Baylor 'triplets': Smoke and mirrors?

Posted April 19, 2012 @ 2:53 p.m.
Posted By Nolan Nawrocki

Baylor WR Kendall Wright entered the season graded as a consensus third-round pick in the NFL scouting community and RB Terrance Ganaway was barely a blip on the radar. After Robert Griffin III led the Bears to a sensational season that brought the school's first Heisman Trophy to Waco, some of the magic dust sprinkled onto Wright and Ganaway, who also produced career numbers.

Wright began warranting first-round grades from evaluators late in the season, and Ganaway moved as high as the third round in the eyes of some evaluators. Postseason workouts had a sobering effect on both prospects.

The way we hear it, the hype machine has come full circle with Wright, as he remains parked in the third round on a number of draft boards, in large part because of his work ethic and approach.

“Randall Cobb was a lot better,” said one of the league’s best evaluators. “Wright is nowhere near as good with the ball in his hands and (Cobb) lasted 'til the back of the second (round). People are getting snookered — I did the first time I watched (Wright), seeing all the long TDs on the perimeter. Go back and watch how many tackles he really eludes and runs away from and tell me how many you find.”

More concerning to teams than the tape was how few bench-press reps Wright performed at his pro day, after electing not to participate in the bench-press test at the NFL Scouting Combine. He registered a mere four reps, which would have stood as the worst of the Combine, three fewer than Virginia CB Chase Minnifield.

Even more worrisome than his lack of strength was his 16 percent body fat, one of the highest percentages for a receiver in the past decade and indicative of a lack of discipline. The average Bod Pod test for a receiver is in the single digits. Purdue’s Keith Smith recorded the highest mark among receivers a year ago at 14.1 percent and stood 214 pounds. Smaller receivers like Wright, who measured 5-10 1/4, 197 pounds at Baylor's pro day in late March, are expected to be more sleek.

Ganaway is graded as a consensus fifth-round pick, although some teams remain higher on him, and most would prefer to get him in the sixth.

“Ganaway destroyed the bowl game,” a personnel director said, “but he did not get touched on any runs. I don’t like one-year producers.”

Griffin is locked into the second overall spot and warranted top-five grades from the evaluation community. However, he, too, has his detractors.

"His hands are small, he had the most fumbles of any of the quarterbacks in this year's draft, and he's also the Big 12 quarterback that has to go play in the cold," one savvy evaluator said. "But I'm the only one in our building that has a lot of concerns."

Said another veteran executive, "He's worth a first-round pick and probably top-10, but I don’t know if he is a great game-breaker yet, and I don't like the way he runs. He is a long-striding track guy who takes four steps to get going. He does not have great initial quick-running ability. And in my opinion, he holds the ball too long. But he can definitely throw it and lay it in. … I did not grade him as high as Donovan (McNabb) when he was coming out."

Nonetheless, Griffin will get the opportunity to prove that he can be better than McNabb in Washington. His Baylor mates might not be as fortunate on Draft Day.