Earlier this week, Baylor University hosted Robert Griffin III’s “pro day,” as he wowed scouts with his arm strength and other physical attributes. The events were broadcast on the ESPN networks and covered by all the D.C. major media. People tweeted with gushing accolades, all proclaiming the Washington Redskins indisputable hold on Griffin as the No. 2 overall selection in next month’s NFL Draft.
For all intents, it was Griffin’s coming out party to the D.C. media. Everyone ate it up, including Skins owner Daniel Snyder and Head Coach Mike Shanahan, both of whom were in attendance.
So, what if the Indianapolis Colts select Robert Griffin III with the No. 1 overall pick?
Granted, Andrew Luck has been the presumed No. 1 pick in this draft since he passed up going pro this time last year to return for his junior season at Stanford. The 2011 first team All-American, two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up and Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year certainly has the bona fides. Last season, leading Stanford to an 11-2 record, No. 7 final ranking in the AP and a trip to the BCS Fiesta Bowl, he threw 37 touchdowns against only 10 interceptions and ran for two more.
The Colts would be nuts to pass up Luck, right? Right???
But this is where all the hype over Griffin’s performance at his pro day and interviews at the combine come in to play. He’s been that impressive. Some analysts are now changing their tunes, proclaiming Griffin to be the real difference-maker at the top of the draft. It’s not that Luck’s stock has fallen, but Griffin’s has risen that much.
A lot of folks noticed how Cam Newton took the NFL by storm last season, putting up gaudy passing numbers to go with his dangerous running attack. Griffin not only possesses better arm strength than Newton, but he also has world-class speed at the quarterback position. And he’s done nothing but continue to impress scouts since the college season ended. His personality, maturity and leadership have repeatedly been lauded.
Luck is a terrific athlete in his own regard, but he is considered more of a pocket passer. Griffin opens up a world of possibilities with his ability to throw on the run, or pull it down and utilize his unreal speed.
The Redskins gave up a LOT to move up to the No. 2 spot in the draft. They really seem invested in — and excited about — the prospect of Griffin taking snaps for them next season, and rightfully so. All they can do now is hope the Colts don’t beat them to the punch.
Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Nats and the Caps, and previously wrote Nats News Network and Caps News Network. Dave’s first sports hero was Bobby Dandridge. Follow Dave’s Redskins coverage on Twitter @RedskinsDSP.