Stanford QB Andrew Luck will almost certainly be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft. In September we took a look at the Top 10 – today we just focus on teams closing in on the No. 1 pick, and whether or not they’d take Luck.
1. Carolina 1-9 — Despite drafting Jimmy Clausen in the 2nd round last year, Andrew Luck is definitely the pick here. He’ll inherit two good RBs (and possibly a 3rd if Mike Goodson keeps it up), but they’re thin at receiver.
2. Detroit 2-8 — Matt Stafford has only played in 13 out of 26 games in two seasons due to injuries. The problem is, they’ve sunk $41 million into him, and having to pay big bucks for a 2nd QB makes drafting Luck difficult to fathom. If we were running the team, we’d look for an elite OL or a LB.
3. Buffalo 2-8 — Ryan Fitzpatrick has been nice (18 TDs and 9 INTs in eight games, two wins in a row, and the Bills have been competitive this month), but there’s no way the Bills pass on Luck. There are decent pieces in place (Lee Evans, CJ Spiller, Fred Jackson). After Luck, they’ll need to fortify the worst rushing defense in the league.
4. Cincinnati 2-8 — Carson Palmer turns 31 next month. Do you go with Luck, or do you draft a defensive star in hopes of turning around one of the worst units in the league? They gave up 18 ppg last year; 26 this year (and a league low 10 sacks).
5. Arizona 3-7 — WANT. Want to keep Larry Fitzgerald happy? Start tanking.
6. San Francisco 3-7 — What about the package deal of Andrew Luck and Jim Harbaugh, who would get to stay on the West Coast? Luck could step into this scenario and win instantly (Gore, Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree).
7. Denver 3-7 — The defensive needs are many, and frankly, Josh McDaniels seems content riding out Kyle Orton and his gaudy stats for two years, and then letting Tim Tebow take over.
8. Minnesota 3-7 — Would be similar to San Fran in that winning instantly is possible (Peterson, Harvin, Rice). Better chance of finishing with the worst record – sticking with Favre, or going to T-Jack?
9. Cleveland 3-7 — Is Colt McCoy the future? Tough to tell since he doesn’t have any weapons. Georgia WR AJ Green has to be their first pick.
10. Dallas 3-7 — The Cowboys are 2-0 since firing Wade Phillips, and it appears they won’t finish with the worst record in the league. But their real needs are on the offensive line and in the secondary (Patrick Peterson would be perfect).