NFL Betting News: Indianapolis Colts with no Surprise Pick Andrew Luck
Friday, April 27, 2012
by Joe Rodriguez
There's about as much drama in every sunrise. Andrew Luck, the sure-thing franchise quarterback from Stanford, was taken by the Indianapolis Colts with the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft on Thursday night.
It was nothing approaching a surprise, considering the Colts had parted ways with Peyton Manning last month and said two days before the draft that Luck would be their pick, confirming months of speculation-turned fait accompli.
Nor was it a shock what came next: Quarterback Robert Griffin III, the first Heisman Trophy winner in Baylor history, was picked No. 2 by the Washington Redskins.
It was the first time quarterbacks were taken with the first two picks in the draft since 1999, when the first three names called were all QBs. Three signal callers were taken in the top eight, with Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill going to the Miami Dolphins.
"The season begins tonight," said Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner, as he opened the draft.
But there is no offseason for the country's favorite sport and speculation had already started to build surrounding the No. 1 pick after the Colts ended the season tied for the league's worst record.
Luck and Griffin were shoo-ins, but there was drama elsewhere in a first round at Radio City Music Hall peppered by trades.
The Cleveland Browns traded up one spot to No. 3 and picked Alabama running back Trent Richardson, giving up the No. 4 pick as well as selections in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds to the Minnesota Vikings.
Minnesota then selected standout offensive tackle Matt Kalil from USC at No. 4 and the Jacksonville Jaguars traded into the top five to get Justin Blackmon, the talented wide receiver from Oklahoma State, who cost them the No. 7 pick and a fourth-rounder to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jags running back Maurice Jones-Drew tweeted his congratulations to Blackmon and added: "Now let's get to work."
The Dallas Cowboys traded a second-round pick to the St. Louis Rams to move up eight spots to No. 6, where they got LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, and the Bucs picked Alabama safety Mark Barron seventh.
After the Dolphins got Tannehill at No. 8, the Carolina Panthers nabbed Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly, who led the nation with 191 tackles this past season, and the Buffalo Bills took South Carolina cornerback Stephon Gilmore to round out the top 10.
Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe, helped by his performance at the NFL combine, went No. 11 to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles traded with Seattle for the 12th pick and took defensive tackle Fletcher Cox from Mississippi State.
Luck was the 10th quarterback taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the last 13 drafts since Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb and Akili Smith went to the Browns, Eagles and Bengals with the first three selections in 1999.
Long on talent and widely considered ready-made for the NFL, Luck returned to Stanford for his senior season when he easily could have been the No. 1 pick in last year's draft and finished runner-up in Heisman voting for the second year in a row.
"Speak now or forever hold your peace!" Colts owner Jim Irsay wrote to his followers on Twitter earlier Thursday -- but the warning was tongue-in-cheek.
The Colts had their man.
Luck is Stanford's all-time leader in touchdown passes, completion percentage, passing efficiency and total offense and will be tasked with filling the shoes of Manning, an all-time great who threw 399 touchdown passes and won one Super Bowl title in 14 years for the Colts, never missing a game until several neck surgeries kept him out all of last season and sent the team spiraling to a 2-14 record.
Griffin's electric, star-making season made him a top target for the QB-hungry Redskins, who have struggled to find a consistent presence at the position.
"He's the guy we thought we were going to get from the very beginning," said Redskins coach Mike Shanahan.
The player they call "RG3" threw for 4,293 yards and 37 touchdowns in his last college season, thrusting Baylor into the national spotlight, and finished as one of only four players in major college football history with at least 9,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing in his career.
Griffin, who wore blue Superman socks with red capes to the Heisman ceremony in December, sported socks in Redskins colors that said "GO CATCH YOUR DREAM" on Thursday night.
Richardson finished third in the Heisman voting behind Griffin after rushing for 1,740 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Crimson Tide last season and won the Doak Walker Award as the country's top running back.
The Rams took LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers at No. 14 -- the pick they got from Dallas -- and the Seahawks got a pass rusher in West Virginia's Bruce Irvin after dropping to No. 15 in the trade with Philadelphia.
The next five picks were: defensive end Quinton Coples from North Carolina to the New York Jets, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick from Alabama to the Cincinnati Bengals, South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram to the San Diego Chargers, defensive end Shea McClellin of Boise State to the Chicago Bears, and Baylor wide receiver Kendall Wright to the Tennessee Titans.
The New England Patriots traded up with Cincinnati for the No. 21 pick and got Chandler Jones, the defensive end from Syracuse.
The Browns got 28-year-old Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden next at 22, Detroit took Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff, Pittsburgh selected guard David DeCastro from Stanford and the Patriots took Alabama linebacker Donta Hightower to round out the top 25, trading up with the Broncos.
The final seven picks in the first round were: defensive end Whitney Mercilus of Illinois to the Texans, offensive guard Kevin Zeitler of Wisconsin to the Bengals, USC defensive end Nick Perry to the Packers, safety Harrison Smith of Notre Dame to the Vikings, Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins to the 49ers, and running backs Doug Martin of Boise State to the Bucs and David Wilson of Virginia Tech to the Super Bowl champion Giants.
The Vikings traded up with the Ravens for the 29th pick and the Bucs moved up for Denver's 31st pick.
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