Assessing the NFL's Most Likely "Suck for Luck" Candidates
It cannot be protested that in the 2012 NFL draft, Andrew Luck is the one percent. Why else would he have so many writers fawning and powdering their cheeks in preparation for the new era of professional quarterback play? Luck has even spawned enough hype that certain media members have deemed that the peasantry of the NFL is engaging in some type of illicit blueprint called “Suck For Luck."
Get rid of the inappropriate imagery invoked by the mantra, and it is pretty obvious what “Suck For Luck” means. Lose on purpose, “throw” games, suck—however you want to say it, this may or may not be an actual thing, given the talent and endless promulgation of Luck’s obvious skill. His decision to stay an extra season at Stanford has only increased his public legend, with one-handed receptions and meticulous passing ability putting a thin coating of glitter and sparkles all over every Stanford highlight.
Luck will be the undisputed top NFL pick this April, just as he would have been last year. So the question is no longer “Who’s No. 1?”; it’s “Who’s going to get Luck(y!)."
Who will Suck For Luck? A ranking of the nine teams who have the best chance to get Luck at what is essentially the halfway point of the NFL season:
9. Washington Redskins
Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Last Week: 23-0 loss versus Buffalo
Washington is the only three-win team on this list of futility, and therefore are damned to the last spot on the list. The intriguing thing about Washington is their streak of ineptitude as of late: 18-16 loss vs. Dallas, 17-10 win over St. Louis, 20-13 loss vs. Philadelphia, 33-20 loss vs. Carolina, 23-0 loss vs. Buffalo.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
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Last Week: 24-14 loss versus Houston
A team that seems to eternally be in the pits of hell, Jacksonville avoids a lower ranking due to their quick trigger finger last year, when they selected Blaine Gabbert 10th overall. I have my grievances with Gabbert—I just don’t think he will be very good, and taking 2011 off may have been wise for Jacksonville.
Of course, that may have caused Maurice Jones-Drew to commit some kind of sick homicide, so maybe it was for the best.
7. St. Louis Rams
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Last Week: 31-21 win versus New Orleans.
An interesting hypothetical: What if St. Louis ran the inverse table and went 0-16 or 1-15, and was forced to pick first? Would they drop down? Would they pick an offensive lineman? Would they panic and unintentionally pick Luck, creating the most ridiculous quarterbacking controversy of all time between Luck and Sam Bradford?
St. Louis, although maintaining a putrid air throughout 2011, is in position to Suck due to their previous obligations with the former quarterbacking golden boy Bradford.
6. Minnesota Vikings
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Last Week: 24-21 win versus Carolina
Another team that wasted a draft pick on a quarterback, Minnesota is now stuck with three mediocre seasons from Christian Ponder before they have to restart the vicious cycle all over again. A few teams on this list just drafted new quarterbacks, so maybe their success won’t be for a few years, and therefore Luck really isn’t an option.
But it’s nice to dream of what could have been, right Minnesotans?
5. Denver Broncos
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Last Week: 45-10 loss versus Detroit
This is where it begins to get interesting. Denver is still somewhat invested in the Tim Tebow project, although new management may have other ideas. Luck has been called the best quarterback prospect since John Elway, who coincidentally is a huge part of the Denver organization.
Things working against Denver: a weak division, Tebow’s shaman-like fourth-quarter magic power hour, Jesus, luck. The reason for the high ranking, despite all that is working against Denver, is Tebow’s inability to actually play quarterback, and the eventual peptic ulcer that will ensue within repeated viewings for Elway.
4. Arizona Cardinals
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Last Week: 30-27 loss versus Baltimore
The first of the one-win teams, Arizona has been marred by an inability to play defense, and therefore would likely draft a defensive player in the draft. They can put up points, make games somewhat close and will probably win a few more games the rest of the way off of pure luck.
Get it? Luck?
3. Seattle Seahawks
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Last Week: 34-12 loss versus Cincinnati
My personal also-ran, Seattle has the best outside chance out of any of the teams with wins. They are really bad, and they need a quarterback. Like right now.
Charlie Whitehurst is single-handedly putting back long hair 15 years, and that needs to stop for my sake. The only issue is head coach Pete Carroll’s intense hatred of Luck’s former head coach, Jim Harbaugh. Carroll has the rationale of an adolescent, and is too energetic for a team to be “inspired” to intentionally lose.
2. Indianapolis Colts
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Last Week: 27-10 loss versus Tennessee
They are really bad, and a Manning-to-Luck succession seems natural. The only issue is Manning potentially returning sometime later this season, and using his new neck to will his team to unfortunate victory. It will be the worst thing he’s ever done.
1. Miami Dolphins
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Last Week: 20-17 loss versus New York Giants
"Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave."—The Road
The 2011 Miami Dolphins, ladies and gentlemen!