NFL Draft 2012: Top 5 Front-Runners in the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes
Finishing last place in the NFL this year comes with awesome perks. By finishing with the worst record, the league's cellar-dweller will have the opportunity to draft a once-in-a-generation type of quarterback from Stanford named Andrew Luck.
Luck could have gone No. 1 overall this past April in the draft, but he opted to stay in school and finish his college degree. He has turned around Stanford football, and because of that, he's been regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects.
Many have speculated that certain teams are trying to tank this season in order to draft Luck. Although that may not be the case, there are still some extremely atrocious teams in the NFL this year.
After two weeks of football, here are the five worst teams in the NFL.
Or, to put it more lightly, here are the top five front-runners in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
5. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars did draft Blaine Gabbert at 10th overall last year, but it's clear that no team should pass up on Andrew Luck. They can trade Gabbert for some other draft picks and be in good shape if they continue to play poorly and get the opportunity to draft Luck.
The Jaguars will probably start Gabbert as the season progresses. He played well in garbage time against the Jets, but it'll be interesting to see how he plays as a starter.
Maurice Jones-Drew is pretty much the only guy producing anything on offense. Other than that, the Jags are a mess. Their low attendance also doesn't give them much of a home advantage and makes them a prime candidate for relocation to Los Angeles.
4. Denver Broncos
The Broncos may be 1-1 and they're getting solid play from quarterback Kyle Orton, but this is mainly because they've played two home games against two below-average teams; they barely beat the Cincinnati Bengals at home.
The road gets tougher for the Broncos. They go to Tennessee next week to play a Titans team led by veteran quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. The Titans also have an explosive wide receiver in Kenny Britt, and people don't give them too much credit.
Denver also plays against the Lions, Jets, at San Diego, Chicago and New England. It's not too hard to mark these games as losses for the lowly Broncos. These teams will expose the Broncos' weak defense, and if Denver is faced with injuries, they could easily fall into a downward spiral and end up with Luck.
3. Indianapolis Colts
Who would've thought the Colts would be on this list in July?
Reality stinks for Indianapolis. The year they host the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning goes down, and the Colts become an afterthought.
It's really incredible how valuable Manning is/was for the Colts. Without him, they've only scored two offensive touchdowns, and both of them came in situations where the game was already wrapped up.
Kerry Collins was thrown into a very difficult situation, and he's still slowly learning the complex Colts offense. He can't move the ball once he gets into the opponent's zone, and they constantly had to settle for field goals because of it against Cleveland.
Folks, Cleveland blew out Indianapolis this past Sunday—this is how bad they are.
If the Colts do end up with the worst record, the question then becomes the following:
Do they trade Peyton Manning and draft Luck, or do they have him sit a few years to learn from Manning the mentor?
2. Seattle Seahawks
The defending NFC West champions (I just gagged saying that) are going to have a very long season.
There are a confluence of reasons why the Seahawks will look more like Seachickens.
For one, they don't have a quarterback, or an offense for that matter. Tarvaris Jackson can't move the ball, and the Seahawks have had difficulty scoring. It's true that they played against a high-profile defense in the Pittsburgh Steelers on the road this past Sunday, but they struggled against the 49ers, too.
In fact, Marshawn Lynch has rushed for 44 yards the whole season—and he's the leading the team in rushing yards.
Sidney Rice's injury doesn't help either.
The Seahawks have been outscored 57-17, and quite honestly, Pete Carroll's "rah-rah" attitude doesn't work in the NFL. He's not serious enough to be a successful NFL coach. Instead of focusing on the game he pulls pranks on his players—guys like Bill Belichick and Mike Tomlin don't do that.
Carroll has to clamp down and focus on football, but then again, if he can just tank the season...
1. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs are easily the worst team in the NFL—and by a lot.
Forget that they've been outscored 89-10 in their first two games.
Forget that the Lions were running up the score on 4th-and-goal against them.
That's all bad.
But the Chiefs' players are all dropping like flies. Jamaal Charles is reportedly out for the season after getting injured in Detroit. Their star tight end Tony Moeaki is also on the IR and out for the season.
On the defensive side, safety Eric Berry is done, too.
The Chiefs also lost Charlie Weis to the University of Florida over the offseason, and this has really affected Matt Cassel's game.
But most of all, the reason why the Chiefs have the best shot at Luck is because of their schedule.
There is a five-week stretch in November and December where they play at New England, home against Pittsburgh, at Chicago, at the Jets and home against Green Bay. This may be the knockout punch that sends them to the abyss and helps them land Luck.
It's also important to note that other teams competing for Luck have some winnable games on their schedules this year.
The Seahawks are in the weak NFC West, and they've historically been a fantastic home team. They'll win a few games.
Kerry Collins will eventually learn the Colts' offense, and they'll be able to win a few games as the season progresses.
The Chiefs, on the other hand, are slowly losing respect for their head coach who has never played in the NFL, and the fact that he's never played in the league is already an easy way to lose respect in the locker room. This, combined with a tough schedule and a plethora of injuries, will allow the Chiefs to have the opportunity to draft Luck and revitalize their franchise for the next decade.
Sometimes finishing last ain't all that bad.