Attent-Hut! Now that I've got your attention, let me share with you the story of a kid who grew us as humble and disciplined as they come.....................................naw, just kidding. This is a scouting report, and so it shall be kept that way.
Today's chapter of "As the Quarterback Turns" will focus on Baylor's remarkable 6' 2" 220LB red-shirt junior QB Robert Griffin III, or as everyone likes to call him, RG3. Wow, where should I begin?
Griffin was not supposed to be a Baylor Bear. He originally committed to play at The University of Houston under then head coach Art Briles. Briles left Houston at the end of the 2007 season, to take over as the new head coach of Baylor, and Griffin decided to follow his future coach to Waco, Texas.
Griffin started 11 of 12 games as a true freshmen, completing 160, of 267 attempts, for 2091 yards, and 15 td's, with just 3 int's. He had a completion percentage of 59.9%. In addition, he amassed 848 rushing yards, and 13 td's. His sophomore year saw injury in the form of a torn ACL, that occurred in the Bear's third game of the season. He missed the remainder of the year, and was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA. Griffing entered his third season at Baylor as a red-shirt sophomore, and showed coaches he had regained his form from his freshmen season, by passing for 3501 yards, on 454 attempts, with 304 completions, and a 67% completion percentage. His yards per attempt was 7.71, and he threw 22 td's, compared to only 8 int's. He also added 635 rushing yards, and 8 td's. 2011 was RG3's breakout year. He has already passed for 3998 yards with a bowl game left to play. He recorded a gaudy 72.4 completion percentage, and threw 36 td's, to only 6 int's. He added 644 yards, and 9 rushing td's to his already amazing season total, and capped off the regular season by winning a Heisman Trophy; the first ever in Baylor's history.
Measurables - 6' 2" 220lbs(may fall a tad bit under 6' 2" at the combine) and runs a very legit 4.4 40. Has better long speed than a quick burst, but lateral quickness, and vision are equaly to that of many NFL running backs.
Accuracy - Griffin is one on the most accurate passers in the country. He can place a ball accurately in space(swing pass to a RB in the flat), fit a ball into a tight window 15-20 yards downfield, or drop a perfectly placed ball 50+ yards downfield on the fade or go route. For his career, he has a completion percentage of 66.4(not counting his injury year in 2009), and a average YPA of 8.79. The amazing part of RG3's accuracy, is that he doesn't loose any when he's on the move; throwing just as well inside the pocket, as he does outside of it.
Arm Strength - Griffin's arm is a notch below elite, but is outstanding, when you combine this aspect of his game with his accuracy. He has the ability to make every NFL throw, including the deep out from the opposite hash. He can stretch the field over 60 yards with his deep ball, although at times it seems to hang too much in the air. He ranks slightly behing Landry Jones and Nick Foles in this catagory, but trust me, it's not by much.
Pocket Presence/Mobility - Griffin is a gifted athlete, and it certainly come out on the gridiron. He is excellent with simple side-steps, and shoulder shrugs when standing in the pocket(something he has improved upon greatly from 2010), but it is when the play breaks down, that we see his true brilliance. Griffing has the ability to scramble, and create plays on his own, but what is remarkable, is his eyes are always looking downfield as the play is breaking down, always looking to find the open receiver. This was not the case early in his career, where he was more apt to tuck and run, if he felt trouble. This has been an area of great improvement over the last two seasons. Once outside the pocket, there is not a more dangerous passer in college football. This attribute is sure to give NFL defensive coordinators nightmares for years to come.
Football IQ - RG3 is a student of the game. He works hard in the film room, and at practice, and it really shows come game day. Although his team runs a spread, zone read attack, he has made tremendous strides in reading defenses both pre and post snap. When he is allowed to sit in the pocket, he displays a natural ability to move defenders with his eyes and shoulders, and always seems to throw his receivers open. The one area of concern for me, is his ability to recognize disquised coverages at the next level, as I have seen him tend to stick with his initial coverage read too often, when an adjustment should have been made post snap.
Character/Leadership - What more can you say here. RG3 exemplifies what a true leader should be. The son of two military parents, Griffin shows the type of maturity and leadership on the field, that he was raised with at home. He is just as good a person off the field as he is on it, and should be the face of any franchise who is lucky enough to draft him.
This play, the game winner vs. Oklahoms this season, sums up a lot of the attributes I listed above:
Pro's: Has many of the physical tools that make NFL GM's salivate. Can sit in the pocket and pick apart a defense, but once he breaks contain, watch out. He will make plays with both his arm and legs, and his reasoning and decision making are very sound. High character guy, who comes with no baggage. Is the type of player coaches tailor their offense around. Can do a lot with very little, as was evident at Baylor(did not have the playmakers that other big-time QB's had, yet took his team to back-to-back bowl games). Will raise the play of those around him, and can put team on his back and lead them to victory in the face of adversity.
Con's: Plays in a spead, zone read offense, where he is in shotgun 95% of the time. Have some concerns with his size, measuring in at 6' 2"(maybe a tad bit under), and 220lbs. Likes to run when play breaks down, and may get battered in the NFL at his size. Has some injury concerns with the torn ACL in 2009, but seems to have no ill effects from this at the present.
Overall, RG3 is one of the most interesting prospects I have scouted in quite some time. Everything about this guy screams success. He is as good a person on the field, as he is off of it, and would be a great face of the franchise for the Washington Redskins. I do feel that if Shanny were to draft him, it would require altering the offense a bit to fit his skill set; something I'm not sure the stubborn head coach is willing to do. I also have my doubts as to whether he will enter the draft in 2012. On one hand, I think he has accomplished as much as he can in college football, and at Baylor University, yet on the other hand, I see I guy who doesn't care about the money right now, and one who may have other aspirations at this point in his life(Olympics, Law School), and feels the NFL can wait for another year.
Either way, we shall know soon what his decision will be, and hopefully it will turn out to be a good one for our Redskins.