NFL Rumors: How Andrew Luck to Colts Early Affects the Draft

John RozumCorrespondent IApril 19, 2012

STANFORD, CA - OCTOBER 01:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal warms up before their game against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Andrew Luck has been the No. 1 overall prospect of the 2012 NFL draft since the middle of the 2010 college football season.

Yes, had Luck left Stanford after the 2010 season he would have been a realistic No. 1 selection in the 2011 NFL draft. After another year of college ball though, Luck only prepared himself more for the pros and ironically the Indianapolis Colts hold the first pick.

Luck is arguably the best NFL-ready prospect since Peyton Manning and with the Colts beginning a new era, it's appears to be a done deal. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Indianapolis has decided to take Luck at the No. 1 spot:

As for the rest of the draft and namely Round 1, this was basically a foregone conclusion that's been in the making since the beginning of the 2011 season.

That said, the Washington Redskins hold the No. 2 spot and can now focus all their attention to Robert Griffin III. The interesting thing about Luck to the Colts however, affects Washington the most as receiver Jabar Gaffney may get traded.

According to Chris Russell of ESPN Radio 980, the Redskins appear to have already gotten the ball rolling:

Considering that Washington has an upgraded receiving corps with Pierre Garcon and Josh Morgan, not to mention Santana Moss and tight ends Fred Davis and Chris Cooley, RG3 has the tools around him to have immediate success.

ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 02: Jabar Gaffney #10 of the Washington Redskins makes a catch against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 2, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The Washington Redskins beat the St. Louis Rams 17-10.  (Photo by Dilip
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Gaffney though, was the Redskins' leading target in 2011 by setting career-highs in yards (947), catches (68) and touchdowns (five).

So, don't expect Washington to look at any receivers in the draft but the Colts do need to replenish their targets. Reggie Wayne remains on the outside but other than Austin Collie, Indianapolis needs at least one more guy to help with Luck's transition.

Gaffney can be the reliable No. 2 receiver after Wayne and Collie can line up in the slot. Now, Washington won't get much more than a fourth or fifth-rounder (at best) from Indy for Jabar, but it's a fit that helps both franchises.

The Redskins for one, could use an additional draft pick after moving up and the Colts are depleted at receiver.

As for the rest of Round 1, there's not much of an effect.

ARLINGTON, TX - NOVEMBER 26:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Baylor Bears passes against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Cowboys Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Both Luck and RG3 have been expected to go No. 1 and No. 2 overall, respectively, for quite some time. Other than Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill, it's unlikely that any other quarterback goes in the first round and several teams need to address defense anyway.

All the Colts are doing is addressing their biggest need and basically leaving Washington no other option at No. 2 overall.

The Redskins will likely address the offensive line and add a No. 2 ball-carrier thereafter, which is expected since they allowed 41 sacks and ranked No. 25 in rushing offense.

The NFC East is overloaded with stud pass-rushers like DeMarcus Ware, Trent Cole and Jason Pierre-Paul among others, so RG3 needs more than just his mobility. Indianapolis will just continue to build around Luck as the AFC South fields two stout defenses in Houston and Jacksonville.

Now had Luck not been the expected option for the Colts at No. 1, then the rest of the league would be affected quite a bit. That however, isn't the case. Anticipate Luck to Indy, RG3 to our nation's capital and the 2012 NFL draft to feel no aftershock once Minnesota goes on the clock at No. 3 overall.

 

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