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Tag:Robert Griffin III
Posted on: March 10, 2012 12:54 pm
 

Rams get bounty, but dropping to No. 6 has risk

In the wake of the bold trade up by the Washington Redskins to secure the rights to one of the two elite quarterbacks of the 2012 draft class you can expect that there will be plenty of media speculation as to whether head coach Mike Shanahan and his staff overpayed. 

The St. Louis Rams, on the other hand, are universally being lauded for their ability to pry first round picks from the Redskins in the 2013 and 2014 drafts, as well as Washington's second round pick this year for only dropping four spots. 

And while I do believe that this trade could be one of the few in which both teams appear to be "winners," it isn't fair to characterize the Redskins as the only team taking a significant risk with the move. 

Recent conversations with various league sources indicate that six prospects have pulled away as the elite talents of the 2012 draft. Though the order differs slightly per team, the general consensus seems to be that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, Southern Cal offensive tackle Matt Kalil, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon have separated from the rest of the pack. In trading out of the second pick to the sixth, the Rams are still guaranteed to see one of these prospects still available to them. Whether it is one capable of making an immediate impact, however, is the bigger question. 

With obvious needs at wide receiver and cornerback, the Rams would presumably love to see either Claiborne or Blackmon still available. The Minnesota Vikings (owners of the third pick), Cleveland Browns (four) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (five) also have signficant needs at these spots, however. With free agency looming, much will change prior to the draft but Rams fans may not be as thrilled with their options at No. 6 as they may have been when hearing of the bounty of picks their team will receive in the move.

Based on the lowered value of running backs in today's pass-happy NFL, Richardson would appear to be the most logical candidate, at this point, to slip to six. And while the Rams are expected to add a running back during the off-season to ease the burden on star Steve Jackson, adding another elite talent at one of the few positions of strength on the roster is not the recipe for success most teams would follow. 
      
Of course, if the draft works out the way Dane Brugler and I anticipate in our updated mock drafts (which reflect the trade), St. Louis could be celebrating their mighty haul of draft picks and adding a certain playmaker for Sam Bradford to boot.                
Posted on: March 9, 2012 10:56 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2012 12:23 am
 

Redskins trade for No. 2 pick; poised to nab RG3

St. Louis Rams vice president and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff confirmed to the Sports Xchange on Friday night the agreement on a deal that should be historic for two franchises, as the Rams agreed to trade the second overall pick in this year's NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins, who are expected to use it to select Baylor's Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback, Robert Griffin III.

In return, the Rams hope to build their way out of their 2-14 record in 2011 with the No. 6 overall pick next month, two future first-round picks and a second-round pick. The trade, first reported by FoxSports.com, cannot become official until the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, when free agency also begins. 

It is the kind of deal the Rams needed to make after new head coach Jeff Fisher said last month that the team is committed to quarterback Sam Bradford, which put that prized No. 2 spot squarely on the trading block for anybody desiring to take "RG3." It is assumed that the Indianapolis Colts will use the first pick to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck to replace departed Peyton Manning.

The Redskins' urgency to move up to the No. 2 spot was heightened with multiple reports saying Manning told the team he wasn't interested in playing for Washington after being released by Indianapolis on Wednesday. Manning visited Denver Friday, creating even more potential for the Dolphins to take a shot at getting Griffin. The Cleveland Browns were also reported to be interested in the No. 2 spot.

The Rams can use the No, 6 spot to get any number of talented, top 10 prospects, including a pair of offensive tackles -- Southern Cal's Matt Kalil and Iowa's Riley Reiff -- LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne or Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
  
Earlier Friday, Blackmon showed off for personnel from every NFL team at his Pro Day in Stillwater, Okla., where he was clocked in 4.46 seconds for 40 yards. Demoff would neither confirm nor deny whether the Rams were interested in getting Blackmon to catch passes from Bradford.
  
The trade may not be the best of news for Griffin. Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has spent more money than any other team this century in search of a Super Bowl team. But the Redskins seem to make the least of these deals and often seem dysfunctional, perhaps best evidenced by an inability to get on the same page with veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb in 2010.
  
Coach Mike Shanahan runs his version of a West Coast offense, which does feature mobility at quarterback with the sprint right option as a basic play. Griffin is a great athlete, as evidenced by his unofficial 40-yard time of 4.38 seconds and a vertical jump of 39 inches at the Scouting Combine in February.

--Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

Posted on: February 26, 2012 9:43 am
 

RG3 unofficially clocked at 4.41, 4.38

For those arguing that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III should leap Andrew Luck as the top quarterback -- and prospect -- of the 2012 draft, he helped the cause by demonstrating his unbelievable straight-line speed Sunday morning. 

Griffin was unofficially clocked at 4.41 seconds by The NFL Network on his first attempt and ran even faster the second time around, zipping down the line at 4.38 seconds, according to the league's stopwatch. 

The demonstration of spectacular speed was not a surprise considering Griffin's Olympic potential, but it nonetheless gives scouts an actual time to go with all of the Heisman winner's highlights. 

Griffin is currently rated as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 2 prospect in the draft and is projected by Senior Analyst Rob Rang to be the subject of an aggressive trade-up by some QB-hungry team in his recent mock draft.           

Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:37 pm
 

Combine setup leading QBs to put arms on ice?

The top four quarterbacks on NFLDraftScout.com's board are not throwing passes at the 2012 Scouting Combine. 

Stanford's Andrew Luck (own choice), Baylor's Robert Griffin III (own choice), Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill (foot) and Arizona State's Brock Osweiler (unknown) have each said they won't be throwing at the Combine. 

Highly regarded quarterbacks electing to hold off until their Pro Day is nothing new, of course. Often the reasons given by these quarterbacks as to why they'd rather wait until their Pro Day is the fact that they'll be throwing to their own receivers in the surroundings they've grown accustomed to. 

NFLDraftScout.com, however, was told of another reason why quarterbacks may want to wait until their on-campus workouts. The high-level source used Cam Newton's erratic performance during the Combine throwing session last year as an example.

"Last year [scouts] didn't sync the QB drop and the wide receiver pattern. For example, [Newton] was dropping five steps but the wide receivers were doing three step type patterns." 

The miscommunication caused Newton's accuracy to appear to be inconsistent. He took the hit publicly for a mediocre performance and to his credit never said a word publicly about what may have been the biggest reason for it.

The Carolina Panthers obviously looked past the performance -- and considering the terrific rookie season Newton had in 2011, they were certainly wise in doing so.
             
Posted on: February 24, 2012 6:57 pm
 

Osweiler joins QB list not throwing at Combine

Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler is joining Stanford's Andrew Luck, Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill as quarterbacks who will not be throwing in front of scouts at the 2012 Combine. 

The foursome make up the top quarterback prospects on NFLDraftScout.com's board, leaving a rather ho-hum group of passers left to throw to receivers during Sunday's throwng session. 

The NFL can't be thrilled with the fact that arguably the four most intriguing quarterback talents in the draft will not be throwing on the first day the league is opening up the Combine to fans.

The shorter-than-expected Osweiler told me Friday as he was walking out of Lucas Oil Stadium that he would not be throwing. He did not provide a reason and unfortunately, I was unable to ask further questions due to a pre-scheduled radio commitment. 

Osweiler surprised many with his decision to leave Arizona State after only one starting season. He was very impressive in 2011, however, setting the ASU record by completing 63.2% of his passes for 4,036 yards -- another school record. Osweiler threw twice as many touchdowns (26) and interceptions (13) in 2011 and though he left ASU following the team's bowl loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl, he had a strong game personally, completing 30 of 47 passes for a career-high 397 yards and two touchdowns against one interception. 

Arizona State's Pro Day is currently scheduled for March 24.    
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:08 pm
 

Luck, Griffin won't throw at Combine

The speculation is over, the top two rated quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL draft won't be throwing passes at the Combine. 

Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin each made their announcements during today's media session at the Combine. Luck will do every other athletic drill at the Combine other than throw. Griffin will run. Each is saving their throwing session until they can work with their own receivers during their Pro Days. Stanford's Pro Day is March 22. Baylor's was scheduled for the same day until it was changed so that scouts could see both Luck and Griffin throw. 

While scouts would certainly love to see Luck and Griffin choose to throw this week, their decisions to push back their throwing sessions won't impact their draft stock. Highly regarded quarterbacks often choose to wait until their Pro Day workouts. Cam Newton, last year, was a notable exception.

Luck and Griffin III are NFLDraftScout.com's top two rated prospects for the 2012 draft and are projected as the first two picks in my current mock draft.   
Posted on: February 24, 2012 2:36 pm
 

Robert Griffin III charms media at Combine

Perhaps more than any scout is willing to admit, NFL rankings can be swayed by personality -- especially at the quarterback position. 

Of course, accuracy, arm strength, mobility and every other physical trait is of primary importance when grading quarterbacks but teams are also looking for leadership and charisma from the position that typically serves as the "face of the franchise."

In a 15 minute interview session with the media at the Combine Friday, Robert Griffin III teased with precisely these traits. He was as personable, witty, and articulate in person as you may have ever seen him on television. 

Having covered the Scouting Combine for several years, I've watched personality help boost the stock of quarterbacks Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez, among others. Sanchez may have been the most charismatic... until Griffin. 

Griffin's comfort in the spotlight and magnetic personality likely made believers out of some of those in the room who may have doubted him. If as successful in team interviews as he was in front of the media, he'll may be able to do the same with them, as well.       

Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:04 am
Edited on: February 24, 2012 10:27 am
 

Griffin, Wright stand tall at Combine weigh-in

Football is a game of inches. And not only on the field.

Quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers weighed in at the NFL Combine and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III impressed at 6023 (6-2 3/8) and 223 pounds according to multiple sources.

Listed at 6-2, 220, as a junior at Baylor, reports circulated that the Heisman Trophy winner might be closer to 6-0 and 200-pounds. However, it was best case scenario for Griffin who debunked several rumors just by stepping on a scale and getting measured. Since he decided to forego his senior season in Waco, he has been the No. 2 quarterback in this draft class by NFLDraftScout.com behind only Stanford's Andrew Luck. Fellow draft analyst Rob Rang ranks Griffin as the No. 4 overall prospect on his Big Board.

With his official measureables in the books, all eyes will be on Griffin during workouts, especially for his 40-yard dash, if he decides to run on Sunday with his quarterback group. As a true freshman at Baylor in 2008, he was a Track & Field All-American after finishing third at NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400-meter hurdles (49.55). Griffin also won the gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles at the Big 12 track meet with the third-fastest time in school history (49.22).

Although Griffin isn't expected to throw for NFL teams in Indianapolis this week, Griffin has stated he's "excited to wow them in interviews." He will throw and work out at Baylor's Pro Day, which was recently moved up one day to March 21 to not conflict with Stanford's (and Andrew Luck's) Pro Day.

Baylor WR Kendall Wright, projected as a first-round pick and NFLDraftScout.com's third-ranked receiver, was 5102 (5-10 1/4), 188 pounds. There had been some doubt that Wright would measure taller than 5 feet 9. He's extremely explosive and his straight-line speed is expected to prove to be near the top of the wide receiver class.

-- Contributed by Dane Brugler, who can be followed on Twitter @dpbrugler
 

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com