April 28, 2013

Tulane QB Griffin Among UDFA's

In-town product QB Ryan Griffin of Tulane highlights the list of undrafted rookie free agents that the Saints are scrambling to sign now that the 2013 NFL Draft has concluded.

In addition to a five-man class of draft picks, the Saints will add undrafted free agents in advance of a May 9th-11th rookie minicamp.

Tulane QB Ryan Griffin - 6'3", 227, 5.20s 40
Not to be confused with a TE from UConn of the same name, who was a sixth round pick of the Texans.  Griffin ran the Saints' offense in the Saints' stadium at Tulane under head coach Curtis Johnson, who was the Saints' wide receivers coach until 2011. Griffin made 39 starts for the Green Wave, passing for over 9000 yards, 56 touchdowns and 35 interceptions but Tulane has a combined 8-29 record in the past three season, including a 3-13 record in their own conference.

Griffin was MVP of the Texas vs. The Nation All-Star Game, the same post-season scouting event that Saints sixth round pick Rufus Johnson used to grab the attention of Saints scouts.  Tulane has produced highly regarded passers before in JP Losman (2004 1st round pick, Bills), Patrick Ramsey (2002 1st round pick, Redskins) and Shaun King (1999 2nd round pick, Bucs).  None found long term success in the league.

As a fifth-year senior in 2012, Griffin had his best season despite a 2-7 record as a starter, completing 62.2% of his passes for 2771 yards, 20 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in eight and a half games.  Griffin was knocked out in the second quarter of the Tulsa game with a shoulder injury, minutes before Tulane safety Devon Walker suffered a broken neck on the final play of the half.  Griffin missed three games but returned to finish the season strong, with his best performance coming against Alabama-Birmingham, when Griffin completed 34/42 passes for 466 yards, five touchdowns and an interception.  Those 466 yards are a Tulane school record.  Griffin broke many of Patrick Ramsey's school records despite being surrounded by talent that was poor even for Conference USA standards, especially on the offensive line.

Griffin is a pocket passer with limited mobility, though he showed some escapability in the pocket and an ability to move around under pressure in the pocket.  Because of his 5.20s 40, a poor 25" vertical jump and a poor 8'5" broad jump, Griffin is not considered to be a NFL-caliber athlete yet, though his arm strength is good though he has elongated, slow release on film.  Because of his familiarity with the Saints' system, Griffin has a shot to convince the Saints to keep him on the practice squad in 2013 and beyond.

Other signings from the officially released list:

West Virginia RB/FB Shawne Alston
Illinois DE Glenn Foster
Idaho State TE Josh Hill
Utah CB Ryan Lacy
Grand Valley State G Tim Lelito
Nebraska DE/OLB Eric Martin
Michigan OL Elliott Mealer
Louisiana-Monroe TE/DL/OL Keavon Milton
North Carolina ILB Kevin Reddick
UCF LB Ray Shipman
Georgia Tech CB Roderick Sweeting
Stanford LB Chase Thomas

Additionally, these players will be invited to try out at the Saints rookie camp on May 9th-11th:

Miami P Dalton Botts
Texas Tech RB Eric Stephens

***This page will be updated with news and info as it becomes available.

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