Tracking Baylor Football Players in the 2012 NFL Draft
We are hours away from the kickoff of the 2012 NFL draft! This slideshow will cover Baylor University players when they are projected and actually selected during the draft. Baylor is expected to have one, maybe two, players selected in the first round: Robert Griffin III and Kendall Wright. RG3 is a lock at the No. 2 pick to the Washington Redskins.
However, there are other Baylor players that should go after the first round. Those expected to go in the 2012 NFL draft are:
- Robert Griffin III, QB
- Kendall Wright, WR
- Phillip Blake, OL
- Terrance Ganaway, RB
As the draft progresses, this slideshow will be updated when a player from Baylor is selected. Also, information about the player will also be given so that fans of the teams that draft each player knows what to expect from their draftee.
Stay tuned and enjoy the 2012 NFL draft!
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Robert Griffin III, QB, Drafted by Washington Redskins, No. 3 Overall
Heisman Trophy winner. Conqueror of Texas and Oklahoma. Franchise quarterback.
There's not much Robert Griffin III hasn't accomplished in the last year, as he took Baylor from a dormant football program to a Big 12 superpower, almost single-handedly. The man they call RG3 has the tools to be one of the NFL's most electric and productive players at the position.
Ignore the running ability first, because Griffin is much more than a rushing threat. The comparisons you'll hear to Michael Vick and Cam Newton are off base, as RG3 is much more of a pocket passer than either of those two were coming out of college. RG3's footwork in the pocket isn't great when he's asked to get depth off the snap, but he has the quickness and agility to quickly learn the fundamentals of a five- or seven-step drop.
Watching RG3's arm, it's easy to be impressed. He has a super-quick release with a clean release point, and amazing follow through. He backs that up with elite arm strength and zip when throwing to all levels. His touch on deep throws is scary good.
Griffin is talked up as a runner, but the most exciting aspect of his game isn't what he does outside the pocket, but the throws he makes from all over the field.
Griffin has the athletic ability and arm to be an elite starter early in his NFL career.
The Redskins gave up a lot to grab their quarterback of the future, but if RGIII is able to translate his considerable gifts into success at the NFL level, Washington will finally have their franchise quarterback. However, as Griffin said himself, first he'll need to beat out Rex Grossman.
Kendall Wright, WR, Drafted by Tennessee Titans, No. 20 Overall
The Robert Griffin III era has turned the Baylor football program into a veritable pipeline of NFL talent. Griffin will join the league this year along with his No. 1 receiver, Kendall Wright. Wright actually started as a freshman in 2008 before RG3 took the helm, and set Baylor career receiving records far beyond what anyone had accomplished before his arrival. Wright is only 5'10", but he is solidly built and should be able stay outside a la Santonio Holmes or Steve Smith. He would also be lethal in the slot in the mold of Victor Cruz.
Scouting reports reveal that Wright is a complete player beyond limitations that come from his frame, functional strength and what he was asked to do at Baylor.
• Just average height but good bulk and a solid build
• Explosive athlete w/ great speed, quickness, burst
• Excellent agility and terrific change of direction skills
• Elusive and can be incredibly difficult to corral in space
• Dangerous vertical threat who can stretch the field
• Decent hands and does nice job of locating the ball
• Versatile and is able to excel both outside or in slot
• Tough and not afraid to work the middle or take a hit
• Super competitive and is very confident in his abilities
• Also offers potential as a return man on special teams
• Productive w/ lots of experience versus top competition
• A small frame with short arms and small hands
• Must work on polishing raw route running skills
• Will drop some passes due to poor concentration
• Is not very strong and will get pushed around
• Won't offer very much when it comes to blocking
Wright is very adept at getting separation downfield. He is very good at running go routes and stop-and-go routes. Even when cornerbacks give Wright a sizable cushion, he eats up the space quickly and gets onto corners before they expect. There weren't any defensive backs whom Wright played in 2011 that really held him down. Despite being undersized, Wright never missed a game with an injury during his collegiate career.
He has the production and experience that you like to see from a wide receiver. He has played through some mild injuries and is a tough competitor. He is versatile having played both outside and in the slot. Wright would be a very valuable weapon for any team. He will bring an ability to get behind the defense and blow the top off of coverages a lot, similar to what Titus Young has accomplished this year with the Lions. He has the mental toughness along with the ability to make an immediate impact at a position that usually requires time to develop.
Wright will be an instant impact rookie as a punt returner and slot receiver. He could start early in his rookie year depending on how much his offense asks of him in terms of diversity of routes. His speed and open-field running makes him the kind of player that a team finds ways to use even if they aren't ready to handle all of the responsibilities of a starter.
Long-term, Wright can be an extremely productive starting wide receiver who impacts the game in various ways. His ability to both threaten defenses deep and turn short catches into long gains will keep cornerbacks off balance and make him a player that they must always account for in their game plan. With a good quarterback, Wright could easily spend a long time among the top 10-20 most productive receivers in the NFL.
I like this pick. Titans need more offensive playmakers, especially on the perimeter, and Wright fits the bill. Best case scenario is that he and Jake Locker team up to make one of the most explosive tandems in the AFC for years to come.
Philip Blake, OL, Drafted by Denver Broncos, No. 108 Overall
Baylor center Philip Blake is a big-bodied offensive lineman who possesses natural power. In 2011, Blake was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by league coaches.
The center was one of the keys in Baylor's high-powered offense, and Blake's stock has risen due to his Senior Bowl and combine performances.
The 6'2", 311-pounder has good size and base to take on nose tackles, and is quick to engage. Blake has the quickness and mobility to move to the second level as well.
Combine Numbers: 40-yard dash: 5.18 seconds. 20-yard shuttle: 4.67 seconds. 3-cone drill: 7.89 seconds. Bench press: 22 reps. Broad jump: 105". Vertical jump: 29.5"
Blake is a large body who fits well on his blocks. Once there, he can sustain and fight to stay involved. He is quick when pulling. He will stay in front and mirror defenders in his pass set and has been a stalwart for Griffin and the Baylor offense up front.
Still a developing talent, displaying average athletic ability and skill sets across the board. He's had a tough time against more athletic movers throughout his career and will need time before starting at the next level.
Blake has good size and is improving at center. Still relatively new at the position, he needs some more improvement, but has shown he is capable. He is versatile enough to play center or guard at the next level, and has the potential to be a starter one day.
Ranked No. 130 on Matt Miller's Big Board, Blake may be older (26), but that means he will bring maturity along with him, not to mention that he'll help add some competitive fire to training camp and galvanize the Broncos' line.
Terrance Ganaway, RB, Drafted by N.Y. Jets, No. 202 Overall
First and foremost, Terrance Ganaway is an absolute load at running back. At 6'0", 245 pounds, Ganaway is a monster, bullying back who has the size to be an effective short-yardage runner in the NFL. He might not project as an every-down player because he offers little more than straight-line, pile-moving running, but he can be an effective weapon for a team that needs to add toughness to its running game.
In other words, if you need three yards, Ganaway can get you three yards. If you need seven yards, Ganaway can get you three yards.
Ganaway was only a one-year starter at Baylor, so it is possible he could still develop an all-around game. But his lack of versatility might hinder him at first. For a big back, he doesn't grade well in the blocking game and has little-to-no ability to be effective as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
He ran a disappointing 4.67 at the scouting combine, but improved that to a 4.47 at Baylor's pro day. He probably rates somewhere in between those two numbers on a consistent basis, which isn't bad for a 245-pounder.
What the Experts are Saying
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had Ganaway rated as the No. 16 running back and projected him as a fifth-round pick.
Pro Football Weekly also projected Ganaway as a fifth-rounder, and offered the following evaluation:
Big, strong, thickly built power back who runs like a bull in a china shop — has to square his shoulders and roll downhill to be effective. Lacks special-teams utility and could require patience, but could fill a two-down, between-the-tackles role in a man-blocking scheme.
Dane Brugler of CBSSports.com writes that Ganaway possesses all the features you'd expect from a back of his dimensions.
Runs balanced and close to the ground with the natural strength to stay on his feet through contact as defenders slip off of him. He's a load to tackle and easily runs through arm tackles. Has good vision to find the hole and get north/south. Gets good initial push and always seems to be falling forward for a positive gain. A hard runner with a workhorse-type back mentality.
Bulger also offers the following criticisms of the former Baylor Bear.
Will run with inconsistent pad level at times and struggle to get through the line of scrimmage at the next level. Needs to watch his weight and stay conditioned. Has limited experience catching the ball out of the backfield and needs to improve his technique in pass protection.
Expected Impact as a Rookie
Ganaway's size makes him a candidate to have an immediate impact in the NFL. If he proves to be reliable in securing the football, he can expect a number of touches at the goal line and in key short-yardage situations.
He might be relatively inexperienced, but his size and running style are too tempting to simply bury him on a practice squad while he gets up to speed.
Expect Ganaway to get a long look in preseason games, and if he proves to be a quick study, he will see immediate impact as a role player in his first pro season.
Ganaway fills a need for the Jets, who have a thin backfield. Shonn Greene will get the majority of the carries, but after that, the number two job is up for grabs. Ganaway probably has the inside track at this point.
Robert Griffin, OL, Drafted by N.Y. Jets, No. 203 Overall
Robert T. Griffin was selected by the N.Y. Jets in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. More information will be forthcoming.