- Dan Graziano, ESPN Staff Writer
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Washington Redskins fans have their eyes trained and their hearts set on Robert Griffin III and could spend the next two months desperate to learn whether their team can trade up to draft him. So the NFC East blog, on behalf of some of its most passionate readers, is paying special attention to the Heisman Trophy-winning Baylor quarterback as well. Griffin spoke Friday at the scouting combine in Indianapolis and impressed everyone, including NFC West blogger Mike Sando, who shared the podium highlights:
On what he'd say if a team asked, "Who are you?": "That sounds like a paper from my English class. ... I'm just really excited to show them who I am as a person -- happy-go-lucky, like to make people laugh, but know when to be serious as well."
On the Cleveland Browns possibly falling in love with him: "I hope somebody falls in love with me, other than my fiancee. You want a team that really wants you, the head coach, GM, owner, everybody."
On his upbringing: "Military kid, so both my parents were in the military. Mom did 12 years, Dad did 21, served in two wars, so discipline was something that was obviously huge. If you say you are going to do something, you do it. If you start it, you finish it. Yes, sir; no, maam. You gotta have that kind of structure in your life. It kind of helped me be that disciplined person I am, whether it's with workouts, film or just the game of football."
On possibly playing behind Peyton Manning: "I would embrace it. It's not very often you get chances to be on a team with a legend like that and learn from a guy like Peyton. I'd come in to compete to be that starter, but I wouldn't be upset if Peyton Manning was the starting quarterback on the team that I was on. I'd hold that clipboard with pride."
Yeah, kid sounds like a real problem case, right? I mean, don't you wish he'd give you a reason to stop getting your hopes up? Just in case your team isn't able to get him?
Anyway, that's what we have Chris Sprow for. In this Insider piece, Sprow writes that teams might want to be wary of trading all the way up to No. 2 for a guy who might be the second-best quarterback in the draft only because others, such as Matt Barkley, decided to stay in school to try to go No. 1 next year:
This isn't simply a shot at Griffin (and it's worth noting that he passed his biggest combine test on Friday by measuring out over 6-foot-2). The tape shows he's a serious talent. And if you don't trust the late riser, the guy who went from September afterthought to January first-round lock, just look back one year, then consider where Cam Newton is today.
But knowing the supply of talent is scarce, it's one thing to draft Griffin if he's there for the taking at say, No. 4 (Cleveland Browns), No. 6 (Washington Redskins) or No. 9 (Miami Dolphins), and it's another to get in a bidding war and trade a lot of value or future picks. It's also not like Griffin is free once you get him -- the No. 2 pick this year is in line to receive about $23 million in guarantees.
Something to consider, though the facts of the case are that quarterbacks in recent drafts generally have been going higher than expected or higher than value would seem to indicate they should go. If you're Washington or Cleveland or Miami (which is actually drafting eighth, not ninth, as a result of a coin toss), you're only moving up a few spots to address the biggest need you have -- to pick a guy you've decided can alter the long-term state of your franchise in a critically positive way. Griffin's value to the Redskins, or whatever team ends up trading up to get him, isn't necessarily measurable by traditional standards. Quarterbacks are scarce and overvalued for good reason. They're important. And teams that don't have them are justifiably desperate to correct that.