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Griffin makes Rams' No. 2 pick a very valuable asset

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by -X-, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. -X- Not into the whole brevity thing.

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    Peter King
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2012/w ... z1naxElL69

    [flv]http://ht.cdn.turner.com/si/big/video/nfl/2012/02/24/022412.peter_king_combine.SportsIllustrated.640x360.mp4[/flv]
    SI.com's Peter King breaks down the most valuable aspects of the NFL Combine.

    INDIANAPOLIS -- I met with both star quarterbacks at the combine Saturday night and came away impressed, as anyone would be. Anyone. It's impossible to not like Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin III. Luck is humble; you can tell he's uneasy saying nice things about himself, or things designed to paint him as the Next Big Thing in the NFL. Griffin's humble too, but charismatically so; he has no problem telling you anything you want to know about him.

    Two moments I liked.

    1. I was asking Luck, in his agent's hotel room, about a lot of things educational -- his reading habits, his college experience, living in Germany and England in his formative years, the fact that his Stanford coach, David Shaw, told me that out of high school Stanford was competing with Rice and Northwestern and not the football factories for Luck.

    And so Luck could tell what road I was going down: Smart kid, apple-polisher, would always have the architecture degree to fall back on if the football thing fell through. And almost like he could read my intentions, he swatted them away. Not in a derisive way, but just to make sure I understood him. "Yes, school's important,'' he said. "But football's always been more important. The more I play, the more I love it. I've gotten to the point where, the more you learn about the game, the less you know. I love it. I want to learn more about it all the time. So, yes, academics were important in our household. Both of my parents were lawyers. They went to school forever. Stanford, Silicon Valley, the opportunities they presented were a big plus. But on top of that, coach [Jim] Harbaugh was so infectious. The staff was so good. If I didn't think we could win there, I wouldn't have gone.''

    2. I met Griffin at the Athletes Performance Institute suite at the Omni Hotel downtown before he went to do his interviews with teams Saturday night. I wondered how he'd adjust from being a big college star to being the center of the universe in his NFL city. "You'll be a savior if you go to a place like Cleveland,'' I said. Griffin smiled. "The word 'savior' was thrown at me when I got to Baylor,'' he said. "My situation there started out a little crazy. We played a high school playoff game at Baylor's football stadium when I was a senior. It was actually just before I enrolled at Baylor when I graduated high school early. We win the playoff game, and after the game, there are maybe 1,000 fans in Baylor stuff in the stands, with signs like, 'We can't wait for you.' So that's been pretty much what I've dealt with even before I got to Baylor. I think I've been pretty prepared for that.''

    Now for some news and notes I picked up in three days at the combine:

    There hasn't been a second pick in the draft this compelling since 1998. [hil]Throw away the draft trade value chart[/hil]. It's meaningless when there's a player creating the buzz of Griffin. Same thing with Ryan Leaf 14 years ago. Forget what Leaf became; he and Peyton Manning, at one point after the college football season, were 1 and 1a on draft boards for any quarterback-needy teams. San Diego was picking third that year and Arizona second. The Cards put the pick up for auction. [hil]To move one spot, San Diego sent two first-round picks, a second- and three-time Pro Bowl running back/returner Eric Metcalf.[/hil]

    The Rams will drive a hard bargain. Cleveland (fourth overall pick), Washington (sixth) and Miami (eighth) will be in the derby to move up; Seattle (12) and a couple of mystery teams could be too. Add the fact that the money involved (four years, about $22 million) is likely to be less than the money paid to the top (current) free agent Matt Flynn, and the market for Griffin will be hopping.

    "The whole paradigm has changed in several ways,'' said Rams COO Kevin Demoff Saturday night. "Griffin could be cheaper than Flynn. The fact that you can get a potential franchise quarterback for what the top picks are paid now makes it easier to justify trading a lot for it.''

    So the Rams hope.

    Demoff thinks there will be three distinct windows to get a deal done. The first, and I think most unlikely, is before the free agency period opens March 13; before Griffin gets hotter at his March 21 Pro Day, a team may choose to try to blow the Rams out of the water with an offer. The second would be after the Pro Day, when all the teams' decision-makers are in one spot, Palm Beach, Fla., at the March 24-28 league meetings. The third: in the days or hours before the April 26 first round.

    "You can't tell what the musical chairs will do,'' said Demoff. "Maybe someone will get left out and need Griffin. You don't know.''

    The Rams have to hope that two top-10 teams in the first round want to compete for the pick. Without that, they won't be able to maximize value. The Rams will trade the pick, for sure. But the size of the ransom will depend on the seriousness of the competition.
     
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