[Editor’s Disclaimer: The thoughts and sentiments expressed in this post belong to the author(s) and are not intended to reflect those of the team.]
With exactly two weeks until the first round of the draft, the flow of conventional wisdom is beginning to change course. With experts willing to consider every “long shot” and “outside opportunity” in the lead up to the draft, every dark horse will become a favorite, and vice versa.
At least that’s the feeling by some draft experts concerning the No. 1 overall pick.
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck has been lauded as the best quarterback prospect since 1983, but is a step slower and a Heisman trophy short of Robert Griffin III. Does that make enough difference to change the Colts’ mind with the No. 1 overall selection? Probably not, but Pro Football Weekly’s Nolan Nawrocki thinks it might.
Like most draft experts, Nawrocki is an opinionated guy, and has a history of inflammatory takes on quarterbacks (remember the fraudulent Cam Newton?). However, in the name of “best fit,” he makes a compelling case for why Luck may fall to No. 2 and everyone would end up happy:
Although it doesn’t really apply to the Redskins, Nawrocki prefaces his commentary by saying that the decision were based on three areas of consideration:
1. The best schematic and divisionally competitive fit
2. The strongest area of need
3. The available talent pool in the draft.
With those factors in mind, Nawrocki has Griffin going to the Colts at No. 1 overall:
1. Indianapolis Colts: Robert Griffin III | QB | Baylor [ Jr. ]
Not only did Robert Griffin do more with less at Baylor, as the incoming quarterback of the Colts will have to do with one of the weakest supporting casts in football, but Griffin is a more intimidating playmaker than Andrew Luck with the big-play ability sought in Bruce Arians’ big-strike, vertical offense. Griffin entered the season low on the radar in the Heisman Trophy race and upset the anointed golden boy in college football. Luck remains the heavyweight favorite to be selected first overall, but Griffin is the better schematic fit.
Nawrocki touches on an interesting influence that hasn’t been widely discussed: Bruce Arians as the offensive coordinator for the Colts. People assume that whoever takes over for Peyton Manning will be given the same playbook as Manning and will need a similar skill set.
Arians comes to Indianapolis after five seasons in Pittsburgh, where he enjoyed the mobility and vertical attack of Ben Roethlisberger. Luck showed in workouts that he has plenty of mobility and arm strength, but Griffin showed it more on game tape. With a defensive-minded head coach like Chuck Pagano, Arians could have considerable say in who the team selects.
With Griffin off the board, the Redskins will be clear to select Luck, who in Nawrocki’s estimation, fits the Washington system well:
2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis): Andrew Luck | QB | Stanford [ Jr. ]
The key to Mike Shanahan’s offense is knowing when and where to go with the ball. Having operated a very similar pro-style offense at Stanford to the one the Redskins employ, Luck could hit the ground running and give the Redskins the missing piece that has kept the offense on the runway during the Shanahan era.
Does that mean we’ll see more Spider Two-Y Bananas in Washington? Spread the word to Fred Davis, Chris Cooley and Darrel Young.
Again, this is simply the part of the mock draft process when conventional wisdom is thrown out the window. With two weeks to go, the Redskins likely won’t know the identity of their quarterback until the Colts take the microphone in Radio City Music Hall.
Either way, it looks like the Redskins should come out a winner. We’ll find out in two weeks.