In our annual 32 picks in 32 days CSNPhily.com mock draft, we select one player each day until the start of the NFL draft on April 26.
2. Redskins: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor, 6-2220
The Washington Redskins gave up a lot three first-round draft choices plus a second to acquire this pick from the St. Louis Rams. They have invested a huge chuck of their future in one player quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Given the Redskins history of overreaching and overspending under owner Dan Snyder, there is the temptation to assume they have done it again and made another huge mistake in paying such a steep price for one player. But they may have gotten it right this time.
The 6-2, 220-pound Griffin is a rare combination of speed (he ran the 40 in 4.4 seconds) and pure passing ability. While he makes plays with his legs (he rushed for 644 yards and nine touchdowns last season), he is just as effective setting up and throwing the ball. He had a passer rating of 189.5, a full 20 points higher than Andrew Luck.
Griffin walks through what has been a revolving door for quarterbacks in Washington. The team tried to get by with Rex Grossman and John Beck last season and that was a disaster. The Donovan McNabb experiment blew up in their faces. There was a chain of failed draft picks (Jason Campbell, Patrick Ramsey, Heath Shuler), bad signings (Jeff George, Mark Brunell) and other blunders (Shane Matthews, Danny Wuerffel) along the way.
For the past two decades, it was fair to say the best quarterback working for the Redskins was Sonny Jurgensen, their radio analyst who last year turned 77. It is that bleak history that made the Redskins willing to gamble on Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner who led Baylor to its best season (9-3) in a quarter century.
It has been tough, general manager Bruce Allen told USA Today. I feel for our fans in that in many ways we havent been successful. I think we made a big step in trying to get it right. The plan included making sure we took care of this position, not just for a year or two but for the future.
Like Luck, Griffin has excellent physical tools combined with intelligence. He was a Deans List student at Baylor and earned his bachelors degree in three years with a 3.67 grade point average. He played in a spread offense which means he will have to learn to play under center and adjust his mechanics, especially his footwork, but he is such a good athlete, that should not be a problem.