NFL Draft 2012: Watch for quarterbacks in the early rounds
NFL Draft 2012: As in baseball, so in the NFL: You can never have enough good arms. After Andrew Luck, which quarterbacks will get picked early in the NFL draft?
Indianapolis, trying to rebuild after the Peyton Manning era and a 2-14 record in 2011, has the first pick Thursday night. Tuesday, the Colts announced they will take Stanford's Andrew Luck with the first pick, according to FoxSports.com.
"In fairness to Andrew Luck and in fairness to the whole process — the media gauntlet he's going to be enduring the next couple days — I thought it was the right thing to do to announce that we're going to take him," said Colts general manager Ryan Grigson. "I didn't see the point in prolonging what the world already knows."
Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan is also looking for a quarterback as he tries to re-establish a potent Washington offense and reportedly is leaning towards Baylor's Robert Griffin III, according to the Washington Post.
“What this pick will do for him is it gives him an opportunity, I feel, to be more than just a three- or four-year coach in Washington,” former Redskins quarterback and NFL Network analyst Joe Theismann said. “It’s got to be rejuvenating for Mike to have someone with this kind of talent. When you think about it, Mike could be the first (Redskins) coach in a decade that actually gets a renewed contract.”
Robert Griffin III is already considering his competition at the position, saying that nothing will be handed to him if and when he gets to D.C., NFL.com reports.
"Rex Grossman is the quarterback in Washington right now, and I've got to go beat him out," the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner told a Washington TV station. "I've got to prove to those guys that I'm there to work and I will, it's who I am. I'll be the first one in, last one out, and it won't be a cliché with me."
The last time quarterbacks were taken No. 1 and 2 in the draft was 1999. Kentucky's Tim Couch and Donovan McNabb of Syracuse were selected by the Browns and Eagles respectively, according to DraftHistory.com. Oregon's Akili Smith made it a triple play when he was selected third in that draft by the Bengals.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock looks at other quarterbacks to be drafted, including Ryan Tannehill of Texas A&M, Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden, and Kirk Cousins of Michigan State, among others. Sports Illustrated's Don Banks thinks Tannehill could also go in the first round, to the Miami Dolphins with the seventh overall pick.
The NFL Draft will be televised on both the NFL Network and ESPN, beginning at 8 p.m. ET Thursday.