Looks like the biggest winners in the Suck for Luck Sweepstakes are the second place winners – the St.Louis Rams.
How did we end up here? In the last six months, we’ve gone from the Suck-for-Luck sweepstakes, to him not even being on the radar. Sometimes the surest pick, the one with the fewest question marks, gets the least sizzle and gets lost in the mix of the wildly controversial, flashy performers. These are players that get forgotten, fall in the draft, then resurface mid-season and show why they were so good to begin with.
This is the inherent problem with the NFL Combine, if you don’t make yourself into a story with ridiculous workouts or insane measurable that could be coupled with a questionable character/work ethic/past, you are forgotten, you’re not talked about. Seems unthinkable that the number one overall pick could attract such little attention, doesn’t it?
Then we got a closer look at Robert Griffin III, former Baylor quarterback, Heisman trophy winner, now surefire No. 2 overall pick. Forget the side-by-side comparisons of wins, passing yards or completion percentage; the only numbers that matter when it came to RGIII were 4.38 and 6’2”, his 40-yard dash time and height.
Let me repeat that in case you missed it - All this attention over RGIII which has skyrocketed since the end of the college football season has been caused by his height and 40 time. The man does not have to throw a pass until he gets drafted to ensure his status as the most sought-after prospect since, oddly enough, Andrew Luck.
Whoever trades up for RGIII fully proves this theory, and there are several teams who will be tempted to do so, with none of them making perfect sense. So, we’ll dabble in the rise of Poe and Melvin Ingram due to their combine performances, speculate on where Justin Blackmon and Trent Richardson will end up, throw out some possible trades that could occur in the first round, and try to see who will take place on the high talent/character concern of this year’s draft – Janoris Jenkins.
So if you’re worried this will be all about Griffin, don’t worry because there are plenty of other prospects to discuss, but for those of you who are fans of teams salivating the idea of RGIII, stick around because there’s probably a scenario for you.
The Cleveland Scenario
Can you imagine if he goes to Cleveland? Nevermind that it’s a football town that hasn’t seen their beloved Browns come to relevance since before being deactivated by the league from 1996-1999.
Never mind Mike Holmgren, a man who wants to bring the success he created in Green Bay and Seattle to Cleveland, overseeing the whole operation. Never mind not having 5 identifiable players on their entire roster (go ahead and try, see how long it takes you). This is a town still jaded from LeBron bolting town.
Griffin will be showered with praise upon arrival, and no fan will care if it takes 10 future first round picks to get him. No pressure though. Some team will mortgage their future to make him their future.
While the Rams may not get quite as much as what the Saints gave up to get Ricky Williams, it will be in the neighborhood. But everyone in Cleveland will understand. This could be a time of great revival for Cleveland football. Urban Meyer is running Ohio State, and the Browns could bring Michael Vick 2.0 to save their franchise.
While Holmgren is regarded as smart football mind, the pressure is on him, given the ammunition he has in two first round picks, to make a move for the potential franchise savior. While there is much the Browns need to do to be competitive, for a fanbase starving for a winner, and a team unsure of their current quarterback situation, how do they not make the move?
Formula for a Mock Draft
It’s worth reiterating what the formula is, but given the time of the offseason, the critical fifth factor has been added — Combine results.
Four tools were used in making this mock draft as credible as possible:
3) Team needs, and, most importantly,
5) NFL Combine results
Before going on, it cannot be emphasized enough - Any mock draft that tries to be completely logical is not worth considering, because no NFL Draft is completely logical.
A major reach here, a player inexplicably falling there — that’s the nature of the Draft. Post-combine means an influx of mock drafts based on 40 times, vertical jumps, and bench presses. There were quite a few standouts from this year’s group who made themselves a lot of money with their showing, but the biggest story remains Robert Griffin III, the Baylor quarterback who will shape this year’s NFL draft.
Rather than try to decide which team will ultimately make the move to get Griffin with just one mock draft, this is the first of a series of mock drafts that will outline several scenarios in which a different team could trade up to get the pick. Other changes will be noticeable among the mock drafts including Minnesota’s pick (Morris Claiborne or Matt Kalil), how high Dontari Poe will climb, and how far Trent Richardson will drop.
That’s the beauty and frustration behind mock drafts, because for as many scenarios that make perfect sense on paper, you always have to account for teams taking the best available pick or just falling in love with a player and reaching 10 spots than their “value” would have you believe.
After looking at all the post-combine notes, analysis, videos and mock drafts, I’m done trying to rationalize this mock draft because there is no such thing as being rational when it comes to the NFL Draft.
 With all due respect for the deceased, the Oakland Raiders under Al Davis were known for making atypical, irrational-at-the-time, spectacularly disastrous selections. Whether they were seen as such at the time (e.g. Darrius Heyward-Bey, Michael Huff, Sebastian Janikowski) or flamed out later on (Robert Gallery and JaMarcus Russell), Oakland’s selection were also one to watch the day of, and in the years following.