Andrew Luck Craze Could Yield Franchise-Altering Trades Before 2012 Draft


November 8, 2011

Andrew Luck Craze Could Yield Franchise-Altering Trades Before 2012 DraftThere are some NFL teams that need to start taking this Suck for Luck thing a little more seriously. In recent weeks, the Jaguars, Cardinals and Panthers have added a second victory to their season's total, which puts them two games behind — or, ahead, if you're more of a traditionalist — the winless Colts.

And a week after the Rams earned a shocking first victory, the Dolphins joined them in the one-win club. And don't forget the Broncos, who have won two of their last three behind quarterback Tim Tebow, who might be a nice enough guy, but he certainly isn't trying to give his job away.

At least the Seahawks (2-6 overall with three consecutive losses) and Redskins (3-5 overall with four straight losses) are trying to take this thing seriously. But for now, this is still a three-team race.

And again, you might ask why teams like the Panthers and Rams would even be interested in taking Stanford's Andrew Luck with the first pick in the draft, considering they've used the top pick to take their own franchise quarterbacks in the last two drafts. Well, they wouldn't be interested in that at all.

The thing with having the top pick is it's probably more beneficial to a team like the Panthers and Rams because they already have their guy. And because of that, they could ransom the pick to a team that needs Luck to turn the fate of its franchise. There's no doubt that Luck gets taken with the top pick, regardless of who owns the selection.

Let's break down a scenario here. Say the Rams get the first pick, and they're followed, in order, by the Dolphins, Colts, Redskins and Seahawks. You might think the Rams would be comfortable taking USC tackle Matt Kalil with the first pick while leaving Luck for the Dolphins. Thing is, the Redskins and Seahawks will start kicking the tires on the Rams' interest in a trade so they could move up to take Luck, which means the Dolphins will have to get in on the bidding as well.

At minimum, the Rams could command that team's first pick in 2012 and 2013, and they'll get it. From there, they could ask for much more, and it's not a stretch to think the Rams could get two first-, second- and third-round picks in exchange for that top selection.

Think about it. Luck has been most often compared to John Elway and Peyton Manning. If you were running a team and knew you could get Elway or Manning in the draft, wouldn't you be willing to give up a ransom of selections? Therefore, the Luck sweepstakes won't just end in Week 17. That's actually when it could start to get even more exciting.

Let's take a glance at the three teams with the best chance to land Luck after Week 9.

Colts (0-9): Wouldn't you love to know what Manning is thinking when he sees fans wearing customized Colts jerseys with Luck's name on the back.

Rams (1-7): There's not enough front-line talent on this roster, and the Rams obviously lack depth. If they landed the first pick, traded it and drafted well over the next two years, they could set up their franchise for the better part of a decade.

Dolphins (1-7): Head coach Tony Sparano, whose eventual firing is as sure as anything, would absolutely love to stick it to Miami's ownership and win a few games to get the Dolphins out of the Luck sweepstakes.

Play the "Suck for Luck" board game to see which team will lose enough to win Andrew Luck.

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