Griffin is a redshirt junior quarterback. He has started for Baylor since his true freshman season (winning the Big-12 Conference Freshman of the Year Award), and accrued his redshirt after tearing an ACL early in his sophomore campaign. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner is accredited with bringing the Baylor program into the national spotlight, culminating in a 10-3 record this season. Griffin is a dangerous quarterback – capable of blowing the top of the defense with uncanny deep ball accuracy. He’s a fantastic athlete with a slight frame that has not been completely filled out. Has taken huge steps forward each year in his development, even when recovering from injury. He projects to be a top 5 pick.
Fast, ¾ release that doesn’t quite come completely over-the-top. Combined with his height, batted balls could be a concern in the NFL – although it hasn’t been a notable problem thus far in his career. Played in a hybridized spread offense that included read-option plays in order to take advantage of his athleticism. The passing concepts Baylor ran, however, are closer to their other Big XII counterparts (like Oklahoma and OSU) than a true spread-option team like Oregon. Baylor also calls a handful of plays per game with Griffin under center – they especially love throwing play action passes out of these sets. Griffin displays good fundamentals on these plays – turning his back to the defense and showing them the ball to sell the run action. He has a fluid crossover on his dropback and gains proper depth on the first step, however he needs to speed up his drop and not be quite so deliberate. His plant and gather is robotic, however – he doesn’t drive off his back foot at the top of his drop – he’ll simply extend it and pull it back up. The positioning of his feet is correct, but there is no weight transfer, affecting arm strength.
Very good speed and is a dangerous thrower when rolling out to his right. Capable of throwing with velocity and accuracy when rolling right even when he doesn’t have his feet set or his hips turned to the target. Has more straight line speed than elusiveness – not particularly slippery as a runner. Faced a ton of zone coverage in college with 22 eyes focused on him and, thus, didn’t have a ton of huge open-field runs escaping vertically against the defense. Can be prone to fumbling when he scrambles.
Very good arm strength, but not elite. Showed the ability to make throws to the wide side from the far hash in college. Potential for his arm to get stronger in the NFL as he gets bigger and stronger, develops more core strength, and learns to properly drive and transfer his weight on throws.
Deep ball accuracy is superb. As stated, he doesn’t have the strongest arm, but has Philip Rivers-type ball placement on deep routes. Despite not having elite arm strength, receivers rarely have to slow up and wait on his deep ball – he consistently hits the WR in stride. Trusts his WRs and throws the 50/50 ball often and accurately – giving his WRs a chance to climb the ladder and make plays over DBs. Has a tendency to throw behind his target on timing routes to the outside and throws over the middle. Wasn’t challenged by a ton of man coverage – however Oklahoma ran predominantly man against Baylor this season and he responded with some stick throws into tight windows – both deep and over the middle.
Decision Making and Intangibles
Can play very hurried and frenetic at times, and his pocket presence is average at best. Doesn’t feel blindside pressure well, and takes a lot of hits and sacks and is prone to giving up fumbles because of backside pressure. Can be indecisive in deciding whether to scramble or find someone downfield.
However, he’s a very tough player who will make an attempt to keep his eye level downfield and stare down the gun-barrel even after getting hit a lot early in the game (see Oklahoma). Still inconsistent as an anticipation thrower, but he displays the willingness and ability to make stick throws over the middle of the field. Willingness and ability to attack deep forces defenses to cover 100 x 53.
Excels at track – broke many state HS track records and is the holder of the NCAA Midwest Regional 400-meter hurdles record. Participated and advanced to the semi-finals for Olympic tryouts.
2008: 12 games, 160-267, 60%, 2091 yards, 7.8 YPA, 15 TDs, 3 INTs; 173 rushes, 843 yards, 13 TDs, 4.9 YPC
2009: 3 games, 45-69, 65.2%, 481 yards, 7.0 YPA, 4 TDs, 0 INTs; 27 rushes, 77 yards, 2 TDs, 2.9 YPC
2010: 13 games, 305-454, 67%, 3501 yards, 7.7 YPA, 22 TDs, 8 INTs; 139 rushes, 635 yards, 8 TDs, 4.3 YPC
2011: 13 games, 291-402, 72%, 4293 yards, 10.7 YPA, 37 TDs, 6 INTs; 179 rushes, 699 yards, 3.9 YPC, 10 TDs
Graduated with a 3.67 GPA in political science. Has considered entering law school.
Awards and Honors
2011: Heisman Trophy winner, 2011 Davey O’Brien Award winner
2010: Semifinalist for Maxwell Award, Semifinalist for Walter Campbell Player of the Year, 2010 Baylor’s Kyle Woods Inspirational Leader
2008: Sporting News and Rivals.com freshman first team All-American, Big 12 gold medalist (400m hurdles), Track & Field All-American (400m hurdles), Baylor Offensive MVP