- Last Updated: 6:39 PM, April 25, 2012
- Posted: 1:39 PM, April 25, 2012
Robert Griffin III is on his way to the NFC East, but he isn’t afraid of facing the Giants vaunted pass rush.
Griffin III, whom the Redskins will make the second overall pick in Thursday night’s NFL Draft, said Tuesday that the Giants trio of Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora does not scare him.
“I’m not going to play with fear,” Griffin III said. “I’m a talented guy and I respect talent. I respect Pierre-Paul, I respect Tuck, Umenyiora all of those guys, but I am not going to go out and play as if I’m scared they are going to sack me.”
Griffin III, the headline player at EA Sports’ NCAA Football ’13 Draft Party at Lavo nightclub Tuesday night, said he isn’t going to change the way he has approached the game as he transitions to the NFL.
“That’s the one thing I’ve never done as a player,” Griffin III said. “Never play with fear, always play fearless but respect your opponent. Those guys are great so use your strengths against them.”
Griffin III led a high-powered offensive attack at Baylor, but the defense was suspect, evidenced by the quarterback's last college game: a 67-56 win over Washington in the Alamo Bowl. The Heisman Trophy winner relishes the opportunity to not have to score upwards of 60 points per game to win at the next level.
“From what I heard, you score 21 points in the league and you win 70 percent of your games,” Griffin III said. “I come from the Big 12, where if you score 56 points you might win a couple, so I look forward to only having to score 21 points and win, it’s a great feeling.”
Griffin III heads into the draft as arguably the most athletic quarterback in the class, and said he believed that being able to make plays both inside and outside of the pocket is something that has become a necessity in the NFL.
“First and foremost you have to blame guys like Michael Strahan, Reggie White, Justin Tuck for making quarterbacks have to be mobile,” Griffin III said. “The game always evolves, because defensive linemen are so athletic now, quarterbacks have to be able to move a little bit. They don’t have to be world-class speed guys but they have to be able to move.”
Griffin III is almost a lock to play for Mike Shanahan in Washington. The Redskins traded their first two picks in 2012, as well as their first round picks 2013 and 2014 to the Rams to trade up for the No. 2 choice. The Colts have said they will tak Stanford QB ANdrew Luck at No. 1.
“The way I look at it, it shows that not only is a team aligned with its fan base, but also that the team believes in you,” Griffin III said. “I love that, I wanted a team to fall in love with me and I can’t be mad about that.
“It’s not a knock on the Colts, but they never had a moment like that, it was always back and forth. Washington made a decision and said ‘Look, we want this guy.’ I’m humbled by that.”
Griffin III’s character has come under question in recent days, with reports quoting scouts saying he is selfish, but he heaped nothing but praise on his teammates and family members.
“I never would have had the Heisman without my team, I never would have had the [NCAA Football ’13] cover without my team and I never would have gotten into the NFL if it wasn’t for everybody, high school, college, even when I was a kid, pushing me to be the best I can be,” Griffin III said. “I appreciate it. I know where I came from and I know where I want to go so I’m looking forward to it.”
Despite all of the media attention Griffin III has been receiving in recent days, he did find time to laugh Tuesday, especially after being presented with an edible bust by Subway.
“[The Subway sculpture] was hilarious,” Griffin III said. “Some guys would say ‘Tear it down’ or ‘I don’t like it,’ but I like a good laugh. It was funny and actually impressive to be able to mold something like that with food. You can’t be mad at something like that.”Follow @NYPostsports