Pro Day madness overruns Baylor

Former receiver Kendall Wright catches a ball thrown by former quarterback Robert Griffin III during Pro Day. Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor
Former receiver Kendall Wright catches a ball thrown by former quarterback Robert Griffin III during Pro Day.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

By Tyler Alley
Sports Editor

“They said it was the biggest pro day of all time at Baylor.”

Those words came from quarterback Robert Griffin III at Baylor’s Pro Day on Wednesday. And he was right.

More than 100 media members poured into the Allison Indoor Facility to watch Baylor’s pro prospects run drills and showcase their talent for the NFL scouts.

“Honestly, it’s something that our football program has earned,” head football coach Briles said. “When you go out and accomplish things that our guys accomplished on the field, and you have the talent level that we’ve got stored at Baylor right now, then these kind of things happen.”

ESPN and NFL Network were among the media outlets that attended the pro day. ESPN football analyst Ron Jaworski said it was great to see Baylor receiving as much attention as it did.

“If you would have said five years ago, ‘Hey, we’re going to be at Baylor University on March 21, and the women’s basketball team is going to be in the NCAA and the men’s basketball team in the NCAA, and we’re going to be honoring a Heisman Trophy winner that’s likely to go one or two in the Draft,’ I would have said, ‘What are you drinking?’” Jaworski said.

All 32 NFL teams were represented at the event, but the Washington Redskins brought the most prominent members of their organization, including owner Dan Snyder, general manager Bruce Allen, head coach Mike Shanahan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan.

Former quarterback Robert Griffin III performs passes for NFL scouts during Pro Day Wednesday at the Allison Indoor Football Practice Facility.
Matt Hellman | Lariat Photo Editor

It makes sense that the Redskins would show so much interest, as the team traded four draft picks to the St. Louis Rams to move up to the second overall pick in the draft and most likely take Griffin.

Griffin was the “headliner” of the day, participating only in throwing drills during the latter portion of the event.

Though Griffin said he had nothing to prove, he still had a strong showing, throwing 84 passes with 78 completions in scripted pass plays.

“We had a lot of fun. That’s what it’s supposed to be,” Griffin said. “It’s not supposed to be stressful. … Lighten the mood. Have guys smiling and having fun. That way if you drop a pass here or there, you can move on to the next one. And we never missed two in a row.”

Many of Griffin’s throws went in the direction of receiver Kendall Wright, who was looking to improve his draft stock after running a 4.6 second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine. At the pro day, Wright was clocked at 4.46 and 4.40. “I knew Kendall could run a 4.4 if he had to,” Griffin said. “He just had a bad day at the Combine.”

Wright also dazzled the fans with a one-handed catch during the passing drills.

“Coach Briles always told me play fast and good things will happen,” Wright said.

Running back Terrance Ganaway also participated in drills. He ran a 4.47 40-yard dash, which is seen as an impressive time, especially for a 240-pound back.

“Just working hard. Just going out, showing people I can catch and I can run a little bit,” Ganaway said. “I’m not really worried about too many things. I think they’re going to fall in love with me off of film and not really what I do here.”

Briles said he hoped the hype surrounding the pro day would help lure more recruits to Baylor.

“In our business, that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about recruiting,” Briles said. “We’re on the 2013 class right now. If I was a high school junior right now, I’d be saying, ‘Hey, I want to go to Baylor and get me some of this.’”

Other Baylor participants included: offensive linemen Philip Blake and Robert T. Griffin, defensive linemen Nicholas Jean-Baptiste and Tracy Robertson, linebacker Reggie Rice and running back Isaac Williams.

Linebacker Elliot Coffey was measured but did not participate in drills due to a shoulder injury.