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Griffin will be combine's star attraction

Baylor University quarterback Robert Griffin III will grab the biggest spotlight starting today when the NFL Scouting Combine is held at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Even though Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a virtual lock to be the first overall pick when the NFL draft begins April 26, Griffin is the focus of the drama in the draft.

There is a good chance some team will trade up to make him the second overall pick. St. Louis owns the No. 2 pick but does not need a quarterback. The pick is for sale. Cleveland has the fourth pick and Washington the sixth. Those two quarterback-needy teams are considered the favorites to move up to get their franchise QB.

Which team will fall most in love with the Heisman Trophy-winning Griffin? And what will it cost to get him? These are the questions that will be debated over the next two months.

Griffin will not throw during drills in front of NFL scouts this week. Neither will Luck. But this week's evaluation process will be important because Griffin gets the chance to impress his prospective new employers during 15-minute interview sessions with each team.

"The reality with this kid is from all I see on tape, I love everything," said Mike Mayock, NFL Network draft analyst, on a conference call with reporters last week. "I love everything about the kid."

"He's got great touch and accuracy medium and deep," Mayock said. "He's got arm strength. He's got athletic ability. He's tough. He'll stay in the pocket and take hits. We all know he can run."

Griffin is among 333 draft-eligible players invited to Indianapolis this week to be evaluated by the 32 NFL teams. Each player runs a 40-yard dash and performs various strength, agility and on-field tests. The players undergo medical and psychological testing, too. The 32 teams get to conduct 60 player interviews, too, each lasting 15 minutes.

Bills General Manager Buddy Nix leads Buffalo's contingent of scouts and coaches in Indianapolis. The Bills have the 10th overall pick.

The on-field speed testing and football drills are conducted by position. On Saturday the testing includes offensive linemen, kickers, punters, long snappers and tight ends. On Sunday, the quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers work on the field. On Monday it's the defensive linemen and linebackers. On Tuesday the defensive backs get timed.

Mayock thinks interior defensive line is the most well-stocked position in the draft.

"I think defensive tackle is really, really deep this year," he said. "Conversely, I'm not big on the defensive ends."

"There are a lot of question marks after the first four wide receivers," Mayock said. "There are a lot of big wide receivers who will need to run well at the combine to help their status.

"It's similar at cornerback. There's three corners everybody thinks are first-round corners, and then after that you kind of pick your flavor."

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com