According to multiple reports, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has opted to forgo his senior season with the Bears and will petition to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, Griffin is considered a top-10 pick who could potential go within the first two or three picks.
Now that the dual-threat quarterback has declared himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft, the No. 2 pick (currently held by the St. Louis Rams) becomes much more valuable as teams will seek to land the play-making gunslinger. With a number of quarterback-needy teams near the top of the draft, the Rams will be expecting a king’s ransom in return for their spot in line.
Although Griffin’s draft stock will certainly fluctuate as predraft workouts begin, it’s unlikely that he’ll fall out of the Top 10 unless a serious injury arises or a major flaw is discovered in his ability to play quarterback.
During the 2011 season, Griffin threw for 4,293 yards, 37 touchdowns and only six interceptions while completing 291 of his 402 passes (72.4% complete). When all was said and done he had compiled a quarterback rating of 189.5 on the season, second only to Russell Wilson’s 191.8. He also wreaked havoc on the ground for the Bears, totaling 699 yards and 10 touchdowns on 179 carries.
This past season, Griffin also punted the ball in emergency situations for the Bears. He averaged 33 yards on three punts, including a long of 39 yards. Although the punting won’t raise any team’s interest in the star quarterback, it is a testament to his versatility and elite athleticism.
Griffin capped off his Heisman-winning 2011 season with a sensational performance against the Washington Huskies in the Valero Alamo Bowl. Although it was considered one of the worst displays of defense in recent college football history, Griffin threw for 295 yards and one touchdown while running for 55 yards and another touchdown in Baylor’s 67-56 victory.
Current underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft.