The way I see things, the Indianapolis Colts/Andrew Luck marriage is a done deal, so for all intents and purposes, St. Louis has the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. For my money, QB Robert Griffin III is as promising a prospect as recent #1 overall picks Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford…if not more so. The Rams will likely be inundated with trade offers from teams desperate to secure the Heisman-winner (Cleveland, Washington, Miami, and Seattle are the obvious candidates). While staying put at #2 and selecting OT Matt Kalil to neatly address the need to upgrade Sam Bradford’s protection makes sense, the bidding war for RGIII may escalate to the point where the Rams (who have a ton of needs) are made an offer they can’t refuse.
In my previous 2012 NFL Mock Draft, I had the Browns moving up to #2 (in exchange for the #4 and #22 picks). It seemed the ideal trade, as the numbers jived with the trade value chart, and the Rams could still be in position to land Kalil or, at worst, a sorely-needed #1 WR (Justin Blackmon) at #4. I still say that this trade makes the most sense for St. Louis, and I’m really not buying Holmgren and Heckert’s feigned indifference toward RGIII. (If ham ‘n’ eggers like Brad and myself can see the obvious similarities between Griffin and Steve Young, than I’m certain that Holmgren, who was Young’s QB coach at BYU and the offensive coordinator for the 49ers while Young was their QB, can see them too). I’ve heard the argument that the Browns have “too many needs” to make a move for RGIII. Whatever. The Patriots are in the Super Bowl with a swiss cheese defense, old farts like Deion Branch and Ochocinco at WR, and a collection of journeymen at RB. Why? Because they have a franchise QB. The Giants are starting Chase freakin’ Blackburn at MLB and feature a makeshift O-line…but they’re in the Super Bowl. Why? Because they have a franchise QB.
Nevertheless, I’ve decided to go in a different direction with this mock. Free agency and the Combine are still a ways off, so as of right now, I’m more concerned about using my mock to get a feel for different scenarios and possibilities than any sort of attempt at pinpoint accuracy, so why not give another one of the above-mentioned teams RGIII this time? My mock will grow increasingly safer and tighter as the draft approaches, but it’s only early February…time for throwing some ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks.
As usual, I’ve included some first-round trades…but that’s where the trade action ends. I actually gave second day trades a shot, but quickly realized that opening up that can of worms in the second and third rounds of my 2012 NFL mock draft would only result in a one-way ticket to the nearest rubber room.
* – my own trade scenario
Exit Peyton, Enter Luck
1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck QB Stanford (Jr.)
There’s a new regime in Indianapolis. Peyton Manning is approaching 36 years old and is dealing with neck/back injuries so severe that he has resorted to European stem-cell therapy. He’s not in the Colts’ plans. Luck offers prototypical size, Lee Harvey Oswaldesque accuracy (alledgedly), very good athleticism, NFL pedigree, experience in a pro-style system, and impeccable character.
The phone lines are now closed at Colts’ headquarters.
Also considered: None
2. TRADE!! Washington Redskins (from St. Louis)- Robert Griffin III QB Baylor (Jr.) *
While I still think that the Rams/Browns trade is the most logical scenario, who’s to say that the Redskins won’t simply outbid all comers in order to secure RGIII? Desperate QB situations (Grossman/Beck) call for desperate measures…and the options are limited. The Peyton Manning to the Redskins (or Jets) rumors make for great forum fodder, but I’m guessing that Manning hangs ‘em up and gets a head-start on his career as the best NFL analyst in the history of the universe. As for Matt Flynn (the next Kevin Kolb), there’s no shortage of desperate teams that will be willing to overpay for his services in free agency or in a trade, so we obviously can’t assume that the ‘Skins will land him. (Flynn may simply follow Joe Philbin to Miami.) If you think that Ryan Tannehill is ready to step into the lineup and lead the ‘Skins to the playoffs, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you. By April, Washington could have no choice but to move up for Griffin.
Whatever price Snyder, Allen, and Shanahan may ultimately pay for the Heisman-winner should be well worth it. (I have the ‘Skins giving up their ’12 and ’13 first-rounders in this scenario.) Folks who think that RGIII will slip to the Browns at #4 or even the ‘Skins at #6 are kidding themselves. If not for the presence of a once-in-a-generation prospect like Luck, Griffin would be the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. If you think that RGIII is a hot prospect now, just wait until April. He’s an Olympic-level athlete, not to mention incredibly charasmatic and intelligent (see his eloquent Heisman acceptance speech if you need proof), so I’m guessing that predraft workouts and interviews will be a walk in the park for him. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if, at some point during the predraft process, the “unthinkable” happens…the Colts seriously consider choosing RGIII with the #1 pick.
Also considered: Rams stay put and draft OT Matt Kalil, trade down with CLE/MIA Read the rest of this entry » «Profetta’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Not Your Everyday Mock»