|Who will move up to take RG3 with the No. 2 overall selection in this year's draft?|
With the St. Louis Rams recent decision to trade the #2 overall pick in this year's upcoming NFL Draft, rumors have been flying as to which team will be dealing with them before the opening round takes place April 26th. The Browns (#4 overall), Redskins (#6 overall), and Dolphins (#8 overall) are the most likely suitors, with some reporting a sleeper team outside the top 10 who also has a desire to deal for the rights to take the reigning Hesiman winner. RG3 locked down the second slot in the draft behind consensus number one pick and former Stanford QB Andrew Luck with his gaudy combine numbers this past Sunday, leading the quarterback group in both the 40 yard dash and the vertical jump. Not only is he insanely athletic, he also has all the intangibles that GMs are looking for which makes him that much more desirable as a franchise quarterback. For these reasons, the Rams' asking price for that pick is going to be insanely high. Reportedly, they're asking for the same package San Diego got from the New York Giants for Eli Manning when they took him first overall in 2004 - Two first round picks, a third rounder, and a fifth rounder. So the question is this: Which team has the picks and the balls to give up what is needed for an explosively athletic, intelligent, franchise-changing leader and quarterback?
The Browns would be the obvious favorite to be able to move up to the number two spot because of the extra first round pick they acquired from Atlanta last April and their need at quarterback. They would be able to put together a package of the No. 4 and No. 22 overall picks along with the No. 4 pick in the third and fifth rounds if we're going by the San Diego/New York scenario. This is the best package available right now for the Rams, and if Team President Mike Holmgren decides to pull the trigger on this, St. Louis may not get a better offer. The Browns, however, may choose to hold onto their picks and keep building for the future by adding more young players they can develop and place around QB Colt McCoy. McCoy didn't live up to the expectations some had for him last year, though, which may lead the Browns in another direction.
The Redskins hold the No. 6 overall pick in this year's draft and owner Daniel Snyder may be a little more aggressive than Cleveland in attempting to move up. However, Washington's decision on whether or not to deal their pick will depend on what happens to Peyton Manning on March 8th. Assuming he's released by the Colts by that date, Washington will assuredly go hard after the four-time MVP. With all the cap room the Redskins have and their need at QB (Rex Grossman or John Beck, anyone?), if they can't land Manning before the draft they will undoubtedly need to aggressively pursue another QB, likely Griffin. They would have to give up their first rounders this year and next year on top of later selections, which would be a heavy price to pay. But RG3 would fit beautifully into Mike Shannahan's system and I think it's a move they would have to make.
The Dolphins hold the No. 8 overall pick in the 2012 draft, and some believe the Dolphins are one or two pieces away from seriously contending in the AFC. They already have pieces in place on offense like wideout Brandon Marshall and All-Pro left tackle Jake Long. RB Reggie Bush also came on strong the second half last season, and the thought of the explosiveness in that backfield with Bush and RG3 almost makes me go from 6 to midnight, so it probably sounds pretty nice to head coach Joe Philbin as well. Miami will be making a play at Manning if and when he becomes a free agent, and Philbin comes from Green Bay where he helped tutor Matt Flynn as well, so the Dolphins have other options if they want to stay where they are at No. 8. If they can't land Manning, though, I think Griffin is a much better option than Flynn and that's the direction they should go. More than either of these other teams, Miami is in a much stronger position to contend if they are able to land a top-tier quarterback and Griffin definitely fits that bill.
Kansas City Chiefs
I think the Chiefs, at pick No. 11, are the "sleeper" team outside the top 10 who may make a play to move up and select Griffin at No. 2. This would provide the Chiefs with another one of those ridiculously explosive backfields with RG3 and RB Jamaal Charles, provided Charles can come back from the knee injury he suffered in week 2 of last year. If the Chiefs are able to re-sign WR Dwayne Bowe as well, they would set themselves up nicely for the future offensively. Keep in mind the Chiefs won their division 2 years ago and would be in a position to get back to that type of success with an upgrade at QB if they don't think Matt Cassel is the long-term answer. They may have to throw in extra players or picks to sweeten the deal, however, because it would be such a long drop for the Rams to make going from No. 2 to No. 11.
In My Opinion...
I think RG3 is a franchise-changing quarterback. I think he has more upside than Andrew Luck and I would honestly think seriously about taking him at No.1 overall if I were the Colts. I haven't felt this confident about a college superstar entering the draft in any sport since the 2007 NBA Draft when I implored the Trail Blazers to pick Kevin Durant No.1 instead of Greg Oden. Pretty sure I had that one nailed. Regardless, whoever makes the decision to move up to No. 2 this year is going to get one of the best players, not just quarterbacks, to come out of college in the last decade. And I'm pretty sure I have this one nailed, too.