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The Early Lead
Posted at 04:35 PM ET, 01/11/2012

Robert Griffin III will enter 2012 NFL draft


Robert Griffin III is moving on to the NFL. (Kelly Kline - AP)
Baylor Bears junior quarterback Robert Griffin III announced his decision to forego his senior season by declaring himself eligible for the 2012 NFL draft.

At a Wednesday press conference in Waco, Texas, the talented dual-threat quarterback made official what had been suspected long before he became the first Baylor player to win the Heisman Trophy.

“It was a tough decision,” Griffin said. “I love the people at this university, love my coach for giving me a chance to be a quarterback.”

Griffin’s announcement will likely spark an immediate bidding war for the St. Louis Rams’ No. 2 overall draft pick among teams desperate to land a franchise quarterback in a draft class depleted by the decisions of several top players to return to college.

This season the 6-foot-2, 220-pound dual-threat quarterback completed more than 72 percent of his passes this season, throwing for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns to lead the Bears to a 10-3 record and their first bowl victory in 19 years. The fourth-year junior rushed for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns this season and set dozens of school records.

At the Heisman ceremony, Griffin’s Superman socks earned almost as many headlines as him winning the award. His choice of footwear during Wednesday’s presser, however, didn’t come off quite as well. (See the socks here.)

Griffin may be the most coveted player in the draft after near-consensus top pick Andrew Luck — who is expected to go to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 1 overall.

With his stellar season — which included a record-breaking performance in the Bears’ Alamo Bowl win — Griffin’s draft stock skyrocketed. The recent announcements that USC’s Matt Barkley and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones will return for their senior seasons only increased his value for NFL teams eager to find a franchise quarterback.

The Browns, Dolphins and Redskins are among the teams considered to be eying the Rams’ No. 2 pick, but others may also be in the mix.

More from Washington Post Sports:

Early Lead: Report: Robert Griffin III will enter NFL draft

Early Lead: Luck or Griffin: Whom should Colts take at No. 1?

Early Lead: Griffin ponders NFL draft after wild bowl win

D.C. Sports Bog: Robert Griffin III discusses the Redskins

By  |  04:35 PM ET, 01/11/2012

 
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