Update on the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes
Written by Curt Popejoy on 09/19/2011
With two weeks of the NFL season in the books, the number of bad teams in the NFL is staggering to me. And when I say bad, I mean putrid with a capital P. And we all know that this upcoming offseason the prize for being the worst team in the NFL is going to be Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
As it stands right now there are 8 teams that haven’t won a game yet. Two of them, the New York Giants and the St. Louis Rams face off tonight. But in all likelihood neither of these teams will be hovering around a winless record at the end of the year, so I’ll remove them from my little scenario. The 6 remaining teams are interesting however.
Minnesota Vikings-On paper when you have the best running back in the league in Adrian Peterson and a veteran quarterback like Donovan McNabb the notion they could go winless seems absurd right? I suppose. Looking at their schedule I can almost assure you they won’t lose every game than for no other reason they get the lowly Kansas City Chiefs on their schedule. But should everything in Minnesota go haywire and they do end up with the number 1 overall pick, they are certainly not in the market for Andrew Luck. We’ll discuss the non-Luck scenarios in a moment.
Miami Dolphins-The Dolphins are generating plenty of offense, with Top 10 in both passing and rushing yards. But 24th in scoring is bad news. And allowing just a smidge over 30 points per game is worse news. Would Miami draft Luck is he was available or are they sold on Chad Henne? At this point I think if Miami should end up with the no. 1 pick(I do not believe they will), Luck has to be the pick here.
Carolina Panthers-The Panthers a team with a whole lot going for them. They have a young QB in Cam Newton who seems to be acclimating himself to the NFL faster than everyone imagined and is putting up remarkable passing stats, albeit in losses. The wins will eventually come, and so I see no scenario where this Panthers team ends up at the bottom of the league at the end of the season. Bottom 10? A definite possibility, but not the bottom of the barrel.
That is reserved for these 3 heavyweight contenders.
Seattle Seahawks-When you think of futile offenses, the Seahawks have to be a benchmark with an average of only 7.5 points per game in their first 2. Last season Coach Pete Carroll brought in Charlie Whitehurst because he was going to be the quarterback of the future. This offseaon Tarvaris was supposed to be the guy. Obviously none of these quarterbacks can play. A quarterback for this team in the offseason has to be a top priority because there is really nothing these skill players can do with this cast of characters in charge of the offense.
Indianapolis Colts-Really? Is this where the Colts are AP(after Peyton)? 13 points per game, well below the Colts average over the past decade with Manning under center. And even their defense which you know has only done what it’s had to so that Peyton could finish teams off, doesn’t have what it takes to step up and help carry a wounded team. I am sure Manning is chomping at the bit to return and try and right the ship, his health has to be his top priority at this point. The most critical mistake the Colts could make is to be sitting at 0-8 or 1-7 at the halfway point and bring him back, even if he is healthy just to win some meaningless ballgames. The Colts front office and Peyton Manning have had a great relationship over the year but this franchise has to look to it’s future at some point and it seems that point is now.
Kansas City Chiefs-When the season started the dozens and dozens of Chiefs fans I know had high hopes. I live in the heart of Chiefs territory so it’s not hard to get a feel for the pulse of the franchise. Fans were excited. Exciting skills players like RB Jamaal Charles, RB/WR Dexter McCluster, WR Dwayne Bowe, TE Tony Moeaki, and rookie WR Jonathan Baldwin playing behind an improved offensive line. On defense you have anchors like OLB Tamba Hali and SS Eric Berry. 1st round picks all along the defensive front. But what happens? Well first off injuries. Baldwin gets hurt in a fight with a teammate, Moeaki lost for the year before he can even take a snap, and now Charles and Berry done for the year. You mix that in with a team that just looks lost and unprepared and the recipe for an 0-16 season is certainly a possibility. If with that would come a new head coach and without a doubt a new quarterback.
If I were a betting man and wanted to rank these bottom 8 in terms of draft it would look something like this.
8. New York Giants
7. Minnesota Vikings
6. St. Louis Rams
5. Miami Dolphins
4. Carolina Panthers
3. Seattle Seahawks
2. Indianapolis Colts
1. Kansas City Chiefs
But what happens to Luck if a team like Minnesota or Carolina end up with the number one overall pick? Both these teams, like the Rams and Giants have committed high first round picks to quarterbacks and I think all 4 teams are content in the fact that they have their future at QB. Obviously a trade is always a possibility, but it’s never as easy as anyone thinks. Granted a trade up to no. 1 is more likely with the new CBA because the pick no longer carries with it an exorbitant salary. But you still have to find a team willing to deal. And in a draft that could see 4 quarterbacks taken in the first round(even though I am not sure I’d take any of them other than Luck in the first round) an offer that is too lofty might lead teams to simply sit and wait on the next best thing. There are some tremendous defensive prospects in this upcoming draft, along with some legit elite level offensive tackle and wide receiver picks, so don’t despair if your team can’t deal out of that top pick. Help is coming.
I never fail to be shocked at the bad football some teams play in the NFL. Lots of people getting paid lots of money to evaluate and coach up all these guys and they can’t accomplish even the simplest things. Can even a player like Luck help a team that bad? It’s a process I suppose, but if you aren’t winning you should have already be in the middle of that process. Look at the Detroit Lions. They’ve worked hard to get things in place. Built their offensive and defensive lines, drafted their franchise quarterbacks and have put some weapons around him. These other perennially bad teams need to take notice of this. It’s absolutely possible to fix these problems. You just have to be smart.
What about Luck?
When I think about a player like Luck, I put myself in his head. Does he want to play for any of these teams? But the competitor in me, and I’m sure in Luck means he’s going to go play and compete for whoever drafts him. I am going to put out my first power ranking of the year and my first mock draft of the year in the coming days but it’ll be interesting to track these bad teams as operation “Suck for Luck” goes into full effect.
Last Edited: 09/19/2011