ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper revealed his newest Big Board this week, and it has one very notable new member.
Down at No. 19, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has cracked the list of the top 25 draft-eligible prospects in college football.
...some may point to Robert Griffin III completing an astonishing 80.3 percent of passes this year as evidence of a dramatic jump in his accuracy, I'd point out something else: accuracy was never a big issue. After all, last year Griffin was at 67.0 percent, and was well above 60 percent for his career headed into this year. What has changed is an improved delivery, and the demonstration that he can throw the deep ball accurately. In some college offenses, short passing completely dominates, and the stats can tell you close to nothing. You really have to go through a lot of tape and see what kinds of throws a kid can make. For Griffin, even the stats back it up: his YPA has jumped to 10.70. He was never higher than 7.83 going into 2011.
Combine Griffin's overall growth with his brilliant athleticism, leadership and smarts and you have a prospect on the rise.
He later adds:
Super athletic and has altered and improved his delivery, resulting in better accuracy on downfield throws. Smart kid who will shine during interviews. No ill effects from 2009 knee injury. Showcase games await.
Agree on all counts.
The rest of the Big 12 players on the board remained constant, but here's a look at what Kiper had to say.
No. 4: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Great showcase game in Dallas. Jones has been a big numbers producer, but I like the way he's battled in some tough games so far in 2011. He has good size and a strong arm and has fantastic accuracy.
No. 5: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Huge games await for Blackmon, a better prospect than recent OSU star Dez Bryant. Versatile and explosive and really works to get open. Great ball skills; breaks tackles. Exceptional work ethic; keeps getting better.
No. 16: Ronnell Lewis, DE/LB, Oklahoma
Showed plenty against Texas after a so-so start to the year. A DE at Oklahoma, he'll take his elite athleticism to outside linebacker at the next level. Too quick for many tackles, he should pile up sacks in a 3-4 scheme.