Possessing a rare combination of world class speed, elite arm strength, and quarterback intellect, Robert Griffin III is a truly special prospect with enormous upside. Perhaps the premier athlete in this draft class, Griffin is a natural passer who showcases the ability to throw from the pocket or on the run, and from numerous body angles. He has terrific arm strength to make all the NFL throws, has a quick release, and a clean throwing motion. He puts excellent zip on throws outside the numbers, and shows equally nice touch on short to intermediate throws. While the spread offense he played in at Baylor assisted in his accuracy numbers, Griffin is an accurate short to intermediate passer who is capable of putting the deep ball on the money as well. He does a good job working through his progressions, will stand tall in the pocket, and maintains poise to make throws in the face of pressure. Griffin did not take many snaps from under center at Baylor, and will have to adjust to doing so more frequently in the NFL. The Bears' offense did not require him to make many pre-snap adjustments, and was simplified, generally leaving him to go through progressions on one side of the field only. Nevertheless, when plays broke down, be it from pressure or from a coverage standpoint, Griffin's footwork often became erratic, and he more often than not became a ballcarrier. If he is to stay healthy in the NFL, he will need get rid of the ball more quickly, more discriminatively choose his spots to make plays with his athleticism, and learn when to get out of the pocket and throw the ball away. He won't survive Cam Newton's 126 carries (RG3 carried 179 times as a junior at Baylor) with his body type in the NFL. While it is easy to see what all the fuss is about with Griffin, it is impossible for me to ignore the red flags. He is incredibly intelligent, and certainly capable of grasping an NFL offense, but that does not change the fact that it will be entirely new to him in a number of ways (playing from under center, making regular pre-snap reads, throwing into tighter passing windows, facing much more complex and well-disguised defensive schemes). While his intelligence, arm strength, and athletic ability all exceed the requisite levels for an NFL quarterback, I see Robert Griffin III as being much closer to the level of Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden as a signal-caller than I do to the level of Andrew Luck going forward.
Robert Griffin III took over as the Baylor starting quarterback midway through their season opener in 2008, and was a Sporting News first-team Freshman All-American in his debut season. He completed 59.9% of his passes for 2091 yards (7.8/Att), and threw 15 touchdown passes to only three interceptions as a true freshman. He also rushed for 843 yards (4.9 Avg) and scored 13 rushing touchdowns. He tore his right ACL in the Bears' third game in 2009. In the three games he started, Griffin completed 65.2% of his passes for 481 yards (7.0/Att), threw for four touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed for 77 yards (2.9 Avg) and scored two additional touchdowns. Griffin was granted an additional year of eligibility following an injury-shortened 2009, and made a healthy return to the Bears in 2010, earning Big 12 Comeback Player of the Year honors. As a sophomore, Griffin completed 67% of his passes for 3501 yards (7.7/Att), threw for 22 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He racked up 635 yards on the ground (4.3 Avg) and scored eight additional touchdowns. He was named second team All-Big 12, and was honorable mention Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. Griffin exploded as a fourth-year junior in 2011, completing 72.4% of his passes for 4293 yards (10.7/Att), threw 37 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. He scored ten more rushing touchdowns, while rushing for 699 yards (3.9 Avg). He was awarded the Heisman Memorial Trophy as the most outstanding player in college football, the Davey O'Brien award as the nation's top quarterback, was named first team All-Big 12, and Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. On January 11, 2012 Griffin announced that he would forego his final season of eligibility and enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner didn't exactly light it up in Baylor's matchup with Washington, but he did a good job of facilitating the offense as the Bears outscored the Huskies 67-56 in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Griffin completed 24 of 33 passes for 295 yards and a touchdown, adding 55 yards rushing and another score on a 24-yard scamper in the 1st quarter. Griffin was efficient in the passing game, but it was halfback Terrance Ganaway who stole the show with 200 yards and five touchdowns in the ground game (Baylor had 482 rushing yards total). Griffin's lone touchdown pass of the game was an 11-yard pass to Kendall Wright that capped off the game's opening drive.