Andrew Luck Sweepstakes
Andrew Luck, have you heard that name before? Assuming you’ve been following the 2011 NFL season, you definitely have heard it. Luck is the top college QB prospect in the country playing at Stanford. He’s in his junior year at the college and has put up insane numbers ever since he’s become the starting QB in his freshmen year in 2009. He became the first ever Stanford QB to be named the starter in his freshmen year. Many experts are calling Luck the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning was drafted in 1998 by the Indianapolis Colts out of Tennessee. Some experts are even calling Luck the best QB prospect since John Elway was drafted in 1983 by the Baltimore Colts out of Stanford and then traded right away to the Denver Broncos after he voiced his displeasure of not wanting to play for the Colts and forcing a trade.
Andrew Luck has had a great first two and a half season’s at Stanford going 27-5 so far and being the Heisman trophy runner up in 2010. He was named the 2010 Orange Bowl MVP after guiding Stanford to a 40-12 win over Virginia Tech. Over his collegiate career, Luck has a 66.1 completion percentage and a passer rating of 163.5. Luck has thrown for 7,801 yards, 65 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He’s also run for 890 yards and six touchdowns. He has 8,691 yards of total offense as well. Those numbers would make you go on to think that he is a tremendous QB and a top prospect. This is why Andrew Luck is the projected #1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, if he enters of course. He was projected to be the #1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft by the Carolina Panthers, if he had entered.
There are three teams currently battling it out for the #1 overall pick in the upcoming 2012 draft. All teams are win less through seven weeks of the season. Those teams are, the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, and the St.Louis Rams. Miami and St.Louis are both 0-6 after already going through their bye week and Indianapolis is 0-7 without having their bye week yet. Miami has no QB whatsoever, their opening day QB Chad Henne separated his shoulder this season and got season ending surgery on it and backup QB Matt Moore has looked absolutely awful. Miami looks to have given up on head coach Tony Sparano and look to be tanking this season for the chance to draft Andrew Luck. The Indianapolis Colts started the season without future hall of fame QB Peyton Manning after Manning went under off season neck surgery in May and with the NFL lockout going on at that time, Manning could not get treatment and help from the team doctors. When the lockout was ended in late July and Manning allowed to get treatment, he tried to hurry to be ready for the season opener against Houston on September 11th. He didn’t have enough time and ended up going under his second neck surgery of the year on September 8th. He was ruled out for 3-4 months and still has a chance to play in mid to late December but many people don’t think it’s worth the risk to play a few games especially if they’re not in the playoff race. Then there is the St.Louis Rams. The Rams were 7-9 in 2010 and missed out on the playoffs by virtue of losing the final game of the season to division rival Seattle. Their surprising 0-6 start is puzzling. St.Louis isn’t expected to draft Andrew Luck if they were to receive the #1 overall pick because they drafted QB Sam Bradford out of Oklahoma with the #1 overall pick in 2010 and are very satisfied moving forward with Bradford at the helm. Now i give my reasons for these three teams to draft or not draft Andrew Luck.
Miami Dolphins (0-6) – The Dolphins are a mess, point blank. They have no team whatsoever. Their opening day starting QB Chad Henne is out for the year after shoulder surgery. Their backup is horrible. There is no reason at all why the Dolphins shouldn’t take Andrew Luck with the #1 pick if they were to get it. They would have a great QB to throw to their #1 WR Brandon Marshall, who if provided a good QB can be a top 10 WR in the NFL. Miami ranks 23rd in the NFL with 1,313 yards passing. So that position is without a doubt in need of major improvement. I mean come on, can you think of ONE reason why Miami shouldn’t take Andrew Luck if they have the chance? Exactly, you can’t because they have no current QB on the roster better then Luck already is and will be throughout his career. There is a reason why they’re comparing Luck to Manning and Elway as a college prospect. The Dolphins could use offensive line help, a running back, and defense, but the QB position needs to be addressed first and when you could possibly be able to draft perhaps the next Peyton Manning, you have to pull the trigger, no doubt about it. Miami is already clearly tanking this season for a shot at the #1 pick because they know how badly they need a QB and how good Andrew Luck is and will be when he reaches the NFL. Don’t give me nothing that they could be tanking to draft top offensive tackle Matt Kalil out of USC, or top WR Justin Blackmon out of USC, or top defensive end Quinton Coples out of UNC, they are tanking for Andrew Luck as he can make them a playoff contender within his first three years in the league. In Peyton Manning’s first two seasons with the Colts, he went 3-13 and then 13-3, a 10 game turnaround. Indianapolis probably would’ve done better in Manning’s rookie season but they had a league worst defense that gave up 27+ points per game. The Colts have made the playoffs and won double digit games every year since Manning entered the league except for 1998 and 2001. If Andrew Luck is being compared to Peyton Manning and Manning did that in his career so far, how can you not draft him? The point is, is if the Dolphins land the #1 pick, they shouldn’t even use one minute of the 15 minutes they get to go over a draft selection, drafting Andrew Luck is a no brainer for Miami.
Indianapolis Colts (0-7) – The Colts have have a tough decision to make if they land the #1 pick. They currently have superstar QB Peyton Manning on the roster but Manning has had three neck surgeries within the last two to three years, so his long term durability is in question. He recently signed a 5 year, $90 million dollar extension in July. So the Colts have him locked up for awhile but with the health questions surrounding his neck, they may want to get his eventual replacement right now in Andrew Luck if they have the chance. If I’m the Colts, I run a series of tests beginning a month before the draft to make sure Peyton’s neck looks good enough for the remainder of his contract. If the tests look sketchy or no good, you have to take Luck. If the tests come back great or good enough and Colts owner Jim Irsay is willing to take the risk, you either draft an offensive tackle to help protect Manning like Matt Kalil from USC or Jonathan Martin from Stanford or maybe defensive end Quinton Coples from UNC or get Reggie Wayne’s possible replacement at WR in Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon. Then there’s the option of trading the #1 overall pick to a team that will also love to add Luck, like Seattle, Washington, Kansas City, Denver, Miami, Cleveland, or maybe even Dallas if Tony Romo keeps choking under pressure in the 4th quarter of games. Indianapolis has big decisions if they get the #1 pick and it all relies on the health and long term outlook on future hall of famer Peyton Manning.
St.Louis Rams (0-6) – I believe it’s a 100% certainty that the Rams would not take Andrew Luck if they had the #1 overall pick in the draft. In 2010 the Rams had the #1 overall pick and took then Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford. Sam won rookie of the year honors in the 2010 season after passing for 3,512 yards and 18 touchdowns. St.Louis appears very content going with Bradford at QB for the next decade. They have no need for a QB but sure could use WR and OL help. They would most likely trade the #1 pick, if they get it, to a Andrew Luck hungry team. Experts seem to believe that some teams who really want Luck would be willing to trade three 1st round picks for the #1 overall pick if a team like St.Louis were to get the pick or Indianapolis and they decided to stick with Manning and not take Luck. St.Louis sure could use guys like Kalil, Blackmon, and Coples. Trading the #1 pick for two-three future first round picks and maybe more complimentary picks would be the way to go. You’d still maybe have a chance for Blackmon, or Kalil, or Coples. Why take one of those three players, and not trade the #1 pick for a different pick and still have a chance for those players and have two first round picks in 2013 and 2014? It’s surprising knowing St.Louis is 0-6 and in great contention for the #1 pick in 2012, when they were 7-9 last year and just missed making the playoffs. Without a doubt, St.Louis needs a WR to pair up with newly acquired WR Brandon Lloyd. They also need offensive line help to protect their rising star quarterback. Defense needs be improved as well, St.Louis needs lots of help this offseason. Point blank though, if St.Louis gets the #1 overall pick, they’re likely to trade it for three first round picks. Lots of teams will want that #1 pick if St.Louis has it and I’m positive that the Rams can get a kings ransom for it and stock pile draft picks for the future and draft players to be apart of their good looking future.
If I had to make a pick on who I would go with to get the #1 pick currently, I think I’d go with Miami. They have absolutely no play makers outside of wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who isn’t much of a play maker when Miami has no QB. Indianapolis has wide receiver’s Reggie Wayne, Austin Collie, and Pierre Garcon, also have tight end Dallas Clark, and defensive end’s Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis. So I would think Indianapolis can tally a couple wins at least. St.Louis has rising star QB Sam Bradford, star RB Steven Jackson, newly acquired star WR Brandon Lloyd. I think St.Louis can get 1-3 wins with those guys. Miami appears to be tanking already anyway in hope of being able to get their future franchise QB. I think Miami is going to become the second team ever to have a win less season and go 0-16 (2008 Lions). Pretty funny considering in 1972 they won the Super Bowl after having a perfect season of going 16-0.
Now, the thing that Miami, or any team that lands the #1 pick and intends on selecting Andrew Luck, have to hope doesn’t happen, is what happened in the 2004 NFL Draft when #1 overall pick Eli Manning was selected by the San Diego Chargers, but Manning made it clear, he did not want to play for the Chargers and his request to not be taken by San Diego was not granted. The New York Giants selected QB Phillip Rivers 4th overall and traded him to San Diego in exchange for Manning. So, for a team getting the #1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft that wants Andrew Luck, can only hope that Luck is fine with playing for them and does not decide to go back to school for his senior season, which I think, will not happen, but hey, anything is possible.