Perhaps nobody understands the ups and down of being a young quarterback in the NFL better than Robert Griffin III.
The new backup quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens revealed during his introductory news conference that he has been contacted by a couple of the top quarterbacks in this year's draft class for advice.
"The advice I would give them, to keep it short and frank, is [if] they are able to play at a high level in college, they can do that in the pros," Griffin said. "Right now, it’s all about what everybody is saying, and you can get caught up in that. Don’t get caught up in that. It’s about playing the game. Play it at a high level and listen to your coach. Know exactly who you are as a player and know that they’re there to make you better."
Although Griffin wouldn't elaborate on which top quarterback prospects reached out to him, it's not hard to speculate who would want to pick his brain about how to cope with the pressure of living up to expectations. Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen are all quarterbacks expected to be taken quickly off the draft board. Griffin, of course, was selected second overall by the Washington Redskins in 2012 behind consensus No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, who is now the franchise quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.
The Redskins traded a plethora of draft picks in order to move up and select Griffin with the second pick, adding even more pressure on the Baylor product to live up to the hype. The 2011 Heisman Trophy winner quickly adapted to life in the NFL, and became one of the most exciting signal-callers in the league with his ability to scramble for yardage. His career quickly took a turn for the worse, though, after suffering serious knee and ankle injuries. He's now getting a shot at redemption with the Ravens, who inked him to a one-year deal to back up Joe Flacco.
"Everybody wants to be labeled the best quarterback, the best this, the best that," Griffin added. "I see the guys get caught up in that a little bit. You just want to make sure you don’t. It is important to feel a certain kind of way, but where you get drafted, where you go, is as important as the number behind your name. Hopefully, those guys get in a great organization that will take care of them. I want them to succeed and help facilitate that as best as possible. I wish the best for every single one of them."
The NFL Draft gets underway Thursday, April 26, from AT&T stadium in Arlington, Texas. Some mock drafts are projecting six quarterbacks will be taken in the first round alone.
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