Ten minutes are allotted for a team to make their selection in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins didn’t need a single second.

Washington announced prior to the April 26 draft that Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III would be their selection, and their signal caller of the future. Washington selected Griffin III, 22, with the second overall pick, one month after trading the sixth pick to the St. Louis Rams.

“We were really excited when we were able to move from the sixth spot to the second spot,” coach Mike Shanahan told reporters at Redskins headquarters on draft night. “We had a great feeling Robert was going to be the guy we were going to get. Just to be around the guy to see how he handles himself and to see how he works. You can see what a class act he is and what type of charisma he brings.

“I just think he will bring a whole lot to this organization,” Shanahan added. “You are always looking for that ‘franchise guy.’ He has not proven himself yet and we understand that. Hopefully we can get a good supporting cast around him and play well as a football team. I think he will have the chance to do some special things.”

Although he only played three full seasons at Baylor, sitting out most of 2009 with an injury, Griffin made his mark. Starting 40 of a possible 41 games, the quarterback secured the 2011 Heisman Trophy last season as a junior. In his college career, Griffin III amassed 12,620 total offensive yards, including 10,366 passing yards and 2,254 rushing yards. The speedy signal-caller won Offensive Freshman of the Year honors in 2008 before winning college football’s most prestigious award in his final year.

When asked how he felt to be drafted by Washington, Griffin quoted lines from the Redskins’ fight song: “‘Hail to the Redskins. Hail victory.’ That’s how I felt. It felt that good,” Griffin said. “I’m really excited. A team finally fell in love with me. They want me for who I am, and I can’t wait to go and play for them.”

Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO