Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor) vs Texas A&M

October 25th, 2011 | Written by Rob Staton

Thanks to Mario_clp for supplying the tape

This is actually the most impressed I’ve been with Griffin, this felt like a more complete performance than the TCU game in week one which was essentially a cluster of big plays. There’s a lot to like about Griffin the individual and he’s continuing to improve with every game. The jury is still out as to whether he can convince NFL scouts that he can become a rounded pro-quarterback, but he’s a fun player to watch and he has the ideal attitude to become a success at the next level.

At this stage I’d find it hard to project where his stock could fall should he declare. His footwork needs a complete re-work and there are other technical issues, but he also has a very pretty (and accurate) deep ball and he extends plays as well as any quarterback you’ll find in college football. He’s clearly a great athlete. I know what my own grade would be, but I just have this nagging feeling that there’s a team out there that will be prepared to take him much higher.

24 Responses to “Robert Griffin III (QB, Baylor) vs Texas A&M”

  1. troy says:

    There were four or five spectacular throws on that film. His ball placement looked to be pretty good, and his deep ball looked fantastic. Athletically he’s everything you look for. He’s elusive, fast, and has a great arm. From what I’ve seen from this film and others, he generally makes sound decisions with the ball. You won’t see him make to many “wtf” throws.

    I know that, mechanically, he needs lots of work but I truly think that his athletic potential and character are going to get him drafted in the first round, whether he deserves to go that high or not.

  2. Jim says:

    I would really like to know where statements like “his footwork needs a complete rework” start? First of all, he has one of the highest QB ratings in college, so he can’t be that bad. And second, after whatever expert gets done mangling his footwork, they will probably want to change his throwing motion. They will probably ruin whatever potential he has.

    Why do people have to be so critical of a successful athlete and think they should change them?

    • Charlie says:

      Number 1, having a high qb rating doesn’t make you a good prospect, it’s a statistic that can be completely inflated, so if your trying to prove a point, that’s
      Not the stat I’d go with. Secondly as for footwork, alot of times he jumps up before he throws, and while he’s doing really well, he would get more accuracy and velocity with improved footwork, there’s a reason good players set their feet before they throw,and it could be the difference between being successful in the nfl and being a bust, as nfl teams are soo much faster than college teams. Footwork also includes taking 5, 7 step drops from under center, when he’s been a predominantly spread qb. Yes there are some cases of players who were critiqued for their throwing motions and were successful, but who? Philip rivers is the only one I can think of from recent memory. Final point being, there have been tons of very successful college qbs that for some reason don’t cut it in the nfl, so their success doesn’t make griffen

      • Charlie says:

        Last sentence got cut off. College success doesn’t make a good qb, and while I’d love for Griffen to be raw, I want him as a Seahawks fan, it’s premature to say he’s not a possible project as a qb.

    • Rob says:

      Jim,

      I think it’s pretty clear his footwork needs a lot of work. For starters on pretty much every throw he makes he’s dancing in the pocket, he can’t do that at the next level. There are several instances where he will take two steps and not move, before re-setting to throw. That’s just wasting precious time in the pocket, he will need to not only learn to drop back properly but also to find a way that allows him to take a 3 or 5 step drop, set and release quickly without all the messing around.

      I have very few concerns about his throwing motion, actually. I think we need to realise what this process is about – finding faults, strengths and making a judgement. Griffin’s footwork is rank bad at the moment, but is it a back breaker? No – it just makes him more of a longer term player than someone who can start quicky. He’s had success this year, but other QB’s (eg Kellen Moore) are prolific and brilliant in college and yet are very unlikely to have a NFL future. Griffin does, but that doesn’t mean we can’t discuss issues he needs to work on.

  3. Jim says:

    Yes a lot of college QBs will never be a good pro quarterback. I just think that saying someone’s footwork needs to be totally reworked when they are doing well is unfair. Reworked by whose standards? His footwork seemed fine when he was passing or running for a first down.

    • Charlie says:

      How is it unfair? I mean if there was nothing to critique about the guy why isn’t he considered by everyone to be better than Andrew luck? Or even a close second? Yes he’s playing ridiculously well, that doesnt exempt him, or anyone, from criticism. All players can improve, and robs pointing out his flaws (which is his job as a draft blogger). Plenty of players dominate college based on athletic ability and fail in the nfl based on technique, so if someone is successful with an awkward throwing motion, or bad footwork, then it is completely fair to brin that up because that could eb a huge red flag, rob never said he wouldn’t succeed as a qb in the nfl, he’s just pointing out his technical drawbacks as he does with all prospects.

      • Jim says:

        I want to see the Stanford vs USC game before saying Luck or Barkley are the best college QBs available. I am concerned that they get built into these demigods that will solve all our QB problems. When the reality is they play in a weak conference and aren’t being tested against the same level of competition as some other QBs.

        Maybe Luck will be that good. I don’t see the writers analyzing him the way they do other prospects. It just seems to be accepted that he will go #1 because…..

        • Colin says:

          Jim, the stats in college are meaningless. The difference between college ball and the NFL is astronomical. Luck and Barkley are largely the consensus top two because they are deemed guys most pro ready- in other words, they won’t require as much time fixing issues that guys like Tannehill, Griffin and Jones will. Although it should be noted Jones is highly touted outside of this board, a sentiment I can’t quite buy into.

          • Jim says:

            Sorry but I’m not ready to drink the Koolaid, and even if I were it is meaningless because Seahawks won’t draft until after the top two QBs are gone. Fortunately for us this looks like a very deep field of QBs this year. And despite what all the “experts” have to say about QBs they can’t predict much other than if you get a first round QB your chances of winning go up. Even the best QB can be affected by injuries or stupidity.

            2005 – Alex Smith was first pick. Aaron Rodgers – the best QB in football today, was the third QB picked at number 24. What a bargain! Of course there is always the Tom Brady story, he was only the 199th pick.

          • Colin says:

            In my opinion Jim, drafting anything less than Barkley or Luck, isn’t acceptable. We cannot have another malcontent at the postion.

            Griffin and Austin Davis and Tannehill and Landry Jones “might” develop into great QB’s. But I want the Seahawks taking a guy with elite potential like Luck/Barkley.

            It’s a proven point that 2nd round QB’s aren’t worth the bother. More than 90% flop. If you are going to get a QB, get one that has a high 1st round grade on him. And with the restructured salary deals, there is no reason the Seahawks shouldn’t be making that kind of play.

    • Attyla the Hawk says:

      Reworked by NFL standards.

      The standards for a receiver being open in college are vastly different than they are in the NFL. In addition to far smaller windows of accuracy, a QB has to be able to deliver it high or low, and to the correct shoulder to lead receivers away from a cover corner.

      Footwork affects that — particularly poor alignment. It doesn’t appear that Griffin has particularly bad alignment when he does throw. I’d be surprised if he has to alter that aspect too much as a pro.

      His issues tend to be more centered on timing. In college, this isn’t that big of a deal, because if a throw is late, that corner isn’t likely to be close enough or talented enough to make a play on the ball.

      In the NFL, those same throws are based on anticipation. When the ball is released, the receiver is not open at that moment. The ball has to be arrive a fraction of a moment after the receiver makes his break, where in college that same pass can be barely leaving the hand and still be easily completed. A stutter or hitch in his feet will mean he throws on the break, instead of before it. That’s how NFL corners take it back for 6.

      College corners are generally not talented enough to make up that gap. A QB can complete passes against that kind of competition in a manner that will ride him out of the NFL before his career even starts.

      That’s not to say he can’t overcome them. Or doesn’t have transferable attributes for NFL success. But if you can’t throw the NFL out with NFL timing, then you simply cannot play QB at the NFL level. That footwork as is will be a deal breaker. He will have to remove that from this list of liabilities.

  4. Jim says:

    I guess my other thought about setting your feet before you throw is – that works when you have a pocket to protect you. If the pocket doesn’t protect you it is a good way to get your knees taken out. That’s why so many of them throw off their back foot.

    How many times have we seen the quarterback flushed out of the pocket, and then make that beautiful throw down field to a receiver? I want the quarterback that can run sideways at full speed and still make an accurate throw.

  5. FWBrodie says:

    He’s one of those guys that throws a ball that seems to defy the laws of physics ala Sam Bradford. Gyro’d to the max. Rocket arm.

  6. Kris says:

    I’m a Texas Tech alum living in Seattle and have seen RG3 play for a few years now. I think he will be a bonafide stud. He is very intelligent with pin-point accuracy and can make all the throws. As a true freshman, he was the last QB to throw an interception and has continued to display great accuracy and decision making skills.

    He always looks to pass first, but if he needs to run he is a world -class hurdler and was rumored to be considering giving up football before college to focus on the 2012 Olympics.

  7. Colin says:

    I would not take RG3 before Barkley, but I’d take him before Ryan Tannehill.

    • Rob says:

      I would agree with that. Griffin keeps getting better and that’s hard to ignore – I’d put him above Landry Jones too.

      • Ben H says:

        Definitely. Concerning his footwork – it’s ugly. No doubt about it. But do I see that holding him back in the NFL? Not really. I’m no expert on QB play but I see footwork as a secondary attribute which ties closely to three primary attributes – timing, accuracy, and release time. Griffin’s poor footwork doesn’t seem to affect his accuracy or release time much, if at all. I attribute this to him having a mostly solid throwing base and active feet. So when he’s ready sees a receiver break open, the ball comes out. The accuracy might just be God given.

        Timing is the real question I have. A pro offense probably won’t tick tock like clock with Griffin at QB but he’s gonna make plays. If he can get his footwork and timing to a level where it’s at least functional then he could be extremely successful at the next level. I don’t think top 15 is such a reach if he continues to improve like he has.

        • Rob says:

          Footwork is important to timing though. For example, if Griffin is wasting time making two steps without moving on snaps meaning he needs to re-set, what if he misses a window to complete his pass because of the time it’s taken him to release? Alternatively, he’s going to give a defense that extra bit of time to get to him. He’s very good throwing on the run, but at the next level he’s going to need to work to create one fluid motion of drop back, set and release.

  8. Matt says:

    He has the strong arm and great mobility, no doubt, but what do you think of his ability to read the defense and switch to his 2nd or 3rd receiver when his first receiver isn’t open?

    Because, to me, it seemed if he looked to one side of the field and his main 1-2 receiver was not there, his focus was not to stay in the pocket and find his other receivers or check down (which there weren’t many. Does Baylor’s rb not run routes?). Instead he escaped the pocket and tried to make something happen with his feet. Granted, he is very good at that. The ability to scramble can be a weapon, but if his tendency is to always break the pocket after his 1st or 2nd read is covered, he could be exposed at the next level.

    Watch his reads. If he looks one way, he tended to go that way and the other receivers on the field know it too, so they even stop their routes once RG3’s body turned against them. Is it because of playcall or tendency? And when he did scan the field opposite his first read (not many times), he either was sacked (mostly not his fault), escaped the pocket and worked to make something happen with his feet, or on one throw, nearly threw a pick. Maybe once or twice did he stay in the pocket and find his 3rd-4th receiver.

    It seems that RG3 is a very smart player, but I have to hope that those smarts translate into a multiple read offense like one that Seattle runs.

    • Colin says:

      He seems to have great ability to understand what the defense is doing and where to go with the ball, but I agree with you. He stares down receivers too much. Look at the play at :15 seconds where he scrambles for a 1st down. He locks onto the two receivers to the left, completely oblivious to the guy coming over the middle he could’ve hit.

  9. [...] Yesterday we highlighted Robert Griffin III’s tape against Texas A&M from the weekend. Overall I found it to be an impressive performance, strangely more impressive than Griffin’s highlight reel display against TCU in week one. The game with the Horned Frogs was a bit of a freak show – repetitive long bombs that made for great viewing but provided more questions than answers. Was this something the Bears had worked on during a long off-season to surprise TCU given Baylor’s strict screen game? Was it just a rank bad performance by a secondary that had previously impressed? Was it a one-off spectacular? [...]

  10. Kip Earlywine says:

    Wow. Griffin’s throwing technique has come a long way in just the last few games. It actually looks fairly manageable now. His footwork is has come a ways too.

    There are still a few things I don’t like, but I wouldn’t blame Griffin for them. Generally, I’m not a fan of a QB who throws a lot of bubble screens, because it infers that his coaching staff doesn’t trust him to do more.

    Before this game, I would have put Griffin in the 4th round. But he’s already alleviated some of my major concerns. I’d probably put him in the 2nd round after seeing some of the impressive progress he’s made on his technique.

    • AlexHawk says:

      Kip could you see Griffin going in the first round? I personally like the kid I think he has the arm to make all the throws at the next level and that raw athleticism that you know he can make big plays. He is still extremely raw in terms of his play but he has everything that you want to see and more and I would be more than happy to see him in Seattle.