Wednesday, September 7, 2011
RG3: NFL scouts' takes, Heisman chances
By ESPN.com staff
Colleague Ryan McGee took an in-depth look at the media darling of Week 1, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, whose five touchdown passes in an upset of No. 14 TCU have made him the breakout star of the season's first weekend.
I'd suggest you read it all (you'll need ESPN Insider access to do so), but here's a couple snippets.
Chatting with NFL scouts in the press box, they said the same. One went to YouTube to show off his footwork. Another interrupted the conversation to point out Griffin's smoothness, how he made everything look much easier than it is because of his ability to "glide at any speed."
But both also said that Griffin's reliance on his feet -- even if it's subconscious -- makes him sloppy with his arm when it comes to accuracy and doesn't allow for them to get a good reading on pocket poise. And his easy-going manner makes it difficult to accurately gauge his "football IQ" or pre-snap read ability.
"He can look almost too laid-back before the snap and then almost too anxious after the snap," said one scout. "But honestly, that might just be him suckering the defense. Winding up for a run or just threatening a defender with the run. He gets rid of the ball very quickly and off the run a lot, but I don't know if he needs to do it as much as he does."
However, every scout I chatted with was quick to say that what they'd seen on Friday night vs. TCU had them feeling a lot better about him as a pro prospect than before. And to a man, they all practically drooled over his speed.
"I would be shocked if he ever ran a 40 slower than 4.6," one said. "Crazy good for a quarterback."
That's when an eavesdropping South Carolina assistant coach chimed in. "This conversation sounds like it was recorded when Michael Vick was coming out of Virginia Tech."
Sometimes it's hilarious to see the kinds of things scouts can pick up on and perceive as negatives. There was the infamous "Andy Dalton has red hair" issue from last year's draft, and the idea that Florida State Rhodes scholar Myron Rolle and Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy were "too smart."
Griffin is pretty smart himself, but any coach is going to learn a lot about a player's IQ by talking to him, not listening to media interviews, where Griffin's obviously comfortable.
There's a lot more in that Insider piece, including an exploration of how valid the Michael Vick comparisons are or are not, and a former Big 12 defensive coordinator rehashes his nightmares trying to defend a freshman RG3.
Elsewhere on ESPN.com, though? Griffin has ascended to the top of the Heisman predictor, where Landry Jones resided last week.
He's a point ahead of Taylor Martinez and Russell Wilson, who both now lead Jones in our Heisman predictor formula.
Griffin's Heisman chances boil down to simply this:
And as long as the Bears keep winning, Griffin is not going anywhere.
Baylor has four winnable games before an Oct. 15 showdown against the Texas A&M Aggies, at which point we will discover whether Griffin's Heisman hopes are realistic.
Sounds about right to me.