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Saturday, December 20, 2014         

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Heisman winner Griffin has impressive Pro Day

By Stephen Hawkins

Associated Press

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WACO, Texas >> Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III was smiling, slapping hands with his receivers and making precise throws.

Just what Griffin had planned for his pro day, when he finally threw Wednesday for NFL personnel. That included owner Dan Snyder and coach Mike Shanahan from the Washington Redskins, who traded three first-round picks and a second-rounder for the No. 2 overall pick in next month's draft, presumably to get the dual-threat quarterback from Baylor.

Griffin was sharp throwing a scripted 51 passes he had been working on with quarterback consultant Terry Shea. Only a few balls even hit the ground.

"I always said I didn't have anything to prove at pro day. That's why it's so easy," Griffin said. "It's really not stressful. ... The game tape speaks for itself. Really not proving, just show everybody I have been working."

Throughout his 30-minute session, with music playing that he selected, Griffin was at ease while making the kind of throws expected in the NFL. He threw from different drops and on the run.

Griffin finished with a play not listed on the playsheet, but one reflective of the good time he was having. The final play was a throwback when he caught a deep pass from teammate Kendall Wright, another potential first-round pick. It was how they liked to end their throwing sessions at Baylor, and a play they pulled off in a couple of games.

New Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano was among a group from the Colts at Baylor's pro day. Now without Peyton Manning, they are expected to take Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck from Stanford first overall.

Luck's pro day is scheduled Thursday, which had been the original date of Baylor's pro day before Griffin opted several weeks ago to move his up a day to avoid a conflict.

Neither Griffin nor Luck threw at the NFL combine last month in Indianapolis.

Snyder and Shanahan met with Griffin and his parents Tuesday night. They spoke to him briefly after he came onto the field before the throwing session Wednesday that was part of a pro day that included about a dozen other players.

"They gave up a lot of picks to be able to move up to that spot to pick a player," Griffin said. "And if it happens to be me, they showed me that I can definitely get along with them."

Griffin grew up watching Shanahan coach the Denver Broncos and Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.

"Since Elway, he hasn't had that guy you would associate him with," Griffin said. "Hopefully, I can be that guy, if I'm available at that spot, and I'll be excited to be that guy. It would be pretty cool to be that guy he can nurture and build up when he gets in the league."

When Griffin was done throwing, Snyder and Shanahan left without commenting. But they had to be impressed with what they saw.

"The throws he made were all bona fide NFL-type throws. He's going to be a superstar at the next level," said former NFL quarterback Ron Jaworski, an analyst for ESPN. "He put on a clinical exhibition here today. That Redskins contingency left here all with big smiles on their faces."

Washington completed a deal last week with the St. Louis Rams, giving up a lot to move up four slots to No. 2 overall on April 26.

When asked if his pro day performance put more pressure on Luck to impress Thursday, Griffin responded, "Nah, no pressure. ... He'll go out and dazzle you guys like we hope we did today."

Still, Griffin hasn't completely given up on the possibility of being the No. 1 overall pick.

"It's kind of down to two teams it seems," Griffin said. "It is a sit-and-wait game now, but when you've done all you can and you feel like you put your best foot forward, what else can you ask for."

Wright had a disappointing 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine, but redeemed himself with a time under 4.5 seconds Wednesday. He also had a highlight-worthy one-handed grab during Griffin's session before the on-target throw of his own.

With his pro day behind him, Griffin will keep working out, but probably won't throw or lift weights as much in the next few weeks while waiting for the draft. He finally gets time to reflect on his final season at Baylor, including his Heisman Trophy and only the second 10-win season in 112 years of Baylor football.

"It will be a lot calmer," he said. "I think everything will start sinking in. I don't think it's sunk in I won the Heisman. I'll be able to look back on the season and appreciate those things."
 






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