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RG3 looking for a suitor; Athletic Baylor QB can play and talk

Robert Griffin III showed up at the NFL Scouting Combine this week intent on wooing his next employer.

"I hope somebody falls in love with me other than my fiancee," Griffin joked Friday. "That's what you want. As a player you want a team that really wants you. Head coach, GM, owner, everybody that really wants you in that place and the players believe in you. That's what I'm looking forward to. I'm looking forward to making somebody fall in love with me."

What is not to love about the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Baylor University?

"This is the best throwing athlete I've seen come out in awhile," said former NFL coach Brian Billick. "Far better than Michael Vick, in my opinion. Far better than Cam Newton. This guy has as pure a throwing motion for an athletic quarterback as I've seen. Clearly has the intelligence to transition. Very intrigued with him."

Griffin -- known as RG3 -- has a rare blend of size and speed. He measured 6-foot-2 3/8 inches and 223 pounds. He's a former Big 12 Conference champion in the 400 meter hurdles, and he rushed for 18 touchdowns the last two seasons. He has a big arm, and he's accurate, having completed 72.4 percent of his passes last season with 37 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

Off the field, he's just as impressive. Griffin earned his bachelor's degree in political science in three years, graduating with a 3.67 grade-point average in December 2010. He spent the past year working on a master's degree in communications and he would like to get a law degree.

"Athletically, he's as good as I've seen," said Houston Texans coach Gary Kubiak. "He's tremendous from that standpoint. His throwing motion is excellent. He makes all the throws: the big throws, the small throws. One thing about that young man, he'll fit in any scheme he wants to do."

Griffin showed off his charming personality in a 15-minute interview with reporters at Lucas Oil Stadium. He showed up wearing Ninja Turtles socks; colorful socks being his sartorial trademark. "It's to show I'm comfortable with who I am, I'm comfortable in my own skin," he said. "The socks are just a representation of that."

He referenced '70s quarterbacking star Kenny Stabler, a nice touch for a guy born in 1990. He deftly deflected the offbeat question: "Who are you?"

"What? That sounds like a paper from my English class," Griffin smiled.

Griffin is the son of two U.S. Army veterans. Robert Griffin II spent 21 years in the army, served in the Iraq war in 2003 and now counsels veterans. Griffin III was born in Okinawa, Japan, and the family settled in Central Texas about 14 years ago.

"Military kid, both my parents were in the military," Griffin III says. "Mom did 12 years, dad did 21, served in two wars. Discipline was something that was obviously huge. If you say you're going to do something, you do it. If you start it, you finish it. Yes, sir, no ma'am. You've got to have that kind of structure in your life. It kind of helped me be that disciplined person I am, whether it's with workouts, film, or just the game of football."

Griffin is the central figure in the 2012 draft. After Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck goes No. 1 overall, there figures to be a bidding war to get up to No. 2 to take Griffin. Cleveland, Washington and Miami are among the quarterback-needy teams that could try to move up.

Asked how he would fit into a West Coast, quick-passing scheme, Griffin said: "West Coast offenses with Washington and Cleveland, highly concept-based, long verbiage in the plays. But other than that, once you get into a system, it's easy to learn it. I'm not saying I'm going to open the playbook and know it immediately. Once you can get on the field and start going through the routes and the protections that you're going to have to run in those types of offenses, it comes to you a lot sooner."

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock points out the adjustment Griffin will have to make in going from Baylor's spread passing attack to the NFL.

"The question I have is he doesn't throw with anticipation, mostly because he doesn't have to in that offense," Mayock said. "There's minimal footwork. They spread it out so wide. He's got some talented, gifted receivers. He's got great touch and accuracy medium and deep. He's got arm strength. He's got athletic ability. He's tough. He takes hits. He doesn't anticipate throws. He waits until they develop and then he throws. So my only question with him is: Will he develop that?"

Griffin admits he has faced plenty of questions from scouts about Baylor's offense. What does he have to convince them about?

"That our offense isn't simple," he said. "It's not the traditional spread where we're in shotgun all the time, although we are in shotgun a lot. So is Tom Brady and Eli Manning in the Super Bowl, but that's beside the point. Just that it's not a simple offense. I'm not going to try to make it seem difficult. But I'll explain it to them, whether it's protections, progressions and what I'm doing out there. It's not as simple as everybody makes it seem."

Projecting success for Griffin is easier than getting in position to pick him.

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com