QB ROBERT GRIFFIN III – STANFORD – 6-2, 223
Redshirt Junior. Griffin is smart, skilled, and poised. Is there anything else you want in a franchise QB? Gifted passer and runner. Has a track background and you see that speed when he does take off running. Exploded from just being a talented QB to have one of the great all time seasons in 2011. Won the Heisman Trophy and led Baylor to a great season (10-3 record – bowl win over Washington, as well as victories over OU and Texas). Griffin caught everone’s attention when he shredded TCU in the season opener. Their defense is normally very stingy, but Baylor won 50-48. Griffin might have been at his best in an upset win over Oklahoma. Griffin was 21-34-479 with 5 TDs and no picks. There was a combination of skill and luck involved. On one long TD pass the ball was intended for an intermediate receiver. It was deflected and went flying down the field. The ball happened to hit WR Kendall Wright in stride and he went all the way for the TD. That play covered 87 yards. Other times Griffin did use pure skill in getting the best of the OU defense. He said after the game that Oklahoma was good at DE and CB, but weak in the middle of the field. The plan all along was to attack the Safeties. That’s just what Baylor did. Griffin made good reads and good throws. Griffin came up huge late in the game. With the score tied at 38 and less than 2 minutes left, Baylor was prepared to go conservative. OU coach Bob Stoops called a timeout after a 1st down run play. That was all the prodding that Baylor needed. Griffin scrambled 22 yards on 2nd down to put the Bears out near midfield. A couple of plays later, with just :20 left, Griffin sealed the deal. He went to the LOS and read the Sooners defense. Griffin adjusted his protection and had them slide to a side. He took the snap and dropped back. Griffin moved up in the pocket and then found a receiver down the right side and hit him with a laser in the endzone to put Baylor up 45-38.
Griffin is an elite prospect. The natural thing is to focus on his athleticism. Griffin can be dynamic when he takes off running. He ran a 4.41 at the Combine. That speed shows up on gameday. Griffin has a strong arm. He can drive the ball downfield. Set aside his physical attributes and study his QB skills and you’ll be just as impressed. Griffin has uncanny accuracy on his deep balls. He can hit a WR 40 yards downfield with a perfect pass. Perfect. He puts great touch on the deep balls so that they are very catchable. Like all spread QBs, Griffin’s footwork needs some help. The good news is that he did play under C and in the shotgun. He does know how to take the snap and drop back. There are times when his footwork is very good and he will make some beautiful intermediate throws. Other times he gets sloppy and his passes are erratic. He throws very well on the move. Griffin has a good feel for the game. He understands the importance of protection. He’s able to adjust to certain blitz looks. Griffin generally makes good decisions as a passer. He had one INT for every 67 pass attempts this year. That’s an outstanding ratio.
One of the things I love about Griffin is that he was able to win shootouts. Baylor had a porous defense. No lead they built up was safe. I think you could fairly describe 7 Baylor games as shootouts this year. Baylor was 6-1 in them. That’s important because it shows that Griffin isn’t just putting up points randomly. His team is able to respond to a score with a score of their own. That’s clutch and a critical skill for being successful in the NFL. The one area where Griffin can be iffy is pocket presence. There are times when he is great, but other times when he looks too jumpy back there. He didn’t have a great OL in place in 2011 and I’m sure that affected things.
Griffin will be the #2 overall pick and has the potential to be an impact QB for whatever team is lucky enough to get him.