NFL Draft 2012: 4 Teams That Should Plan This Season on Next Year's Draft
Certain NFL teams have been advised that their best option to win long term is to lose now.
The lucky franchise to win the 2012 NFL draft's grand prize could be a contender for the next decade, which is why they must plan this season accordingly.
There remains a handful of teams in the running for the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes. The second place prize is not all that bad, either, but who competes to come in second?
With Andrew Luck presumably entering the draft after his junior year at Stanford University, teams have already began to jockey for position.
We will take a look at teams that should continue to use this season to "Suck for Luck."
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The Indianapolis Colts have been built around one player for the past decade.
This season is the first year the Colts have been forced to play one game—let alone a whole season—without Peyton Manning behind center.
A franchise that has been built around one man and one man only should consider tanking this season with an eye on the 2012 NFL draft.
Sure, Peyton Manning just signed a new contract over the summer. Yes, Manning has some good years left in the tank, but he cannot go forever. Manning is already 35 years old.
However, his age does not signify that he cannot win any longer. John Elway won two Super Bowls after the age of 35.
That being said, when you're 0-6 and the indisputable first-round pick in the upcoming draft has been referred to by countless league personnel as the next John Elway, you take him.
The Colts offer the most intriguing landing spot for Andrew Luck, seeing how he would get the Aaron Rodgers treatment for his first few years in the league.
If they do not get the first pick, Trent Richardson would not be a bad consolation prize.
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John Fox and the Denver Broncos have already started to wave their white flag.
Announcing Tim Tebow as the starter before they even got halfway into their bye week should tell you all you need to know.
The Denver Broncos want in on the sweepstakes.
If there's any franchise in the NFL that knows what a player like Andrew Luck can do for their organization, it would be the Broncos.
The best quarterback prospect to come out in the draft since John Elway—and yes, that includes Peyton Manning—would make all the Tebow worshipers second guess their allegiance
I have watched Tebow transform into an icon since his junior year in high school. His passion, determination and leadership alone will guide Denver to a couple wins here and there.
The problem remains whether or not Tim Tebow can be a long-term answer for this franchise. Let me answer that for you—no.
Sitting at 1-4, the Broncos could be killing two birds with one stone by starting Tebow. If Tebow goes out the next four to five games and doesn't win, not only will they still be in position to compete for the first overall draft pick thanks to some extra losses, but they can also eliminate some of the Tebow hysteria within the fanbase.
Simply put, the Denver Broncos need to cut their losses and plan for the NFL 2012 draft.
St. Louis Rams
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I know exactly what you are thinking. "The St. Louis Rams? They already have Sam Bradford."
Yes, they do have Sam Bradford as their franchise quarterback. That does not mean they couldn't benefit from next year's draft.
If the Rams were to be the team holding the No. 1 overall draft pick in the 2012 draft, how much fun would that be? As a writer, it makes me giddy inside thinking about all the possibilities that could take place.
Just imagine the offers the St. Louis Rams would get to trade away their draft pick. Not only would the bottom-of-the-barrel teams offer up their riches, but mediocre teams and teams with aging quarterbacks would foot some tantalizing offers as well.
Even if they do not land the top draft pick, they could still benefit from being within the top five. The St. Louis Rams desperately need a go-to wide receiver that Sam Bradford can connect with for the next decade. His former teammate Ryan Broyles could enter the draft, which would provide an instant spark within the offense.
Alshon Jeffrey and Justin Blackmon would also provide an instant upgrade at the wide receiver position. If that doesn't fit their fancy, a one-two punch with Steven Jackson and Trent Richardson would be intimidating in this new finesse NFL.
Just providing a little food for thought going forward.
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The Miami Dolphins could very well be the worst team in football.
Their promising defense from a year ago has disappeared, and just when Chad Henne looked somewhat reputable, he gets knocked out for the season.
The Dolphins also whiffed on Reggie Bush and seem to be more than unhappy with the job Tony Sparano has done thus far. The one thing they're doing correctly is letting Sparano stay and stink the joint up.
If it were a regular NFL season and there wasn't a return from a lockout or a franchise-changing quarterback in the horizon, Tony Sparano would be as good as fired.
However, the Dolphins have astutely allowed Sparano to continue to steer this sinking ship.
Miami desperately needs a franchise quarterback. The Dolphins have had 16 starting quarterbacks since the retirement of Dan Marino.
All the Miami Dolphins fans that I know have quietly began to root against their team. Yes, they would like to win and not become the 2008 Detroit Lions, but they also want a quarterback they can believe in.
There's not a single franchise that has been more despondent than the Miami Dolphins and their fans due to quarterback woes over the last decade.
Keep Sparano, start Matt Moore, and win the "Suck for Luck" sweepstakes.