They are both saying the right things which isn’t too difficult given the fact that both Robert Griffin, III and Andrew Luck posses the off-field qualities teams want in their on-field signal caller. Talking with the media yesterday and to a handful of teams as well, both men stood poised to “wow” the interviewers with their words instead of their arms. Neither will throw at the NFL Combine.
Both of these soon to be NFL rookies know that they are the 1-2 QB punch in this year draft with Luck the runaway favorite to go number one overall and RGIII following at number 2. That isn’t good enough for RGIII, he wants to go number 1 and is working his tail off to get the Indianapolis Colts to listen. The question is will they?
Luck and RGIII have already had conversations with the Colts brass but neither have gone to the white board where they will be drilled about defensive formations and game situations to showcase their mental acuity. RGIII specifically stated that he can’t wait to get to the board to impress teams with his knowledge (shouldn’t be too difficult considering his widely regarded intelligence level).
Although most believe that Luck is the answer for the Colts, each of the prospects told media yesterday that they are more than willing to sit behind Peyton Manning should he return. Luck said that he has “modeled his play after Manning” while RGIII stated, “I would hold the clipboard with honor”. Again, both saying the right things. The question of Manning is the talk of the off-season thus far. Mentioned more than any other player and he isn’t scheduled to be a free agent. All eyes have been on Indianapolis since the Super Bowl, the Combine, and the Manning saga. It will continue until a decision on Manning is made.
Whatever decision that is however will have no impact on what the Colts do at the front of the draft. Whether it be taking the overwhelming favorite Andrew Luck or a surprise move taking RGIII. What is known is that there is virtually zero chance of them trading out of that pick regardless of what is thrown in their direction. That is of course if over the next few days they fall in love with someone like Ryan Tannehill. Not likely.
For the better part of a collegiate year, Andrew Luck has reigned supreme at the top of the list and when the dust settles on the 2012 draft, Luck will be forever listed as a number one pick. So why bother bringing it up at all? After speaking with a friend of mine who has a friend (Buehler) that works close with the Colts, team owner Jim Irsay has not finalized his decision on Luck alone. Irsay doesn’t follow what the masses think by any means. He wants his team back on top and he wants them to be exciting as they were under Manning. That means keeping his options at QB open.
This “source” said that Irsay is giving 100 percent of his attention to both men through this process and that according to some in the know with the Colts, nothing has been decided and won’t be until at the earliest the conclusion of the Combine. According to NFL rules, the Colts can begin negotiating with players and actually sign the first round pick at any time now that the order has been officially set, with the coin tosses deciding spots 8,9, 11, and 12.
We should have a very good idea of whether or not RGIII does enough to impress Irsay at the Combine prior to the draft which is still quite a bit in the distance. The reality is that once the Colts begin negotiations with one, the other, or both, the media will know about it and immediately there will be an inclination as to the direction Irsay and the Colts are going.
The price to move up to number two is going to be costly and a lot of that depends on what happens in free agency. The Browns are rumored to have Matt Flynn at the top of their free agent wish list which would take them out of the RGIII trade possibilities leaving Washington and Miami in that race. Oddly enough, if Cleveland does somehow find a starter in free agency to compete with Colt McCoy, the Redskins may not have to trade down to number 2 but instead force the Rams to make a pick, presumably that pick would be USC tackle Matt Kalil and then trade with the Vikings at number three or even Cleveland at number 4 where the cost of moving isn’t as much.
The Rams have made it clear they want to trade the pick and it’s likely they will try and get a trade completed prior to the draft to allow them ample opportunity to re-assess their draft boards. The bonus for them is that at number 2, either Luck or RGIII will be the guy depending on what the Colts do at number one. Which brings us back to the NFL Combine and the interview process that will be conducted between the players and the Colts as well as everyone else. One thing is for certain. While it’s up in the air as to who will come out on top in the interview process, it’s easy to say that Andrew Luck will not beat RGIII’s run times.
Reality though has a way of settling in and the truth is that RGIII would have to overcome major obstacles to get over Andrew Luck even if it is only perception. Of course right now the only perception that matters is that of the Colts.