Tag:Robert Griffin III
Posted on: January 10, 2012 9:37 am
Edited on: January 10, 2012 12:24 pm
 

Griffin meets with Briles, draft decision looming

Robert Griffin III met with seven sports agencies and then again with Baylor coach Art Briles as he weighs the decision of whether to return to the Bears for his senior season or enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

The deadline for underclassmen to enter the draft is Sunday.

"He's really contemplating what he feels like is the thing that's going to give him peace," Briles said.
The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner and NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2-ranked quarterback prospect, Griffin met with prospective agents with Baylor compliance officers present to ensure he wasn't sacrificing his eligibility should he opt to return to college football. He first had his parents, both Army sargeants, interview agents and provide him feedback.

Griffin, 6-2, 220, earned his bachelor's degree a year ago after graduating high school a semester early to enroll in January 2008. He's on pace to earn his masters in communication in May and is engaged to be married.

There are no character-related questions with Griffin, who said he arrived at Baylor with the NFL as a Plan B.

"Plan B can overtake Plan A if they come knocking at your door," he said. "Who are you to turn down the NFL."
Indeed, a lot changed for Griffin in the span of one season. At this time last year, he said he received feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board that he was likely to be a second- or third-round pick. In a loaded quarterback class that included five quarterbacks in the top 35 selections, Griffin might have been overlooked.

If he decides to turn pro, that's unlikely this time around.

Stanford's Andrew Luck, the top-rated prospect by NFLDraftScout.com, and Griffin are expected to be the only sure first-round picks. As such, each is projected by NFLDraftScout.com's Rob Rang and Dane Brugler's as top five picks in their latest mock drafts. Some might include Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M, but his raw skills after just two years at the position make him more of a risk.

Risk should be a consideration for Griffin, who missed most of the 2009 season with a knee injury.

After throwing for more than 4,000 yards with 37 touchdowns and only six interceptions, Griffin has opened many eyes. He also had 699 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns. Former Colts head coach Tony Dungy is on the record that he might even draft Griffin, not Luck, with the first overall pick. He won't be the only one with that opinion, regardless of how flawless the Stanford redshirt junior has been and scouting reports will be in April.

Griffin isn't without some concerns with evaluators, who want to verify his height and weight before projecting him as a franchise quarterback. On appearances alone, there are scouts who are concerned Griffin doesn't have the sturdy build to withstand the rigors of taking pounding in and outside of the pocket in the NFL.

But like Newton in 2011, about whom there were concerns he could throw accurately in an NFL-style offense, it's also worth considering whether Griffin has a reasonable facsimile in the NFL.

Griffin said he patterns his game after Steve Young -- a mobile quarterback who thrives on efficiency -- but can't help but see the comparison many have drawn between 2011 No. 1 overall pick Newton and Griffin.

Griffin owns 46 Baylor records, and in 41 games completed 67 percent of his passes (800 of 1,192) for 10,366 yards with 78 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He had 33 rushing touchdowns and 2,254 yards.


Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:59 am
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:43 pm
 

Update: RG3 hasn't made his NFL decision yet

In a rare contradictory move made over a holiday, a Baylor University spokesperson contacted ESPN Big 12 blogger David Ubben via text message to announce that a previous ESPN report that Heisman quarterback Robert Griffin III was heading to the NFL is incorrect.

"Robert Griffin III -- the son, the player -- has NOT made a decision regarding eligibility," BU spokesman Heath Nielsen said via text statement, according to Ubbben. "[Griffin] will seek input from coaches later this month, then make his decision."

The text was sent in response to a report initially made by Chris Mortensen on Saturday evening that Griffin was wrapping up meeting with agents and would be informing Baylor of his decision soon. Mortensen has since quoted Griffin's father, Robert Griffin II, as saying, "I met with my son (Friday) and his schedule is pretty much he will attend the Sugar Bowl here in New Orleans, then next weekend he will meet with five agents and select the right agent to represent him and plan a good pre-draft process," Griffin II said. "After that he will sit down with three of his coaches at Baylor on Wednesday or Thursday (Jan. 11 or 12) and make it official."

I picked up on the story yesterday, offering my two cents as to what could be in store for Griffin, assuming that he does eventually make himself eligible for the 2012 draft.

Griffin, like all underclassmen, have until January 15 to decide whether they would like to return for another season of college play or give up their remaining eligibility to pursue their NFL dreams.



Posted on: January 1, 2012 6:34 pm
 

Baylor QB Griffin heading to the NFL

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III described his Heisman moment as "unbelievably believable."

That moment was extended Sunday with multiple reports that RG3 is foregoing his senior season and entering the 2012 NFL draft.

Rated behind Stanford's Andrew Luck by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2012 draft and No. 3 overall player, Griffin completed 72.3% of his passes as a junior for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns against only six interceptions. Griffin, who qualified for the Olympic trials in high school, is just as dangerous on the ground, rushing for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2011.

Griffin led Baylor to a 10-3 record, their first victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in team history and first bowl win since 1992.

While at 6-2, 220 pounds he does not possess the size and experience in a pro-style offense that Luck boasts, Griffin's electric combination of mobility and accuracy does give him a rarer skill-set and more upside than the Stanford star.

It makes for a fascinating decision for the Indianapolis Colts, who by virtue of their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, clinched the first pick of the draft.

The Colts can hope for the success recovery of future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, but don't expect team president Bill Polian to waste his chance at securing a franchise quarterback of the future simply out of respect for their current star.

A significant portion of Luck's appeal to NFL teams is his pro-readiness. Should the Colts determine that they cannot rely on Manning returning to his previous All-Pro form, Polian is expected to make the traditional choice with Luck.

If the Colts feel secure that Manning can return in 2012, drafting Griffin and allowing him a season or two to acclimate from Baylor's relatively simple spread offense to the Colts' complicated attack is another strategy that will be heavily debated inside the Colts' headquarters.

If Griffin isn't able to leap Luck, he won't have to wait long before his "unbelievably believable" moment continues.

With Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley already announcing that he's returning for his senior season, Griffin may have gained enough value that the St. Louis  Rams with the No. 2 pick and Minnesota Vikings, picking third, may be prepared to auction off their pick to the highest bidder, as well.

The Cleveland Browns, Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins are other potential landing spots for Griffin inside the top ten.
    


Posted on: January 1, 2012 3:51 pm
 

It's official. Colts lose, own No. 1 pick

The fascinating drama some guy predicted back in September might occur, will indeed.

The Indianapolis Colts, in losing 19-14 Sunday to the Jacksonville Jaguars, have secured the rights to the No. 1 pick of the 2012 draft.

If the Colts aren't absolutely convinced that Peyton Manning will return to All-Pro form next year, they'll be hard pressed to pass up the opportunity to draft the franchise quarterback to lead them into a new era.

Many, including NFLDraftScout.com analyst Dane Brugler and myself, have predicted that the Colts will ultimately select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Those who think the Colts might do something other than take Luck, generally argue Polian could take another passer, Baylor's Heisman-Tropy winner Robert Griffin III.

All of which sets up for a fascinating decision for the Colts. With no clear top defensive prospects to realistically consider over Luck and Griffin, they'll either have to take a quarterback, trade the pick or trade Manning.

The 2011 NFL regular season boasted plenty of drama.

The 2012 pre-draft season is starting off just as intriguing.

Posted on: December 29, 2011 2:28 pm
 

Wright vs Trufant worthy Alamo Bowl undercard

A suspect University of Washington defense will attempt to slow down Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III tonight in the Alamo Bowl.

One of the best defenses the Huskies have to limit Griffin is to keep him on the sideline. As such, expect UW to attempt to control the clock by handing the ball off again and again to their own superstar junior, First Team All Pac-12 running back Chris Polk.

With these two stars earning much of the pregame hype, an intriguing one on one matchup hasn't gained the attention it deserves.

Throughout much of the night you can expect to see Baylor senior wide receiver Kendall Wright being covered by Washington junior cornerback Desmond Trufant. It is a matchup that I believe is quietly among the ten best one on one battles of the bowl season.

In catching 101 passes for 1,572 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, Wright emerged from his quarterback's shadow as a bona fide first round prospect, himself. I've had scouts compare the 5-10, 190 pound Wright to Carolina Pro Bowl receiver Steve Smith due to their similar straight-line speed and playmaking skills.

Trufant, the younger brother of the Seattle Seahawks' Marcus and New York Jets' Isaiah, has the athleticism to join his brothers playing cornerback in the NFL. He's earned Honorable Mention honors after two of his three starting seasons with the Huskies and appeared poised to gain even better accolades this year when he helped secure victories over Eastern Washington and Hawaii in Washington's first two games. Listed at 6-0, 184 pounds, Trufant finished the regular season with 61 tackles and tied for second in the Pac-12 with 15 passes defended. He's currently graded by NFLDraftScout.com as the No. 8 junior cornerback in the country.

Trufant, in fact, played well enough early in the year to do some preliminary exploring of his draft stock, I've been told. Those close to the situation believe he's planning to return for his senior season, however.

In a game pitting Griffin vs. Polk as two "heavyweight" prospects, don't forget to keep an eye on the undercard matchup on the outside. It not only will give a good barometer of each player's ability to handle legitimate NFL competition, the winner of the battle could play a critical role in determing which team emerges tonight from San Antonio victorious.

Posted on: December 19, 2011 8:45 am
 

Polian's statement points to Colts taking QB

In a five paragraph statement made to the press shortly following Indianapolis' first win of the season, Colts' vice chairman Bill Polian announced that four-time league MVP Peyton Manning has begun throwing passes to teammates but that there is "no chance" that he will play this season.

"It was determined by the doctors that there was no chance he (Manning) would play this year," Polian said, alluding to a meeting that took place on Thursday. "His rehabilitation has not come far enough to make it prudent for him to step on the field in game action. He may practice in some very scripted and circumscribed circumstances if he wishes. That's entirely up to him."

Perhaps it is just me, but the last sentence in the quote above I found to be particularly interesting.

"That's entirely up to him" is the kind of thing one parent might say to another about a child about to make a foolhardy decision. It reeks of washing one's hands of a decision so that if something bad were to happen fault couldn't be spread.

It sounds like the words of a man who has already made up his mind with what he's doing with the first pick of the draft.

Having spoken with scouts specifically about the Colts and their 35-year old quarterback, the writing has been on the way for months. The Colts recognize the unique talent expected to be available and do not appear likely to be willing to mortgage their future at the game's most important position just to acknowledge what Manning has done for them in the past.

The real question could turn out to be which quarterback the Colts would prefer.

The overwhelming consensus, of course, is that the Colts would take Andrew Luck. As I noted here, however, there is growing sentiment that the higher upside of Robert Griffin III could convince some teams that he's the player who should be taken first.

If running a team needing a quarterback to step in and play immediately, it would seem Luck would be the slam dunk choice. Southern Cal's Matt Barkley, should he also decide to leave school early, is also especially ready for the leap to the NFL due to his experience in a pro-style offense.

If the Colts see enough in Manning's post practice workouts to convince them that he is on schedule to return to his MVP-caliber play, Griffin might sneak up on Luck. He, after all, is expected to need some time to acclimate to the NFL after having earned his Heisman trophy in a spread offense.

But, of course, Polian isn't tipping his hand on which college quarterback he likes best.

That won't come until a press conference scheduled four months from now.


Posted on: December 10, 2011 2:20 pm
 

Two mistakes may have cost Mathieu the Heisman

Two years ago I campaigned hard for Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to join former Michigan great Charles Woodson as the only defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy in the modern era.

Considering the fact that LSU sophomore cornerback and punt returner Tyronn Mathieu made plays every bit as dramatic and consistently as Woodson did for the 1997 Wolverines, he too should get strong consideration for the award. Whether it be with his interceptions, fumble recoveries or returns, Mathieu unquestionably had more "Heisman-esque" moments this season than Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson and Montee Ball. Mathieu's chances at the trophy would seem even better with none of the other four finalists having an obvious edge over the others. Like Baylor's Griffin (affectionally called RG3), Mathieu even had the benefit of a spectacular nickname (Honey Badger) to aid in the hype-building that has unfortunately become so important in building a Heisman campaign.

Two critical mistakes, however, will keep Mathieu from winning the award -- an October 21 suspension for using synthetic marijuana and a controversial hit from behind against Alabama cornerback 'Dre Kirkpatrick that some labeled a cheap shot and felt deserved another suspension.

I do believe Mathieu deserves to have been among the finalists for the Heisman Trophy. His exploits on the field and in helping LSU finish the season undefeated and in position to win the BCS Championship in my opinion demanded that he be there.

However, the Heisman Trophy carries with it not only the expectation of athletic supremacy, but playing and carrying oneself with integrity, as well.

As such, for those interested, my Heisman "ballot" would read:

1. Robert Griffin III, Baylor
2. Andrew Luck, Stanford
3. Tyrann Mathieu, LSU
4. Trent Richardson, Alabama
5. Montee Ball, Wisconsin


Posted on: December 3, 2011 11:54 am
 

Five Prospects to Watch -- Championship Weekend

Each weekend I list my "Five prospects" that I'll be focusing on for the upcoming weekend. In reality, I'm focusing on dozens of prospects each week, but the players listed below are playing in high profile games and against the caliber of competition that I believe provides us with an opportunity to truly assess how a collegiate player might fare when asked to make the huge jump to the NFL. 

Typically I focus on senior prospects in this space. However, with it becoming more and more obvious as to which underclassmen are considering the jump to the pros, I'll be incorporating a few more juniors and redshirt sophomores in the coming weeks. 

Sometimes it also leads to the player being featured in Draft Slant , NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com's weekly NFL Draft preview. In each PDF issue of Draft Slant Senior Analyst Chad Reuter breaks down six more players in Filmroom Notes, updates our Top 64 prospects overall and offers extensive previews of the next week's action. Here is the link to this week's issue of Draft Slant. Or for the entire season click this link . Looking for a specific week? Download past issues from the past three years here. 

Without any further adieu, here are the five prospects, as well as the cable provider and time you can expect to see them.

QB Case Keenum, Houston: Considering that the Houston Cougars are the only other FBS team other than No. 1 ranked LSU to have finished the regular season undefeated, I understand the pressure to rank them highly. That said, there are a host of teams currently ranked inside the top 20 that I'd pick to beat Houston, currently ranked No. 6. The biggest reason for Houston's success this season has been the stellar play of Keenum and this explosive offense. At 6-1, 210 pounds Keenum lacks prototypical size for the NFL and scouts question whether his arm strength and accuracy is exaggerated in an offense that relies so much on timing and short to intermediate routes. Keenum has faced one defense this season that ranks in the top 50 in stopping the pass, so his NCAA-leading 4,726 yards may be a mirage -- at least when it comes to the NFL. Still, his production and toughness are undeniable. A strong performance against an athletic and physical Southern Miss defense could help Keenum get an opportunity in a big-time all-star game. This game begins at noon ET and will be televised by ABC.

QB Robert Griffin III, Baylor*:  The fact that RGIII has shot up to No. 15 in my latest Big Board tells you that I am on board with his projection to the NFL. That said, Griffin will be facing a tough test against the Longhorns, who boast the top pass defense in the Big 12. Texas put a damper on Texas A&M Ryan Tannehill's stock last week. Can they do the same to Griffin this time? The matchup is especially interesting considering that Griffin may still be feeling some of the lingering effects of a concussion suffered last week against Texas Tech. A big game here could vault Griffin even higher up scouts' draft boards and make him an obvious finalist for the Heisman Trophy. This game begins at 3:30 pm ET and will be broadcast by ABC.

TE Orson Charles, Georgia*: At 6-3, 242 pounds Charles doesn't possess the traditional size scouts are looking for at tight end. However, his agility, speed and reliable hands make him one of the country's most dangerous receivers at the position and he's a much stouter blocker than you might expect. I've ranked him as the top tight end in the country for much of the season, though strong play by Stanford senior Coby Fleener and a couple of other underclassmen make the position one of the year's most competitive. LSU is in the position they are largely due to their extraordinary collection of talent in their defensive backfield. They haven't faced many combinations of quarterback (Aaron Murray) and receiver talent as what Georgia brings. If Georgia is to pull off the upset, Charles will have to have a strong game. This game begins at 4:00 pm ET and will be televised by CBS. 

DE Andre Branch, Clemson: At 6-4, 270 pounds Branch has the size to remain at defensive end in the NFL, but what could really boost his stock is the fact that he appears to have the athleticism to translate to 3-4 outside linebacker, as well. Branch's teammate, defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, has generated most of the hype this season, but it is Branch who has enjoyed the better year. Branch leads the ACC in both tackles for loss (16) and sacks (10.5). He'll be facing an exciting young quarterback in Logan Thomas, who at 6-6, 254 pounds is nearly as big as Branch and also athletic enough to avoid him. A strong game by Branch in this game and I'll have a tough time continuing to keep him out of my top 32. This game begins at 8:00 pm ET and will be televised by ESPN. 

DT Jerel Worthy, Michigan State*:  Due to Michigan State's improbable comeback Hail Mary victory against Wisconsin earlier in the year, this game is one of the most intriguing of Championship Weekend. Despite the fact that Worthy enjoyed a solid performance in Round One (three tackles, including a tackle for loss), he wasn't dominant. Two factors may make him considerably more so in the rematch. For one, Worthy will be fortified by the return of sophomore defensive end William Gholston, who was suspended for the first game against Wisconsin. Secondly, Worthy likely won't have to play against Peter Konz, the Badgers' center who isn't expected to play due to an ankle injury. Worthy has first round talent, but his inconsistency troubles me. If he isn't a factor throughout this game, the junior could slip out of my top 32 prospects. This game begins at 8:17 pm ET and will be televised by FOX.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com