WACO, Texas — Robert Griffin III was able to impress teams and scouts without throwing a pass at the NFL combine.
There was his official time of 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash, fastest among quarterbacks, and the Heisman Trophy winner from Baylor believes he ran even faster. And there were interviews with at least eight teams, including the Indianapolis Colts, who have the No. 1 draft pick.
“I think I was able to go out there and affirm to the scouts how athletic I am, or impress them even more,” Griffin said Monday. “I was able to show people that I am as advertised. I’m a good guy, I like to make people laugh. I can’t remember a meeting I didn’t go in and we weren’t laughing.
“You go there and do what you’re supposed to do, create a buzz for yourself,” he said.
Maybe Griffin gave the Colts more to consider amid consistent speculation that they will use the top pick April 26 on Stanford’s Andrew Luck, the Heisman runner-up.
If nothing else, RG3 likely created even more of a premium for the No. 2 pick held by St. Louis. The Rams already have a young quarterback in Sam Bradford and could be willing to deal the pick.
Neither Griffin nor Luck threw over the weekend. They will wait until their pro days in March.
As for his already impressive 40-yard dash, Griffin said he was given a better time when he had finished running. He said his representatives are checking into that.
“I was told on the field that it was 4.35 officially. They told me it was faster than what the screen had posted,” Griffin said. “If that happens to be the right time, that’s nothing to be mad about, 4.41 is a great time. But you want to make sure the right time is put up there.”
Griffin’s pro day will be on the Baylor campus March 21, the day before Luck has his. Among the familiar receivers Griffin will get to throw to is ex-Baylor teammate Kendall Wright, also an NFL prospect.
“This is easy now. … The stress is over,” Griffin said. “If you’re out there stressing on your pro day, then you’re not going to perform well, so I plan on having a little fun. Play a little music while we’re out there throwing the football, have everybody tapping their toes and bobbing their head, and just go out there and make the most of the experience.”
Baylor’s first Heisman Trophy winner was back on campus to do a photo shoot for EA Sports’ NCAA Football 13 game. The game will be released July 10, with Griffin sharing the cover with one of eight former Heisman winners that will be determined by a fan vote.
Asked if he wanted to be posed as a thrower or a runner, Griffin smiled and quickly responded, “Thrower. I’m a quarterback, not a running back.”
While he’s still plenty fast, the former track star has proven he can throw the football.
Griffin is Baylor’s career passing leader, with 10,366 yards, 78 touchdowns and only 17 interceptions. His 2,254 yards and 33 TDs rushing are records for a Bears quarterback. Those are among 54 records he broke or tied in 41 games at Baylor, which matched a school record with 10 wins last season.
Before he had played his first game at Baylor, Griffin was a Big 12 champion in the 400-meter hurdles, then finished third in the NCAA meet and participated in the U.S. Olympic trials in that event. He was a 17-year-old freshman after graduating high school early.
Griffin worked extensively with quarterback consultant Terry Shea to prepare for the combine. The dual-threat quarterback will return to Arizona to keep tuning up for his more scripted pro day.
The interviews at the combine gave Griffin his long-awaited chance to tell NFL teams about Baylor’s potent spread-formation offense, which he felt people misunderstood because of his impressive video game-like numbers.
“I was able to show them that we don’t run a simple spread offense, that we do have pro aspects tied within our offense,” he said. “And my football IQ is high.”
Among the teams Griffin interviewed with were Miami, Washington, Minnesota and Kansas City. He said all went well, including his talk with Indianapolis executives trying to decide what to do with franchise quarterback Peyton Manning and that top pick.
“I had them laughing in there as well,” he said. “I was excited to go in there. You would think that meeting would be a little bit more stressful because of the weight that’s held behind it, but it wasn’t stressful at all. You just go in there and be yourself.
“If they like you, they like you,” he said. “If they don’t and decide to go a different way, that’s just the nature of the game.”