NFL Draft 2012: 7 Great Candidates for Andrew Luck Selection
Andrew Luck will soon be looking to purchase some new real estate. The Stanford quarterback is unanimously projected to be the first overall pick in next spring’s NFL Draft, so Luck will soon be looking for big, new houses in a hopeful NFL city.
After he plays on Saturday, Luck sits down on Sundays analyzing some of the NFL’s worst franchises. How will he fit in with the coaching staffs? What kind of weapons will he have at his disposal? How strong is the offensive line? Will they keep him upright? Can I succeed with this team?
Four weeks into the season we can determine what teams are in the running for the coveted first pick.
In no particular order, here is a breakdown of the top seven teams in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Seattle Seahawks (1-3)
Seahawks fans are desperate to rid themselves of Tarvaris Jackson, and although he has been serviceable, TJack is not the future in Seattle.
Their offensive weapons are decent at best. Sidney Rice is their top receiver, but has been unable to recapture the success he had when Brett Favre once threw him passes.
The running game is erratic and doesn’t have a true feature back. Marshawn Lynch has had success with the rock, but he does not possess takeover ability.
The strength of the Seahawks is their young offensive line, welcome words to all quarterbacks. The last two seasons, GM John Schneider and Pete Carroll have made a commitment to solidifying the big boys up front. Using high draft picks on guys like Russell Okung and James Carpenter, and signing Robert Gallery and TE Zach Miller in free agency, are commendable moves.
Andrew Luck could thrive with the Seahawks based solely on the fact that he would be playing in the typically lackluster NFC West. One year removed from their improbable playoff run, Luck could have them back sooner than later.
Kansas City Chiefs (1-3)
Landing in Kansas City may be the best situation for the young Luck.
If they land the first overall pick, I fully expect Todd Haley and the rest of the coaching staff to be gone. Haley doesn’t possess the abilities of a head coach, and it’s clear that much of last year’s offensive success had much more to do with Charlie Weis.
The Chiefs do have nice weapons in WR Dwayne Bowe, Jamaal Charles (assuming a full recovery), and the promising TE Tony Moeaki. Hopefully, first-round WR Jonathan Baldwin will grow into his athletic potential, as he could be a very dangerous deep threat.
The biggest concern would be the offensive line, as they have not come together as expected.
The defense has some nice pieces, and under a new coaching regime, the young D could prosper. Maybe a coach like Bill Cowher or Jon Gruden will be lured out of retirement with the prospect of working with Luck.
New leadership and the addition of the Stanford quarterback could make Kansas City a player again.
Denver Broncos (1-3)
Everyone loves the comparisons of Andrew Luck to John Elway, and I bet Elway wouldn’t mind seeing a younger version of himself out on the field every Sunday.
The only problem for Luck is that Denver arguably has the worst weapons in all the NFL. Third-rounder Eric Decker looks like their best receiver, as Brandon Lloyd has displayed significant regression from his 1,000-yard season last year.
Knowshon Moreno continues to stay hurt, and it is not too early to question his role on the team.
The signing of John Fox as head coach signaled a transition season for the Denver Broncos, but they have looked every part of terrible for the first four games into the season.
If Luck lands in Denver, I expect management to invest in great coaching and top-tier weapons for Luck. They should be more than willing to, as they would be getting the bad taste of Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow out of their mouths.
Denver is the worst landing spot for Andrew Luck, and he will have to rely on Pro Bowl left tackle Ryan Clady to protect him, as it could get ugly early in his Broncos career.
Indianapolis Colts (0-4)
The Colts are not in an ideal situation this season, and Jim Irsay learned his lesson of putting too many eggs in the Peyton Manning basket. But, early indications are that Manning should be able to play the 2012 NFL season.
This player management pickle has sparked debate that the Colts could look to move the pick.
If they landed the first overall pick, the wise decision would be to take Luck and let him learn from the future Hall of Famer.
It may not be ideal, as Luck looks as pro-ready as any quarterback prospect, but if they want him to learn the same offensive system, he could use a year to understand the highly-complex scheme.
Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie and Dallas Clark are a nice ensemble of receivers.
I predict Manning has, at the most, two Pro Bowl seasons left in him. Thereafter, Colts fans will be ready to usher in the Andrew Luck era.
Minnesota Vikings (0-4)
Last year, the Vikings invested a first-round pick in Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder, but Andrew Luck is the type of franchise player that should make cutting their losses on Ponder an easy decision.
Nothing against Ponder, but Luck is a once-in-a-generation prospect, and they should be able to get something for Ponder in moving him.
Having Adrian Peterson in the backfield alone should make the Vikings one of the most desirable destinations for Luck. Peterson would act as a crutch for the offense when Luck goes through his first-year struggles. There is no more reliable running back in the league then Peterson, and he is still in his prime.
The rest of the Vikings toys are a little less shiny, but Percy Harvin has shown he can play in the NFL. His performances have been hot and cold, and he’s dealt with various medical issues, but he could thrive with some consistency at the quarterback position.
The Vikings are in a state of flux this season; they will have to make a number of personnel decisions at the end of the season with or without Andrew Luck.
Miami Dolphins (0-4)
Miami would be one of the best situations for Andrew Luck; he could step in right away and achieve that Dan Marino-like early success.
The offensive line is anchored by left tackle Jake Long, who is arguably the best blindside blocker in the game.
Brandon Marshall continues to display talent that would put him among the top five receivers in the game, but current Dolphins coaching hasn't been able to take advantage of his skill set.
Daniel Thomas and Reggie Bush may never be feature running backs, but they could provide enough of a thunder-and-lighting punch for Luck to succeed.
Miami is the big hotspot for both superstar athletes and entertainers, and Luck could go a long way in building his brand in the major media market. Florida is desperate for success in professional football, and the various demographic groups that thrive in the state would undoubtedly embrace him.
Andrew Luck’s hype machine is expected to reach LeBron James status, and they could soon be sharing zip codes in South Beach.
St. Louis Rams (0-4)
Included on this list are the Rams because they have failed to earn a win four games into the season.
Sam Bradford’s 2010 Rookie of the Year season proved he is a franchise player in his own right, and most of the 2011 offensive ineptitude can be attributed to a plethora of injuries and a lack of marquee weapons.
If they were to deal the services of one Mr. Andrew Luck, they would receive a king’s ransom in return. We are talking multiple first-round picks and even established stars in a package.
A situation like this one could generate the largest blockbuster trade in NFL, and would provide Bradford with all the weapons he could desire.