit the football into tight areas when he sees it.
- Has improved every year on campus as a passer. Is worker and a humble kid as well, not a “five car garage guy.”
What I don’t like…
- Isn’t comfortable taking snaps from under center. Has some experience, but doesn’t get much depth, wants to settle his feet too quickly, and isn’t natural off play action yet.
- Doesn’t consistently stay in an ideal throwing position from the pocket. Gets upright and narrow with his base and will bounce around trying to stay in rhythm.
- Lacks a great feel going through his progressions at this stage, more of a one side of the field guy who when flushed can find secondary reads.
- Doesn’t do a great job pre-snap identifying the blitz and locating the hot man.
- Gets inconsistent with his release point from the pocket at times, but mostly when rolling right. Will drop arm angle, and at times looks to guide the football.
Impression: A "plus" athlete who can really throw the football, is a student of the game, and is only starting to scratch the surface of his potential. Has as much upside as any prospect in the draft, and looks like a future franchise signal caller."
Accuracy: His accuracy has been remarkably better as the seasons went on at Baylor. Griffin has a compact delivery that allows him to get the ball out of hand quickly. His stride is shorter than in the past and has clearly put in a ton of work in this area. He excels at throwing receivers open. His accuracy may be the most improved part of an ever improving game with Griffin III.
Athleticism: Griffin was a semifinalist at the Olympic Trials in the 400 hurdles following high school. He’s a nightmare for defenses in space with his speed and agility. More important than his raw speed, is his ability to throw on the run. His vision downfield while on the run is impeccable and makes him so dangerous.
Intangibles: Griffin is a dean’s list student at Baylor and prepping for Law School. Our bet is that he doesn’t make it to Law School with a promising NFL future ahead. Either way he has the book smarts to do so if he wishes. Griffin is a student of the game. He has been lauded by coaches and teammates for his leadership abilities on and off the field and his work in the film room. Because of Baylor’s system Griffin will be a little behind in terms of reading defenses and interpreting a complex offensive system
Bottom Line: Griffin III may have the highest ceiling of any prospect not named Andrew Luck. He’s a Top 5 pick and capable of starting immediately for an NFL team. Teams such as Cleveland, Washington, Miami, and Seattle will all be making attempts to leapfrog one another to get to Griffin. With Griffin’s combination of arm talent, athleticism, and football IQ the sky is the limit.
Draft Projection: Griffin is a top 5 pick that may be selected right behind Andrew Luck with a team looking to leapfrog Cleveland."
It was a 42-yard bullet fired near the sideline in the third quarter that had to get the attention of the 15 NFL scouts in attendance. The game, a 50-48 win for Baylor, was a step forward for the program and Griffin as an NFL Draft prospect.
Before this season, the feeling about Griffin is that he was little more than a track athlete lined up at quarterback. His speed is uncanny for a signal caller and he just so happened to have a great arm.
This season, he's more rounded as a quarterback. Baylor is letting Griffin show off his arm more and relying less on the short passing game.
Most are going to stereotype Griffin as a clone of Michael Vick, but Griffin is much better at throwing the ball in the pocket. If we're ever going to see another Steve Young in the NFL, it could be Griffin.
- Adjusted his release, which has helped him improve his accuracy on deeper throws. Griffin's release is high over the top, so it's not always the fastest, but not it's not a detriment.
- Looks confident and poised in the face of pressure. TCU brought a lot of pressure directly at Griffin and he routinely stepped up in the pocket and threw for 359 yards and five touchdowns.
- Possesses incredible talent for a quarterback. Griffin, a track star, could be on the fastest players in the draft, whenever he comes out. Will have lapses at times and pull the ball down and take off, but remember he's only a junior.
- Has added about 20 pounds of bulk since his freshman season, but would still be one of the smaller starting quarterbacks in the NFL.
- Plays with a lot of toughness. Stayed in the game against TCU this season despite being knocked loopy after making a reception.
- Displays impressive arm strength when Baylor works the ball vertically. Puts good zip on the ball on deep passes.
- Is one of the nation's most accurate passers, which is a combination of his ability and the offense he plays in. Takes the vast majority of his snaps from the shotgun.
- Like many college spread quarterbacks, Griffin isn't asked to go through more than a progression or two after the snap.
- Relies heavily on coaches calling the plays and will need to grow as a play caller."
Off the chart intangibles, already working on his master's degree... Very well spoken and intelligent... Makes good decisions on the field, rarely forces throws... Threw an interception once every 68 pass attempts for his career at Baylor...
Stays composed in high pressure situations, led a game-winning touchdown drive in under a minute against Oklahoma... Great athletic ability, is the most athletic quarterback in this class... Good runner in the open field, has enough speed to outrun defenders to the corner when flushed out of the pocket...
Great production, threw for 36 touchdowns this year... Completion percentage has increased every season... Won the 2011 Heisman Trophy.
Negatives -- Throws off his back foot at times and will have throws sail on him... Footwork can get sloppy... Played mostly out of the shotgun and will have to learn how to work under center, hasn't had much experience with drop steps... Will hold onto the football too long and take some bad sacks...
Most of his college reads were from the spread offense where he didn't have to go through a natural progression... Quarterback play typically drives a win/loss record, but Baylor is only 22-18 with him as a starter (9-3 in 2011)...
Doesn't make many adjustments at the line of scrimmage or make many pre-snap reads to take advantage of defensive assignments... Carries the ball away from his body when he's scrambling, doesn't tuck and run...
Has adequate size, but isn't prototypical... His running style combined with his frame may make him prone to injury (see: Michael Vick)... Already has an injury history, missed most of the 2009 season (was granted a medical redshirt) after suffering a torn ACL in the third game of the season."
That said, there are a lot of occasions where he bails out too quickly, takes his eyes off his receivers and runs. NFL coaches are really going to want him to keep his eyes downfield, even when scrambling in order to extend the play.
Many will want to compare Griffin to Cam Newton, but this isn't a fair assessment. Griffin is shorter and lacks the bulk that Newton has. He has very thin legs and arms. Griffin is, of course, quicker and more agile, but he doesn't have the body to handle the abuse of scrambling often and absorbing hits.
Griffin will need to continue his ability to read defenses, check out of bad plays, and roll through his progressions. He is a very talented quarterback with some very high upside, but he has to develop and better understand the game. Another year at Baylor may be best."
+ Accuracy- stupendous accuracy, especially on the deep ball, and puts the ball into a position where only his receiver can get it
+ Athleticism- track star in high school, very athletic for a quarterback, great mobility
+ Decision making ability
+ Precision in the pocket- has a great knowledge of the playbook, times his throws brilliantly in accordance to the route being run by the receiver
+ Throw power
+ Stats- 13th in the NCAA in passing yards last year (3501), also rushed for 635 yards
+ Intangibles- plays hard, big leader
-Can he call a play? Never had role in play calling at Baylor
-Not asked to do a lot of pre-snap reads
-Durability- missed most of 2009 season with knee injury
-Size- 6’2 is acceptable, but well less than ideal for a quarterback
I’ve always loved Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III. He is one of the most talented quarterbacks I have ever seen, and he probably has a bright future in the NFL.
Griffin has a lot of physical tools. He has mediocre height and bulk, but outstanding speed and athleticism. Griffin was a big time track star in high school, and broke Texas state records for fastest 110/300 meter hurdle times. However, he doesn’t seem quite as athletic or fast with pads. Although still a tremendous athlete, when I see him on film, he seems less athletic than I would expect a record holding track star to be.
Griffin is very accurate. He displays an unteachable accuracy when throwing on the run, and he has great footwork in the pocket, displaying a natural roll step throwing to outside receivers. He is often a bit too willing to roll out and leave the pocket, but he adjusts his feet to the receiver beautifully whenever he is in the pocket. He has a functional release, and does a good job of not opening his hips up too much on his follow through, helping him get a good spiral on all of his passes. He also makes sure never to throw across his body.
Griffin is a good decision maker. One of his most underrated qualities is his ability to not lock onto receivers, which makes it really hard for defensive backs to read his eyes and jump his passes. He is extremely willing to look at his second and third reads, partially because he feels so comfortable adjusting his feet toward their position on the field. He also appears to have a a brilliant awareness of his receivers routes, allowing him to time his throws beautifully as receivers are making their cuts. His offense often relies on his ability to time his passes (it’s not a west coast offense, but, like any offense, it has quick throws), and he always does it brilliantly, but his receivers sometimes can’t handle a pass that gets to them so quickly.
Griffin has excellent intangibles. He plays with ideal on field intensity, is a great leader, and is a hard worker. It only took him 3 years to get a degree from Baylor, so, evidently, he has a lot of intelligence. However, he needs to start sliding when he runs the football, in order to avoid injury.
Griffin has been very productive statistically throughout his career. He’s been starting ever since he came to Baylor. Last year, he had a quarterback rating of 144.2, completing 67% of his passes for 3501 yards with 2 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, and he also got 635 rushing yards. Obviously, 2011 started strong for Griffin, as he went 21 for 27 with 359 yards and 5 touchdowns in the season opener against TCU, and he should continue to dominate in the near future.
Griffin’s biggest concern, in my opinion, is whether or not he has the ability to make pre-snap reads or call a play. Many quarterbacks that have been known to rush the football have had little or no role at all when it comes to making pre-snap reads or calling plays in their collegiate offense. Those quarterbacks tend to get a lot of questions from NFL scouts regarding whether or not they can make pre-snap reads in the NFL. Some succeed, and some often fail. Griffin definitely has a minuscule role, if any role at all, in calling plays for Baylor, and isn’t often asked to do a lot of pre-snap reads. He has had success at Baylor regardless because of Art Briles brilliant play calling, but I can’t help but question whether or not he can have success in the NFL because of his play calling experience. After a lot of thought, I decided I will wait until the combine to take a definitive stance on whether or not he has the mental capacity to call plays in the NFL. When evaluating a quarterback like Griffin (or Cam Newton), I pay close attention to their combine Wonderlic scores (the Wonderlic is an IQ test at the combine), just to see if that player has the mental capacity to call plays at the NFL. Whether or not a quarterback has experience or the ability to make good pre-snap reads, I can feel confident that he can at least learn how to make good pre-snap reads if his Wonderlic score says that he has a good IQ. Even though Griffin never calls plays, if his Wonderlic score says that he is somewhat intelligent, I feel confident that he can learn how to call good plays at the NFL level. I feel optimistic that Griffin is intelligent simply because he was smart enough to earn a degree from Baylor in only 3 years, but, until he takes the Wonderlic test, I’ll wait before I make a real opinion on whether or not he can succeed with his pre-snap reads at the NFL level.
Ultimately, I like Griffin, but I need to know how intelligent he is before I really make an opinion of how successful he will be at the NFL level. Scouts ask whether or not he has the football IQ necessary to make play calls, but the real question is: can he learn?
NFL Comparison: Nate Davis. Don’t take this comparison the wrong way. I’m not saying Griffin will be a 6th round pick. Davis had very unusual flaws, such as a glove on his throwing hand, a play sheet on his wrist, and a learning disability (dyslexia?) that made it difficult for him to call/remember plays, which all made his stock plummet during the off-season, but based on what is seen on film, they are very similar quarterbacks. Griffin is also a slightly better athlete.
Grade: 96 (worthy of a mid-to-early first round draft pick)
Projection: 95 (will be drafted in the middle of the first round)"