The NFL draft has the distinction of rewarding the worst teams with the top draft picks. Other sports have lottery picks to determine draft order. With the 2011 season half over, most fans have begun to wonder if their team is going to “suck for Luck.”
There are three teams leading the way, by being the worst, to draft Andrew Luck. Luck is the quarterback from Stanford who is largely thought of as the number one overall pick for the 2012 NFL Draft. Currently, there are three teams gunning for the number one overall pick, the Indianapolis Colts (0-8), the St. Louis Rams (1-7), and the Miami Dolphins (1-7).
None of these teams are going to “suck for Luck.” Luck has been anointed as the next NFL superstar quarterback without ever playing a down in the NFL. He is considered the best quarterback in the upcoming draft with good reason, but two of the worst three teams might be willing to trade the pick for Andrew Luck.
The Colts, who have yet to win a game, might trade the pick hoping for the return of all world quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning, who has sat out of every game of the 2011 season with a neck injury, still could have a few years left as starting quarterback of the Colts. If Manning does have a few years left, as Colts fans hope, do they really need to sit Luck on the bench for two or three years. By trading the pick, the Colts could amass several draft picks to rebuild the team. The Colts, who are a perennial playoff team, need to address several issues on defense. Manning typically controls the game so well, the Colts defensive woes are less prevalent. Their defense doesn’t exactly define the Colts play in any recent seasons, but this year the offense can’t keep the defense off the field. In 2011, the Colts average 24:36 time of possession which is more than 5 minutes less than their 2010 average. Plus, they are allowing more than 60 yards and 7 points per game over the 2010 performance. Rebuilding the defense seems to be the pressing issue in Indianapolis.
The Rams, who drafted Sam Bradford with the first overall pick in 2010, do not need to draft another young quarterback. Bradford signed a record contract for his rookie deal, and the Rams are hoping he returns the team to playoff contenders as they were in the early 2000s. After his rookie season led to a 7-9 record, the Rams seem to be a regressing in 2011. Bradford has still shown his ability to lead a NFL offense even though his team has only one win during the first half of the season, and it was a game that Bradford didn’t start; however, given the money invested, the Rams are unlikely to draft Luck. If they end up with the first overall pick, they need to invest in offensive weapons for their young quarterback. St. Louis has only scored 100 points in the first eight games. Trading for Brandon Lloyd helps, but more receivers are needed. Defensively, they need help stopping he run.
The Dolphins, who have no real starting quarterback, could use the first overall pick for Andrew Luck. The Dolphins could use a franchise quarterback. Since Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins have struggled to find a signal caller. This void could be filled by the drafting of Andrew Luck. Dolphin fans might return to the stadium with this pick; however, players in their contract are going to be playing for their pay day not Luck.
Whichever team ends up with the first overall pick, it is a safe bet that the players didn’t want to end up in that position. Throwing money and new deals aside, pride of not being the worst team in the league will keep most teams from the “suck for Luck” sweepstakes.