Robert Griffin, NFL draft lightning rod! (Well, this week. Last week? Ryan Tannehill.) By all accounts, he’s a great guy, but with less than a week to the draft, here come the shots at Griffin’s character.
For the large segment of NFL fans who don’t watch college football from September through November, but parachute in for the bowl games (during Christmas parties) and the NFL Combine, here’s a look at what scouts were saying about Griffin before the hype machine went into overdrive.
Back in December, after Robert Griffin won the Heisman but before he passed for a TD, ran for a TD and carved up Washington en route to a 67-point bowl game, this was the scuttlebutt:
“They don’t call plays in the huddle. They walk to the line, the play comes from upstairs to the sideline, and it’s signaled in,” said one NFC executive. “The coordinator upstairs is reading the defense, (Griffin) is not doing that at all. And in the NFL, you’re going to have to be the one reading the defense. You have to know what’s going on at all times. And you have to get him under center, taking 3-, 5- and 7-step drops.”
Another NFC exec said, “It’s a very good system, and they’ve done a heck of a job recruiting for it. … But it’s simple, and he’ll have to adjust. He’s really smart, accepted to law school and all that, but it’ll be an adjustment. … You’re not gonna come in and put him in a Peyton [Manning] offense.”
Fortunately, the Redskins don’t run a “Peyton Manning offense.” So RGIII will be alright … right?
“That offense made things simple on him,” said the scout. “Because he’s such a running threat, he saw soft coverage, you didn’t see defensive ends bending the corner to get him. They played him different to keep him in the pocket, and as a result, he got passing lanes he may not get in the pros. It’s a problem, because he’s got average-to-below-average size. The Vick comparison is there, because you figure he’ll miss games (due to injury), but you can’t tell him not to run, because that’s what makes him special.”
The scout continued that, “There’s gonna be a significant development period. Him moreso than anyone. You can’t fault him for what they didn’t ask him to do. I think he’s capable of it. But it’s natural as a talent evaluator to want to see it.”