As we work our way through the first quarter of the NFL season, several teams have emerged as prime candidates to receive the first overall pick in the draft, a pick widely presumed to be ticketed for Stanford standout quarterback Andrew Luck.
Several teams are interested in Luck, but not all are in a good position to get the first pick, which figures to be prohibitively pricey in any trade scenario.
Here's a look at five teams who should consider orchestrating a collapse or ensuring one's continuation so that they can draft the top quarterback.
Current Record: 0-6
Right now, the Colts are the odds-on favorites to get a chance at taking Luck and grooming him as the eventual successor to quarterback extraordinaire Peyton Manning. They're 0-6, have not played particularly well in any game and have no potential replacement for Manning currently on the roster.
The Colts are actually the perfect place for Luck to land, too. They are realistically a quarterback and a few other players away from being a Super Bowl contender right now. Peyton Manning should hopefully be able to return healthy next year at the latest, so Luck could sit and learn from the best for a couple of years before taking the reins himself.
Peyton Manning can't play forever. The Colts certainly want to be more competitive than they've been so far this year once he decides its time to hang up the cleats, so drafting Luck after continuing their poor work this year looks like a smart choice.
Current Record: 1-4
Yes, the Broncos have Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow. Do you really trust either guy to lead the Broncos back to a place they haven't been since John Elway was under center: the Super Bowl?
Denver's had quite the run of names since Elway retired: Brian Griese, Jake Plummer, Jay Cutler, Orton and Tebow. None have brought the Broncos the success they've craved.
Tebow has been the darling of the fans, but that's likely to change once the fans get a good look at his game, which isn't very good for an NFL passer. Tebow is a great gadget guy, but he's just not a fit for any NFL offense. He'd probably be better off as a runner.
The Broncos are likely not going anywhere in a division that boasts San Diego and Oakland as contenders and has Kansas City suddenly more alive.
The best the Broncos could probably do is third place. They'd do better falling apart, finishing fourth and making a run at Luck and the first overall pick.
Current Record: 3-2
Anyone who caught Rex Grossman's four-interception performance against Philadelphia got a reminder of why the Redskins need to find a quarterback.
They've got plenty of runners and some interesting receiving options. Their defense is a decent unit. You have to think a top-tier quarterback would really put them over the top.
Now, it's a little bit harder road for Washington because they've managed to lead the NFC East for the whole season so far, but the time to give up is now. The Redskins may be good enough for second place in the division or even first if Philadelphia and New York continue to blunder through the season.
What the Redskins are not is a real playoff threat. They just don't have the quarterbacking to get deep into the playoffs against teams like Green Bay or New Orleans. They could, however, be that team in a few years if they can get a guy like Andrew Luck to take their snaps.
Current Record: 0-4 (Pending Monday Night's Action)
Like the Indianapolis Colts, this is almost a no-brainer. The Dolphins are 0-4 heading into their Monday Night Football meeting with the New York Jets. They have started both Chad Henne (now injured) and Matt Moore at quarterback. Neither had been effective in any way.
The Dolphins have been searching for a successor to Dan Marino since his retirement before the turn of the century. That's a long time to wait, but like the Denver Broncos, the Dolphins have tried many, many names under center. Jay Fiedler, Brian Griese, Henne, Moore, Chad Pennington and A.J. Feeley have been there.
Like Denver, none have found success. They are likely to be looking for a new head coach this year. What better bonus for a new coach and new regime than the chance to draft the best player on the draft board with the first overall pick?
Current Record: 1-4
I know they just paid a lot of money to Kevin Kolb, but the more I watch the guy play, the less I believe he's the answer. The team just doesn't move the ball consistently through the air. Sure they have issues with the ground game, but Kolb was supposed to be the guy who brought back memories of Kurt Warner. Instead, he's reminding people of Derek Anderson.
The Cardinals have weapons. Beanie Wells has come around a lot this season. Larry Fitzgerald leads a talented, diverse group of receivers. They've got a new tight end in veteran Todd Heap. Their offensive line isn't brilliant, but Kolb hasn't done much when he's had the time to throw.
In an NFC West that looks a lot like San Francisco's division to lose, it wouldn't be hard to fade away. The Cardinals didn't have a lot of high expectations entering the season and will probably have to do something more to entice Larry Fitzgerald and other offensive weapons to keep playing in the desert. Andrew Luck would be a nice piece to add.