It’s rare to hear anything that isn’t glowing about future Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III. He won the Heisman. He’s exceedingly dangerous both throwing and running with the ball. He was the player most responsible for Baylor turning from a perpetual Big 12 doormat to a 10-3 team last year. Off the field, he graduated in three years and spent this past year in grad school. He even delighted fans everywhere with his unique choice in socks and inability to keep it together while filming school projects.
Indeed, about the only misgivings anyone expressed about Griffin’s future as an NFL player involved him playing in a spread offense in college, rather than a pro-style system. And hey, that didn’t hurt Cam Newton last year, so basically everyone’s been bullish on Griffin – until today.
Today, in one of the many, many prospect breakdowns that get published leading up to the draft, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob McGinn mentioned two scouts who had some doubts about Griffin not only as a quarterback, but a person: one who said he has a “selfish streak” and another who “questioned the way Griffin deals with people.” And the general reaction was along the lines of: oh great, this crap again. Some said it exemplified everything they hate about the leadup to the draft. Others noted McGinn’s “willingness to report just about whatever he’s told.” Some people just made jokes.
It’s not tough to see why. Pretty much everything we’ve heard and seen of Griffin has been great. There’s been no reason to believe otherwise. Why would all these issues suddenly pop up now, a week before the draft? Of course we don’t know Griffin personally, so we can’t say for sure, but it sure didn’t seem like anyone who interacted with Griffin previously thought he’d dealt with them questionably. And the idea that perhaps people were afraid to criticize Griffin after those who picked apart Newton last year were proven so wrong so quickly is an interesting one, but wouldn’t the voices of dissent have gotten out before this?
Of course… either way, it doesn’t really matter.
It’s not like the Redskins are going to read the opinions of a couple scouts and suddenly clam up. They sacrificed a lot specifically to build their future around Griffin. That’s still what they’re going to do, and our guess is they’ll be rewarded handsomely for doing so. So yes, this is just the draft process – everyone needing talking points to satiate obsessive fans, teams always jockeying for good position and good PR, and leaks to the media meant to achieve those ends. In a week, all that’s over. Until then, it’s probably best to take in every bit of draft-related information – especially if it’s anonymous – with a skeptical ear.