Stanford Cardinal Andrew Luck: What Happens When "Suck for Luck" Is Over?
Only one NFL team can win the Suck for Luck Sweepstakes. As it sits now, the Indianapolis Colts and the Miami Dolphins are the front-runners.
St. Louis, who was winless going into last week, won their first game of the year against New Orleans. This win most likely put them out of contention for Andrew Luck. The other "close but no cigar" team is Arizona, who also had one win.
Depending on the team who gets the No. 1 pick, the 2012 NFL Draft could have some very big changes. Draft strategies could be completely flipped.
Here are the possible outcomes based on the winner of the Suck for Luck Sweepstakes.
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This goes without saying, but the Miami Dolphins need major changes.
According to reports, head coach Tony Sparano has already put his house up for sale. I'm sure he sees the writing on the wall.
Miami's QB situation is atrocious. They don't have a clear starting QB, but they need more than just a QB.
There is no doubt the Miami Dolphins would select Andrew Luck if they had the chance. This makes all the sense in the world, and they would be criticized for eternity for not taking him.
That being said—they could trade.
Here's an interesting proposal:
If Miami gets the No. 1 pick, I would expect Indianapolis to dangle Peyton Manning out there. Indy wants Andrew Luck, and I think they will do anything to get him. That includes trading away the most successful player on their team.
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With the ongoing Peyton Manning saga, I only see one outcome if Indianapolis gets the 2012 No. 1 pick.
The Colts would draft Andrew Luck.
I don't see any type of trades that would get them out of choosing Luck. However, the next decision after is up in the air.
ESPN analyst Herm Edwards has offered up a situation where the Colts draft Andrew Luck and trade Peyton Manning because like the Dolphins, Indy needs more help than just a QB.
Throwing Peyton on the trading block definitely opens some doors. Now, teams who will only have a handful of wins are now in the running for a Pro Bowl QB. Those teams might include Washington, Seattle, Denver, Cleveland and maybe even Miami.
Don't you think that those teams might give up a few picks for Peyton Manning?
If Indy trades Peyton, I would expect they could get at least two picks in this draft and probably a pick in next year's draft as well. I'm thinking of Peyton Manning for a 2012 first round pick, 2012 second round pick and a 2013 first/second round pick type trade.
Once we finally know the true condition of Peyton Manning's injury, we will be able to assess his future in Indy. If he's available for next year, Andrew Luck might enter into an Aaron Rodgers under Brett Favre situation.
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Without question, Matt Kalil is going to be wearing an Arizona Cardinals jersey in 2012. Arizona is having trouble keeping the very rich Kevin Kolb upright this year.
Kolb has been sacked 24 times this year. He needs some protection big time.
Kalil is a savage offensive tackle with unteachable size and skills. He is the best offensive tackle in the draft by a long shot.
Kalil to the Cardinals at pick No. 3. Nothing else to be said here.
St. Louis Rams
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Sam Bradford needs help in St. Louis.
There are some rumors that St. Louis would take a QB here, but I want to dispel those right now. Sam Bradford is right for St. Louis. He has won over the fans and his teammates. The Rams won't draft a QB.
St. Louis has several needs including cornerback, wide receiver and offensive tackle.
I think the Rams will select Justin Blackmon at pick No. 4. This will pair Blackmon with newly acquired Brandon Lloyd.
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This is where things start to get interesting.
Seattle wanted Tarvaris Jackson. They went after him because he's familiar with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and WR Sidney Rice, and he has some athletic ability.
He's been hurt a lot this year so his production hasn't been where Seattle expected it to be, but he does have some "weapons" to play with.
The reason why they are picking at No. 5 is because of Jackson's injury. Teams are stacking the box against Marshawn Lynch and daring Jackson's backups to throw it.
Seattle could do two things here at No. 5. I would be hard-pressed to say that they don't take the remaining top-tier QB here. More than likely, it will be Landry Jones.
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Denver has to do something about their QB situation.
I would say that the Tebow/Orton debacle is the biggest QB controversy of the season.
Neither quarterback can win in Denver anymore. Orton has lost the respect of his teammates and fans and Tebow isn't being used like he should. My advice to Mike Fox and company would be to trade away the tandem of Orton and Tebow for 2012 third and fifth rounders respectively.
The problem is that all three of the top-tier QBs are now gone.
This leaves guys like Robert Griffin III, Nick Foles, Brandon Weedon and Kellen Moore. All of these guys have flaws, so I don't expect any of them to go here.
At a long shot, Denver might take Trent Richardson—but I think Denver needs defensive help first.
I think a guy like Quinton Coples at pick No. 6 would upgrade their poor defensive line.
If Peyton Manning is available for trade, I believe that Denver would pull the trigger.
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Let me say that I feel for Blaine Gabbert.
He was thrust into a starting role that he wasn't ready for. I completely disagreed with the release of David Garrard and I think it set Gabbert up unfairly.
Gabbert is doing the best that he can and I think eventually, Gabbert will be a decent NFL QB.
Jacksonville has proved that they believe in Gabbert and are going to stick with him for the future.
So when you have a young QB that you want to succeed, what do you do? You draft the biggest offensive threat in the class.
Jacksonville Jaguars select Alshon Jeffery with pick No. 7. He is an unreal athlete who will give Gabbert someone to throw to for a long, long time.
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As I assumed, Christian Ponder has been given the reigns to the Vikings offense. McNabb is at the end of his career and the Vikings thought they could get something extra out of him.
They should have learned from the Redskins.
Anyways, Minnesota has to keep Ponder healthy. He has done his job well but he needs to be kept standing to be effective.
Minnesota Vikings will choose OT Johnathan Martin from Stanford at No. 8.
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NFL Rookie of the Year candidate Cam Newton has completely changed the Carolina Panthers.
They went from one of the worst teams in the NFL to one of the most exciting.
I know—I know. They're only 2-6, but they are slowly figuring it out and are competitive in every single game. They were within one possession of every loss except for one. This includes losses to Green Bay and New Orleans, who are two of the best teams in the NFL.
They also have somewhat of a favorable schedule ahead of them. They have games against Tennessee, Indy and two against Tampa Bay.
Last year, they took the biggest playmaker in the draft. They will do the same thing this year.
Carolina will bolster their defense with LSU Corner Morris Claiborne. He's the best corner in the draft and an explosive kick returner.
Claiborne is another guy who the Carolina Panther fans will immediately fall in love with.
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Rounding out the top 10 are the Washington Redskins.
The Shanahans are going to be in a very tough spot. With all the top QBs out of the mix, Mike Shanahan won't take a QB who he doesn't like.
I can see Washington doing a lot of things here.
They could follow last year's philosophy and have a trade-fest. This worked well last year and would work well again. They might pick up one of the second-tier QBs in a later round as a result.
If they draft with their first round pick, at No. 10 the Redskins will draft the top LB, Vontaze Burfict.
Burfict is the perfect mix of speed and size and will step in at LB immediately.
On a side note, Daniel Snyder and Redskins executives will be calling Indianapolis from the moment this season is over up until Washington is on the clock. Snyder will do his best to try and write the biggest check known to man for Peyton Manning.