Is the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft still in play?

Posted by Brad On December – 19 – 2011
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Indy makes it a sprint to the No. 1 spot with their win on Sunday

We had stuck a fork in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes as it looked that the Indianapolis Colts would run away with the prize.  The Colts win on Sunday over the heavily favored Tennessee Titans may have opened the door for the Minnesota Vikings to sneak into the No. 1 spot in the 2012 NFL Draft.

The Colts now sit at 1-13 with the Vikings and Rams at 2-12.  With two games left to play anything is possible at this point.  The Rams are the long shot in the group with a .590 strength of schedule (before Baltimore/San Diego and Pittsburgh/San Francisco play).  The Rams do have to the toughest path to a win with Pittsburgh and San Francisco remaining on their schedule.  In all liklihood, they will finish with two wins.

The Colts host Houston on Thursday night and go to Jacksonville to close the season on New Year’s Day.  Jacksonville is a team in disarray and Houston played miserably against Carolina yesterday.  While it remains unlikely that they could win out, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Minnesota is sitting in an interesting position as they go to Washington on Christmas Eve and host the Bears on New Year’s Day.  The ’Skins are coming off a win against the Giants and sit within striking distance of the Colts in strength of schedule. 

With all the possibilities comes the question of would either the Vikings or Rams throw in the towel on their franchise quarterbacks for Andrew Luck?  Sam Bradford has been inconsistent and injured in 2011.  Christian Ponder has looked really good at times and then turned around and looked like the rookie he is.   

The final two weeks of the season are going to be packed with storylines as teams fight for Playoff spots and the No. 1 pick remains up for grabs.

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  • capers8

    Ha I was thinking the same thing after I saw that the Colts lost. Linked this at my site

  • Mprofetta

    Nice piece, Brad. I have a feeling that the Vikings will beat the Bears, so I think that the Colts ultimately land at #1 overall…but it would be a lot of fun if they didn’t. It would open the door for a lot of intrigue and make mocking the draft that much more challenging. Would the Vikes stick with Ponder, or make a monumental trade with a team like the Redskins, Browns or Dolphins? (If I’m Minnesota, I draft Luck without blinking.) At #2, do the Colts draft Kalil, even though they just drafted Castonzo to play LT, or do we see Claiborne go higher than any corner in recent memory?

    Maybe 2012 could be the year we finally see some trades in the top 10. If the Vikings and Browns pick at #3 and #4, a lot of teams would be lighting up Minny’s phone looking to snag Barkley or RG3 ahead of Cleveland. Having just missed out on Kalil, I’m guessing that Minnesota would just take the best defensive player in the draft (Claiborne), but maybe they would be looking to trade down to the #5-#10 range to draft Martin/Reiff, or even Blackmon/Floyd. Tampa Bay at #5 would be really interesting, too (assuming Claiborne is off the board). They could be looking to trade down to a more reasonable spot to draft someone like Kirkpatrick or Kuechly…or maybe they stay at #5 and take Trent Richardson. (Blount has been a disappointment this season.) I have a feeling that a lot of mock drafts will be blown up by the fifth pick next April.

    • Anonymous

      I have the Vikings winning three games, so I think the point is moot. But it’s still going to be interesting given how it looks like the draft will shape up. The Browns aren’t beating the Ravens or Steelers. The Jags could beat the Colts and TB isn’t winning the way they are playing. I have it is IND, STL, MIN, CLE, TB, WAS, JAC….I think WAS and MIA will be aggressive and MIN definitely looks to trade down after they miss out on Kalil. STL might also look to get out of the two spot. With the rookie wage scale in place it’s going to be interesting to see the value of those spots. In the past because of the cost of drafting high, the value decreased. Now, it probably will increase. I could see STL and MIN trading out of their respective slots and the draft falling Luck, RGIII, and Barkley.

      If by chance the Vikings do end up with No.1, I think they shop it and see if someone is willing to trade their entire draft for it. If not, they have to take Luck and shop Ponder. After a pretty solid rookie season, he could bring some value back but not for where they drafted him. Can’t afford to pass on Luck.

      It’s going to be a very interesting draft this year and I’m looking forward to it more than any other year. I like the talent in this draft and I love the rookie wage scale. We could see a record number of trades at the top of this draft.

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