Let’s take a closer look at one of most intriguing prospects of the New Orleans Saints: Ryan Griffin. Westlake Village, California is his hometown where he was born on November 17, 1989. He spent his high school years at the Chaminade College Preparatory School in California where he brought the team to the state semifinals as a junior. After his senior year there he moved to Louisiana for his collegial studies at Tulane University; he recently graduated with a major in business management. In four years he appeared in 42 games with the Green Waves, started 39 of them and set a number of school records.
Curtis Johnson, Griffin’s head coach at Tulane and former Saints’ wide receiver coach, was recently interviewed by Larry Holder, Saints beat writer for NOLA.com: Johnson told the journalist that Ryan is very smart, talented and has what it takes (i.e. sensational footwork, quick release and ability to anticipate throws) to fit perfectly in a West Coast type of offense. He added that Mickey Loomis went to a couple of games to take a look at him and loved what he saw; Sean Payton was there at their Pro Day, asking him a lot of questions about Griffin and was very impressed. “He’s a perfect fit for this team” he concluded.
Sean Payton had words of praise for the young guy before the draft and was pretty sure that some team was gonna pick him sooner or later. He himself would have probably drafted the 6’5” quarterback, had the Saints had more than five picks in this year’s draft. Anyway, turns out Payton was wrong and the Saints have been able to bring him in as an undrafted free agent. As my fellow writer John Hendrix correctly pointed out in a recent article, he will most likely make the practice squad this year, leaving the back up job to either Luke McCown or Seneca Wallace. Just like Chase Daniel did back in 2009. In his four years at Missouri, Daniel put up better numbers than Griffin:
Don’t forget that Griffin played without a lot of talent around him and, in particular, an offensive line that hasn’t been able to provide him the proper protection. Despite that and the fact that he missed three games after suffering a shoulder injury in week 2 at Tulsa, he had a very good senior year (245/394, 2771 yards, 20 TD -11 Int) and the offense with him under center was ranked 33rd overall in passing yards with 279.9 yards per game. He was selected to play at the Texas vs The Nation All-Star Game and led the team to a 24-13 win over Team Texas; in addition he was named MVP, completing 14 of 18 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. In 2012 he participated to the Manning Passing Academy for the second straight year.
It will be interesting to see how the young kid develops under the wing of Drew Brees and Sean Payton. It is probably too soon to get excited about Griffin: there’s still a long way to go for him but he knows that he’s got the potential to develop into a good NFL quarterback and I’m really looking forward to see how he performs in preseason games. Let me know what you guys think about him!