The “Suck for Luck” campaign truly was an all-or-nothing experience.
While Andrew Luck has developed into a franchise quarterback since the Indianapolis Colts selected him No. 1 overall in the 2012 NFL draft, it’s become apparent of late that the rest of the class offered little in the way of consolation prizes. In fact, the top of the 2012 draft — besides Luck — looks worse each day.
The Washington Redskins named Kirk Cousins their starting quarterback earlier this week. That’s nice on one hand (Cousins was one of Washington’s fourth-round picks in 2012) but absolutely terrible on the other (Robert Griffin III, the No. 2 overall pick that year, was relegated to the bench).
Griffin had an excellent rookie campaign for the ‘Skins, prompting many to wonder whether he might have a more successful NFL career than Luck. But an MRI performed after Washington’s wild-card loss to the Seattle Seahawks that season revealed Griffin suffered a significant knee injury that would require surgery. He hasn’t been the same since the procedure, and additional injuries — a dislocated ankle in 2014 and a concussion this preseason — have only compounded his issues.
Now, it sounds like the Redskins are ready to move on from Griffin entirely. ESPN.com reported over the weekend that Washington had trade talks with teams regarding RG3 but found no interest in the 25-year-old signal caller, whose fifth-year contract option has an injury guarantee of $16.1 million.
The icing on the cake? The Redskins, who have finished in last place in the NFC East the last two seasons, traded three first-round picks and a second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams for the opportunity to draft Griffin, clearly feeling like he’d be their starting QB for the foreseeable future.
“The QB is such an important position that when you swing and miss on someone you’ve given up so much to get, it’s just devastating,” Michael Ginnitti, managing editor of Spotrac.com, which tracks professional sports contracts, recently told CNN Money.
Griffin, admittedly still young enough to turn things around, isn’t the only draft bust from 2012. And he’s not even the worst from a talent standpoint, because at least he had that Pro Bowl rookie season.
Trent Richardson, selected No. 3 overall by the Cleveland Browns in 2012, was released by the Oakland Raiders — his third NFL franchise — earlier this week. Some, including ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson, wonder whether Richardson has played his last down in the NFL. ESPN analyst Ryan Clark called Richardson the worst running back to ever play in the league. Yikes.
Richardson, a former standout at the University of Alabama, has rushed for just 2,032 yards on 614 carries (3.3 average) in 46 career regular-season games with the Browns and Colts. Cleveland was let off easy to some extent, though, because Indianapolis inexplicably traded a first-round pick for Richardson during the 2013 season.
The rest of the top 10 in 2012 (with drafting team): Matt Kalil (Minnesota Vikings), Justin Blackmon (Jacksonville Jaguars), Morris Claiborne (Dallas Cowboys), Mark Barron (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins), Luke Keuchly (Carolina Panthers) and Stephon Gilmore (Buffalo Bills).
Kalil, like RG3, had a Pro Bowl rookie season but has been lackluster ever since. Kuechly is a stud and Tannehill looks like he could be a decent enough NFL QB. The rest? *Puke sound*
The Colts hit the jackpot atop the NFL draft in 2012. The same can’t be said for many of the losers of the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes.
Thumbnail photo via Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports Images
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