Scouts' rough takes on Big 12 QBs
April, 19, 2012
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesSome scouts apparently feel that Robert Griffin III is a bit overhyped as the NFL draft nears.The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Bob McGinn offered up an assessment of the best quarterbacks in the NFL draft, and included within are some pretty frank assessments of quarterbacks Big 12 fans are very, very familiar with.
A few select passages:
On Robert Griffin III:
"Everybody is just assuming because of the Heisman and the socks and all that ... they are ignoring a lot of bad tape that he's had," a third scout said. "I don't think he has vision or pocket feel, which to me are the two most important components of quarterbacking. He's just running around winging it. He's (Michael) Vick, but not as good a thrower."My take: To some degree, I'd agree with the bad tape argument, but if you look at the games when Baylor got thumped -- Texas A&M and Oklahoma State -- he really only played extremely poor in stretches of the second half against Texas A&M. That's the only game it looked like his game got really rattled. He threw some awful balls in that game. Baylor moved the ball consistently against OSU, but was undone by turnovers and poor execution in the red zone. That, and a defense that had no hope of stopping OSU. The only other game that should raise questions is probably the first three quarters against Kansas, but that game wasn't on TV. I'll admit I haven't seen that one.
... "He's got a little bit of a selfish streak, too. Everybody was laying on Cam, but for some reason this guy has become gloves off. He doesn't treat anybody good."
As for the less tangible criticisms? That's the kind of stuff that comes out over time. Griffin was a starter in the Big 12 for three-plus years and you never heard anything about him being selfish or not treating others well. In fact, it was just the opposite. I'd argue no team in the Big 12 rallied around a leader like Baylor did Griffin last year. Not sure where the other stuff is coming from.
I'm not saying the scout didn't say that. I'm saying the scout is wrong. The kind of traits he's talking about come out over time, especially with players at one place as long as RG3 was at Baylor. You hear about them. In this draft class alone, there's two or three guys you've heard plenty of that about. Probably three or four more guys in the league now that have that rep. You never heard that once about RG3. He's a confident guy, and for those outside Griffin's team and program, sometimes it can come off the wrong way. But for the people fighting with him? The people on his team? They love it. He makes everyone around him better, and not just because of his physical skills.
On Ryan Tannehill:
"He's only started 17, 18 college games. I like the kid. But it's going to be heaped on him too early if they take him in the first four or five picks. It's crazy."My take: Yup. Like the scout, you have to love everything Tannehill brings from a physical standpoint. He's a 100 percent prototype NFL quarterback. Big arm, athletic, solid build. But there are plenty of other question marks, and all you really need to do is watch the second halves of about, oh, five games in 2011. I've written about this plenty.
On Brandon Weeden:
"At the Senior Bowl, when he threw on air, great," another scout said. "When the game started he had two picks and looked so uncomfortable when he had to move. I do not see it with this guy at all." ... "Not a very strong arm," a third scout said. "Not very good in the pocket. Average intelligence. He's just a guy."My take: I hope that scout's looking at more than just the Senior Bowl. Weeden had a really rough outing in that game, worse than any he had during the 2010 or 2011 seasons, and it's tough to really know why. But "not a very strong arm?" That's absurd. And "just a guy?" No way.
Weeden's never going to be a guy who can move much. His former offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen, joked with me last week that Weeden couldn't run to save his life. It's fairly obvious if you watch OSU play very much. But his arm? You know, the thing that really matters in the NFL? Outside of Luck, it might be second to none in this entire draft when it comes to strength and accuracy.
Tough talk from scouts here. What do you think? Fair? Or unfair?