Well, after today, it's official: The Indianapolis Colts have the rights to the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2012 NFL Draft. And, of course, after going 2-14 for the first time since before the glory days of Peyton Manning, the Colts' primary focus should be upon drafting Manning's successor.
Manning has enjoyed an NFL Hall of Fame career for more than a decade now, but with his recent neck injury, it's uncertain how much time he has left in the NFL after missing the entire 2011 season. It's time for a new era to begin in Indianapolis. And they will find it in this draft.
While many have been riding the Andrew Luck bandwagon, the Colts would be better served going after another quarterback: Robert Griffin III of Baylor University, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner.
Why RG3? Well, first and foremost comes the ability to throw, as the NFL has become a pass-first league. Griffin threw for 4,293 yards to go along with 37 touchdown passes to six interceptions, and boasted a passer rating of 131.4. Luck threw for 3,170 yards, 35 touchdown passes and nine interceptions, and had a passer rating of 117.0. Both quarterbacks completed at least 70 percent of their passes.
However, what we must take into account is the kind of leadership and explosion Griffin brings to the table. He has a stronger arm than Luck, and has the toughness and leadership ability that the Colts desperately need after Manning. Griffin also has as big a football IQ, if not bigger than that of Luck. He is undoubtedly the more athletic and mobile of the two, and while he did play in a spread system at Baylor, the Colts offense similarly uses three-receiver sets frequently and would not need to tailor their entire offense to suit Griffin.
Griffin has proved he can stand steady in the pocket, make all of the downfield throws and make the right decisions as the starting quarterback. And with possibly a season or two under Manning, Griffin would be molded into a great franchise quarterback for Indianapolis. He would certainly fill up plenty of seats in Lucas Oil Stadium.
The NFL is no longer a league where quarterbacks have the luxury of sitting in one spot for too long. The need for mobile quarterbacks to make more plays with their legs (i.e., Cam Newton), the Colts would be ahead of that curve with RG3 under center.
Andrew Luck is a good quarterback, and he will likely be a starter for another team, but for the Colts franchise to continue its success beyond Peyton Manning, it would be better suited to draft Robert Griffin III.
The Colts will have an interesting decision to make come April.