We’re now a week away from the NFL Draft, and the day that Robert Griffin III is expected to become a Washington Redskin.
Earlier this week, my colleague Rick Maese spent time with the Baylor quarterback in Griffin’s hometown of Copperas Cove, Texas. Griffin talked about the prospects of playing in D.C., his familiarity with the area and what the weeks leading up to the draft have been like for him.
Here’s what Maese passes along to us:
Though the draft’s first round is slated for next Thursday, Griffin said this week he feels relatively calm and the draft hasn’t been too unnerving.
“It was until the trade happened,” he said, referring to the Redskins -Rams deal last month that moved Washington up to second overall. “Because then it was just narrowed down to two.”
Griffin said if the Redskins hadn’t made the trade, his nerves would be a lot less steady because he could have landed in Indianapolis, Washington, Miami, Cleveland or somewhere else.
“But once the trade happened, it kind of settled me down to where it’s one or the other,” he said. “I’m either going to Indianapolis or going to Washington DC. It makes it a lot easier, and you kind of feel like you know where you’re going to go.”
Earlier this morning, ESPN reported that the Colts have told Andrew Luck that they will take him first overall, which would clear the Redskins’ path to Griffin.
Griffin has met several times this month with members of the Redskins’ front office and coaching staff, as each side works to become familiar with the other. Griffin said he’s plenty familiar with the area. He has a grandmother in Richmond, a sister in Philadelphia and a cousin at Howard University.
“I’ve got connections there. It’ll be really cool,” he said. “Maybe me and the president can actually live up to that deal we made. I challenged him to a basketball game, but he said he wouldn’t play against me, he’d play with me. So 2-on-2, whoever wants it, let’s go.”
Griffin met President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast in February. Needless to say, he doesn’t think he’d have a problem making the Washington area his home.
“Having lived in so many different places, you just go in it, see what’s going on and you find your niche,” said Griffin, whose family moved often because his parents are in the military. “And just not where you fit in. You just try to make your niche who you are. If you’re a cool, calm laid-back person, you go into that niche. And that’s what I’m looking forward to doing and building that leadership with the team I go to.”
Griffin is scheduled to head to New York Sunday. The days leading up to draft week have been hectic. He spent part of Monday in his hometown with a television crew from the NFL Network. On Tuesday, he had what might amount to his last day off, so he lifted weights at Baylor University, his alma mater. On Wednesday he flew to Florida where he was expected to take part in Gatorade-sponsored athletic performance testing at the IMG Academies.
“It’s been crazy,” he said. “Just try to have fun with it as much as I can, where I can crack a joke and have the time pass by in a good manner instead of being dry. ...It’s tough sometimes. I got up this morning and didn’t want to do half the stuff I had to do today. But you have to realize it’s for a reason. It’s about more people than yourself. If I come to you guys with a bad attitude, you’re going to have a bad attitude towards me the rest of the day and everybody’s going to be mad and you’re going to be like, ‘I don’t ever want to work with Robert Griffin again.’
“I don’t want it to be that way. I want people to have fun, be like, ‘Oh, we got Robert Griffin!’”