Griffin III as impressive as always at Baylor's pro day
"You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, this opportunity comes once in a lifetime..."
The song fit perfectly, as Wednesday marked the final time scouts and NFL types could see Griffin in action in the flesh before the draft, which begins April 26.
Baylor had quite the playlist going. And later when talking to the press, Griffin said he was the one who picked the tunes. Also on tap? Michael Jackson's "Thriller" and Notorious B.I.G's "Hypnotize."
The scripted soundtrack kept the mood light and fun, which was the goal.
"We didn't want it to be uptight like the combine can be," Griffin said. "And that's not a knock on the combine, we just wanted to be loose, have guys smiling and having fun."
Griffin always seemed to be having fun in college, whether he was sporting some outrageous sock pattern or leading the Bears to an offensively thrilling 67-56 Alamo victory over Washington.
Wednesday, RG3 was wearing electric yellow socks to honor the Sweet 16-bound men's basketball team and he warmed up in a black t-shirt with the saying, "No Diamonds, No Pressure," a Baylor motto and quote he used in his Heisman acceptance speech.
But despite the lightheartedness and free-spirited aura that seems to constantly surround Griffin, the day was about business. All 32 NFL teams were represented in some fashion, including Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and head coach Mike Shanahan. Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith was also in attendance.
As to be expected, it was the biggest pro day in Baylor history. Over 140 media were credentialed, and ESPN and the NFL Network hosted live broadcasts throughout the three-hour ordeal.
Things kicked off in Waco around 10 a.m. with measurements, performance testing and position drills for the 14 Baylor and Mary Hardin-Baylor athletes participating. But the main event, aka Griffin throwing, didn't begin until about 12:30. Griffin, who opted not to throw at the combine and wait until the Baylor pro day, completed 78 of 84 passes, including the top play of the day, which was a bomb to wide receiver and first-round prospect Kendall Wright, who made a one-handed snag while streaking down the right sideline in front of Snyder and Shanahan.
The crowd went wild and Griffin flashed his pearly whites.
Griffin was explosive, quick, light and airy on his feet and accurate from short, medium and long distances.
He took snaps under Blake, handed off to running back Terrance Ganaway and hit myriad receivers like Wright, Isaac Williams and Ernest Smith (graduated from Baylor in 2009 and caught Griffin's first touchdown pass).
"[The day] was pretty exciting," Griffin said. "Just a few weeks ago, I was a freshman, 198 pounds. Now I'm in my pro day getting ready for the NFL. It's kind of surreal. I just try not to be nervous. I used the bathroom before I threw, so I got that out of me and was ready to go."
Asked if he's bulked up any between the combine and Wednesday, a 6-foot-3 (and 3/8, as he likes to add), 221-pound Griffin said, "I haven't. Do I look better?"
Griffin is always cracking jokes and keeping the atmosphere easy, no matter the situation. But despite his humor, neither Griffin nor his teammates played around. "We came out here with game-speed like," he said. "We wanted to show everyone we're not just going through the motions."
Tuesday night before the pro day festivities, Griffin, his fiancé and his parents, who drove up from nearby Copperas Cove, where Griffin went to high school, had dinner with the Redskins brass. Asked how it was, Griffin said, "It was delicious. I had a filet."
In all seriousness, Griffin said he respects the organization and can see himself playing for them. He's been to Washington D.C., three times and would be "honored to live there."
"They've certainly made a play to get Robert, and if they do it will be the best thing to have ever happened to their organization without question because as we all know here at Baylor, Robert is extremely special and a dynamic player... a guy you just gravitate to," said Bears head coach Art Briles.
But Griffin wouldn't mind living in Indianapolis, either. There were a couple representatives from the Colts in Waco on Wednesday.
"They're going to Andrew [Luck]'s pro day tomorrow and it's up to them to make a decision. I'm not going to close the book on it," Griffin said. "It's down to two teams it seems, and if it's not those two teams and it's somebody else, then I'll be happy to play for that team as well."
Whichever team is blessed with Griffin's presence under center will be getting a mature, intelligent, determined freak of an athlete who has the passion and guts to lead a team. But what else will they get in the Heisman winner?
"His humility, his graciousness, his caring nature and the beauty of his spirit," Briles said. "He's just a person that truly cares about other people and is gonna be a great teammate."
Now with a little over a month until draft day, Griffin, who's been training in Arizona with former coach and current consultant Terry Shea, will throw and lift, but keep things easy. "It's just a sit-and-wait game," he said. "All you can do now is put your best foot forward. What else can you ask for?"
Following pro day, Griffin said he was going to watch Baylor's spring practice.
"I was there yesterday for 15 minutes and had to leave because I missed it too much," he said. "It's been tough being away from those guys. I'm looking forward to their season and I'll definitely keep track of it."
And the Bears, of course, will keep track of their star who put their program on the map.