Posted on: March 10, 2012 12:54 pm
In the wake of the bold trade up by the Washington Redskins to secure the rights to one of the two elite quarterbacks of the 2012 draft class you can expect that there will be plenty of media speculation as to whether head coach Mike Shanahan and his staff overpayed.
The St. Louis Rams, on the other hand, are universally being lauded for their ability to pry first round picks from the Redskins in the 2013 and 2014 drafts, as well as Washington's second round pick this year for only dropping four spots.
And while I do believe that this trade could be one of the few in which both teams appear to be "winners," it isn't fair to characterize the Redskins as the only team taking a significant risk with the move.
Recent conversations with various league sources indicate that six prospects have pulled away as the elite talents of the 2012 draft. Though the order differs slightly per team, the general consensus seems to be that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, Southern Cal offensive tackle Matt Kalil, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, and Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon have separated from the rest of the pack. In trading out of the second pick to the sixth, the Rams are still guaranteed to see one of these prospects still available to them. Whether it is one capable of making an immediate impact, however, is the bigger question.
With obvious needs at wide receiver and cornerback, the Rams would presumably love to see either Claiborne or Blackmon still available. The Minnesota Vikings (owners of the third pick), Cleveland Browns (four) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (five) also have signficant needs at these spots, however. With free agency looming, much will change prior to the draft but Rams fans may not be as thrilled with their options at No. 6 as they may have been when hearing of the bounty of picks their team will receive in the move.
Based on the lowered value of running backs in today's pass-happy NFL, Richardson would appear to be the most logical candidate, at this point, to slip to six. And while the Rams are expected to add a running back during the off-season to ease the burden on star Steve Jackson, adding another elite talent at one of the few positions of strength on the roster is not the recipe for success most teams would follow.
Of course, if the draft works out the way Dane Brugler and I anticipate in our updated mock drafts (which reflect the trade), St. Louis could be celebrating their mighty haul of draft picks and adding a certain playmaker for Sam Bradford to boot.
Posted on: February 25, 2012 3:37 pm
The top four quarterbacks on NFLDraftScout.com's board are not throwing passes at the 2012 Scouting Combine.
Stanford's Andrew Luck (own choice), Baylor's Robert Griffin III (own choice), Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill (foot) and Arizona State's Brock Osweiler (unknown) have each said they won't be throwing at the Combine.
Highly regarded quarterbacks electing to hold off until their Pro Day is nothing new, of course. Often the reasons given by these quarterbacks as to why they'd rather wait until their Pro Day is the fact that they'll be throwing to their own receivers in the surroundings they've grown accustomed to.
NFLDraftScout.com, however, was told of another reason why quarterbacks may want to wait until their on-campus workouts. The high-level source used Cam Newton's erratic performance during the Combine throwing session last year as an example.
"Last year [scouts] didn't sync the QB drop and the wide receiver pattern. For example, [Newton] was dropping five steps but the wide receivers were doing three step type patterns."
The miscommunication caused Newton's accuracy to appear to be inconsistent. He took the hit publicly for a mediocre performance and to his credit never said a word publicly about what may have been the biggest reason for it.
The Carolina Panthers obviously looked past the performance -- and considering the terrific rookie season Newton had in 2011, they were certainly wise in doing so.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 6:57 pm
Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler is joining Stanford's Andrew Luck, Baylor's Robert Griffin III and Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill as quarterbacks who will not be throwing in front of scouts at the 2012 Combine.
The foursome make up the top quarterback prospects on NFLDraftScout.com's board, leaving a rather ho-hum group of passers left to throw to receivers during Sunday's throwng session.
The NFL can't be thrilled with the fact that arguably the four most intriguing quarterback talents in the draft will not be throwing on the first day the league is opening up the Combine to fans.
The shorter-than-expected Osweiler told me Friday as he was walking out of Lucas Oil Stadium that he would not be throwing. He did not provide a reason and unfortunately, I was unable to ask further questions due to a pre-scheduled radio commitment.
Osweiler surprised many with his decision to leave Arizona State after only one starting season. He was very impressive in 2011, however, setting the ASU record by completing 63.2% of his passes for 4,036 yards -- another school record. Osweiler threw twice as many touchdowns (26) and interceptions (13) in 2011 and though he left ASU following the team's bowl loss to Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl, he had a strong game personally, completing 30 of 47 passes for a career-high 397 yards and two touchdowns against one interception.
Arizona State's Pro Day is currently scheduled for March 24.
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:08 pm
The speculation is over, the top two rated quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL draft won't be throwing passes at the Combine.
Stanford's Andrew Luck and Baylor's Robert Griffin each made their announcements during today's media session at the Combine. Luck will do every other athletic drill at the Combine other than throw. Griffin will run. Each is saving their throwing session until they can work with their own receivers during their Pro Days. Stanford's Pro Day is March 22. Baylor's was scheduled for the same day until it was changed so that scouts could see both Luck and Griffin throw.
While scouts would certainly love to see Luck and Griffin choose to throw this week, their decisions to push back their throwing sessions won't impact their draft stock. Highly regarded quarterbacks often choose to wait until their Pro Day workouts. Cam Newton, last year, was a notable exception.
Luck and Griffin III are NFLDraftScout.com's top two rated prospects for the 2012 draft and are projected as the first two picks in my current mock draft.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:27 pm
New Indianapolis Colts' general manager Ryan Grigson flatly denied a report that his team had advised likely No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck not to throw passes at the Scouting Combine this week.
Grigson, speaking to the media at the Combine Thursday, was twice asked about a tweet from Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star that claimed Luck was willing to throw Sunday but was talked out of it by the Colts.
"I never said anything," Grigson said. "Players are allowed to make their own decisions what they're going to do at the Combine. I've had no bearing on that, believe me."
At least one member of the media may not have believed Grigson. Seconds after answering the first question about whether he'd individually asked Luck not to throw, a follow-up question came asking if any member of the Colts had pushed the Stanford passer's decision.
"No. Absolutely not," Grigson replied.
The reality is, Luck's decision to throw or not throw at the Combine this week is unlikely to have any bearing whatsoever on his draft status. The redshirt junior has three years worth of tape proving his talents. He's been the top-rated prospect in the country by NFLDraftScout.com for nearly two years. My CBS colleague Mike Freeman noted that scouts were absolutely "kissy, kissy" about Luck. Frankly, if the Colts stun the world by taking anyone other than Luck with the first pick of the draft, the list of suitors calling the St. Louis Rams to move up to No. 2 overall would likely be a long one.
Any perceived slight or miscommunication between the Colts and Luck could be significant, however, especially considering the precarious situation Indianapolis already has with their current quarterback, Peyton Manning. Speaking of Manning, Grigson offered little news on the star's progress and asked the media to understand that he and the Colts have little choice but to wait for Manning to improve medically.
"...Peyton has to be healthy," Grigson explained. "It has to be something that’s spoken on and investigated and talked about. Right now, it’s a process. We’re waiting for things to happen. Right now, we’re doing the things we have control of. Things we don’t have control of, we just have no choice but to be patient. We ask all of you to be the same."
Regardless of the Colts' decision with Manning, expect the team to be well represented at Luck's Pro Day March 22.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 3:34 pm
Stanford left tackle Jonathan Martin is expected to wait until his March 22 Pro Day to work out for scouts rather than compete at the 2012 Scouting Combine.
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:25 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2012 12:26 pm
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello informed the media today at the 2012 Scouting Combine that once the final order is determined for the first round, the Indianapolis Colts are free to sign whomever they intend to draft No. 1 overall.
Posted on: February 20, 2012 4:03 pm
Edited on: February 20, 2012 9:14 pm
Robert Griffin III has moved his pro day up to March 21, one day before Andrew Luck's pro day, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The move avoids a conflict for NFL scouts, who can now take in both workouts.
The change might benefit teammates more than Luck and Griffin III, who are the top two rated players by NFLDraftScout.com. With Stanford and Baylor both boasting several draftable players, scouts won't have to choose which workout to attend.
Luck and Griffin will both be in Indianapolis this week for the Scouting Combine. While they will interview with teams and take part in measurements and the media sessions, both may choose to skip the throwing sessions. Many top quarterback prospects choose to wait until their personal pro days, when they can work out on their home turf and with their own receivers.
UPDATE: Griffin said he is looking forward to talking to executives, will run the 40-yard dash and take part in drills at the Combine, but will not take part in throwing drills.