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RG3 climbing higher on NFL draft boards

12/1/2011

Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III debuted on Mel Kiper and Todd McShay's respective draft boards only a few weeks ago, but he's continued to climb since grabbing a spot.

He jumped a full nine spots from No. 30 to No. 21 this week on McShay's board.

"Griffin continues to rise, thanks to impressive production and clutch play," McShay writes. "Great mobility, a quick release and good arm strength don't hurt, either."

He's up to No. 21 on Kiper's board, too, after sitting at No. 24 last week.

"Has elite athleticism and has altered and improved his delivery, resulting in better accuracy on downfield throws," Kiper writes. "Smart kid who will shine during interviews. No ill effects from 2009 knee injury. Remarkable numbers."

Griffin's acknowledged this season he'll have a decision to make at season's end.

My humble opinion: Griffin's chances of returning to Baylor will be exponentially higher if the Bears lose a bowl game. Perhaps a morbid view, but it's the truth. If he wins the Heisman, that might change matters. He's driven to earn more and more for the Bears, but winning a bowl game is a big step. Last year, Illinois dominated them in the Texas Bowl, and left a pretty nasty taste in their mouths.

If the Bears beat Texas on Saturday and win a bowl game, that's a bowl win, a second 10-win season in school history and perhaps a Heisman.

Trying to duplicate that in 2012 would be pretty difficult, particularly without his top receiver, Kendall Wright, who's been as good as just about anybody in the country this year, and will graduate after the season.

Griffin's got a pair of good examples of quarterbacks who would have been selected even higher than he's projected to go (Andrew Luck, Sam Bradford) but who decided to chase bigger things for their schools. It worked out for both at the next level. Luck will be next year's No. 1 NFL pick. Bradford suffered a serious, surgery-requiring injury to his throwing shoulder and still was selected No. 1 overall and won Rookie of the Year honors.

We'll have to see how the rest of the season plays out before we get a better idea of what RG3 will do, but we know he's impressing scouts.