We’re currently 69 days away from the day that Roger Goodell will announce the beginning of Andrew Luck’s career as a Colt, which isn’t nearly enough time for wild and sometimes baseless speculation. So it’s time to pick up the pace.
Today’s most popular dart thrown in a room with little lighting seems very likely to hit its target. And that’s not just because of the amount of attention the Robert Griffin III rumors are receiving. No, the force is much stronger here, because RG3 is being pushed by a rare silly season weapon: logic. Pure logic.
If we assume that Luck will be a Colt in just over two months, then the Rams will be on the clock with their second overall pick while a handful of quarterback-hungry teams just a little further back in the draft wait for their chance to select the second-best player at the position.
The problem is that only one team can draft RG3, partly because while he is an amazing athlete, physical limitations and the limitations of the space-time continuum only allow him to play for one team at any given time. NFL rules also restrict multiple team association, although we’re sure that will be up for discussion when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 10 years.
You know the drill by now from here: the Rams are committed to Sam Bradford, so it’s highly unlikely that they’ll draft Griffin at No. 2. The Vikings are in a similar situation one pick later after they reached on Christian Ponder last year. So it should be easy for the Browns to give up on Colt McCoy and finally draft a franchise quarterback not named Tim Couch when Griffin falls to No. 4, right?
If it was always that easy, GMs would just chill out and sip hot cocoa in their living rooms while conducting the draft on some new-fangled interactive Ouija Board device.
Sitting only two spots behind the Browns are the equally QB-needy Redskins, with the Dolphins then lurking in eighth or ninth. When Matt Barkley and Landry Jones decided that frolicking on campuses with severely over-tanned college girls for one more year was more appealing than the NFL draft, that gave the Redskins and possibly the Dolphins far more motivation to leap frog Cleveland and obtain the Rams’ pick, and by extension Griffin.
That means the Browns have more motivation too, and they’ll likely act on it.
After last year’s trade that landed Julio Jones in Atlanta, the Browns have two first-round picks between their own at No. 4, and Atlanta’s 22nd overall pick. Earlier today ESPN draft guru Todd McShay said that if the Browns’ do indeed intend to draft their arm for hopefully the next decade or more, then they should move both of their first-round picks.
“I think he’s every bit worth the [No. 2] pick. I’ve got him as the third prospect overall in this class, and I think that if the Browns want him, they need to move up and get him. I’ll be surprised if he lasts until four, and I’ll be even surprised if he gets to No. 3 because I think that No. 2 pick is up for public auction. I think the Rams are going to get a good deal to move back and can still get a player they want at tackle or wide receiver.
“And if it’s not Cleveland, then it’s probably going to be Washington [at No. 6] right behind them leapfrogging Cleveland to get up to No. 2.”
Some hesitancy is understandable here, as it is with any highly-touted quarterback. After what Jones and A.J. Green did last year, Cleveland could easily have more confidence in a top-end wide receiver like Justin Blackmon, and give McCoy one more year.
But that seems increasingly unlikely, especially after McCoy averaged just 5.9 yards per pass attempt this year. According to ESPN’s draft value chart, the combined value of Cleveland’s 4th and 22nd overall picks is worth 2,580 points, which is only marginally below the second pick (2,600). Meanwhile, the value of Washington’s No. 6 pick is much lower, and is worth 1,600.
The time seems right for a risk, and if Washington’s willing to take one, there needs to be an itchy rash on the Browns’ trigger finger too.