2012 NFL Draft: Who Has the Ammo for the Indianapolis Colts' Pick?

David WillisContributor IIJanuary 20, 2012

2012 NFL Draft: Who Has the Ammo for the Indianapolis Colts' Pick?

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    Colts’ owner Jim Irsay has said publicly that the team will draft the Andrew Luck with the number one pick in April’s draft.  What the team does regarding Peyton Manning is something else altogether. 

    Some people believe that the Colts couldn’t possibly let Manning go after everything that he has done for the franchise.  However – Jim Irsay is a bit eccentric.  If you don’t believe me, just follow him on twitter (@JimIrsay) for five seconds. 

    This slideshow is based on Manning being healthy enough to play next year and the Colts keeping him – which is what I suspect the franchise is going to do.  For the record, the Colts cannot trade Manning because it would be too big of a cap hit.  According to Phillip B. Wilson at the Indianapolis Star and other reports regarding Manning, the Colts could take as much as a $20 million cap hit for trading Manning.  It’s either keep him and Andrew Luck or dump Manning.

    So, without further ado, here are some possible suitors for the belle of the ball on draft day.

Cleveland Browns

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    The Cleveland Browns have the fourth and 22nd overall picks, a second-round pick, and two fourth-round picks.  In addition, they have an asset in Colt McCoy who might benefit from a year or two on the bench behind a hall-of-famer like Manning. 

    Many mock drafts have Robert Griffin III going here because the Rams and Vikings have drafted quarterbacks in the first round the last two years, but the Browns are looking at a division that has Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, and Ben Roethlisberger.  They need the best quarterback they can get if they are going to ever have a chance at the playoffs.  If the Browns offer their two first-round picks and McCoy or the first-round picks and a third rounder, the Colts might listen. 

St. Louis Rams

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    Are the Rams ready to give up on Sam Bradford?  Jeff Fischer did not draft Bradford and may be concerned that he showed signs in 2011 of being as injury-prone as he was in college.  Couple the injuries with a minimum of nine games per year on turf and Fischer might consider the move. 

    The Rams do not have a ton of ammunition to dangle in front of the Colts, but they have the second overall pick, the 34th overall pick, and Sam Bradford.  My sense is that they would have to offer first-round picks in 2012 and 2013 as well as the 2012 second-rounder.  Bradford would have to either be kept or released because of his huge contract.

Kansas City Chiefs

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    This one would be a surprise because Romeo Crennel is a Bill Belichick disciple and will probably want to build through the draft.  However, they have a decent NFL quarterback in Matt Cassel

    If they want to trade the 11th or 12th overall pick, Cassel, next year’s first rounder, and some sort of cherry on top they might get the Colts to return their calls.  Indy might decide that this would give them the ammo to get Matt Barkely next year if the Chiefs are rebuilding.

Seattle Seahawks

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    Does anyone say to themselves, “You know, that Tavaris Jackson could take us all the way to the Super Bowl.”  They only would if they lived in a mental institution. 

    The Seahawks have the 11th or 12th overall pick so they would have to give up a lot to get the Colts to think about it.  They could give up this year’s first and second rounder along with two good picks in next year’s draft and the Colts could consider a trade.  However, if the ‘Hawks trade up to get a quarterback it would more likely be Robert Griffin III.

Don't Even Think About It: Washington Redskins

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    I’m sure many Redskins fans are thinking, “If we just had a quarterback….”  Mike Shanahan has been much better about keeping Daniel Snyder from giving away draft picks since he took over as head coach, and the Redskins do have an extra fourth-round pick from the Jason Campbell trade.

    But they would have to give up this year’s first-round pick (6th overall), next year’s, and a ton of lower draft picks to pull off this deal.  Haven’t they learned in Washington yet that they can’t give away all their draft picks?  We’ll see.

Don't Even Think About It: Oakland Radiers

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    The Raiders don’t have a pick in this year’s draft until round five because they gave up their third-round pick for Terrell Pryor.  They’ve hitched their wagon to Pryor and Carson Palmer.  Good luck.

Biggest Dark Horse: Philadelphia Eagles

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    This may sound strange, but the Eagles have a lot of picks in this year’s draft, including the 15th overall and two second-rounders. These three picks and Mike Kafka might make the Colts listen. 

    In addition, Michael Vick will likely never play a full season again because he is relatively small for a quarterback (6’0”, 215 lbs), runs like a running back, and either doesn't want to work on sliding or is too arrogant to think he needs to.  Because of this, Andy Reid might look at Andrew Luck as a great backup and insurance policy for when Michael Vick’s body gives out, which is going to happen sooner rather than later.

Conclusion: The Unknown

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    After the combine there may be a franchise that decides that they have to have Luck no matter what the price is. 

    No one thought that the Houston Texans would take Mario Williams over Reggie Bush on Draft Day in 2006. 

    Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert both went in the first round last year.  There may be a team out there that doesn’t look like they would make a move that ends up being the surprise of the first round, so it could get really interesting if the Colts keep Manning and decide to build around him for the next couple of years.