The Race For Andrew Luck will get more and more complex as organizations mull over other top prospects and as they get used to the dynamics of trading across the first round in the draft salary cap era. I could make a list of the teams scheduled to get the first give picks in order, but I thought it’d be better to just list the five worst teams because the final standings should be close to this.
1. Colts. 0-10; Offense: 30th with 13.1 PPG; Defense: 32nd with 30.0 PPG; 31st with a -10 turnover differential.
There’s no way a team should lose their quarterback – no matter how legendary -, Melvin Bullitt and Gary Brackett and be this terrible. They miss Clint Session, who’s now with Jacksonville. Do they need a quarterback? Yes, they could use a back-up and/or a quarterback of the future.
2. Browns. 3-6; Offense: 29th with 14.6 PPG; Defense: 11th with 20.3 PPG; 15th with a 0 turnover differential.
They lack dynamic athletes, outside of Joe Haden, Josh Cribbs and Evan Moore. The Browns could stand to get considerably better in every aspect of the game: special teams, run offense, pass offense, run defense, pass defense. Do they need a quarterback? Yes, as – unfortunately – quarterbacks don’t get as long to develop as they used to. A team would typically look to free agency or trade – Matt Flynn? – to get a guy to compete with Colt McCoy, but this will be a great quarterback draft.
3. Panthers. 2-7; Offense: 19th with 21.1 PPG; Defense: 30th with 26.3 PPG; 24th with a -4 turnover differential.
Even with the linebackers coming back healthy next season, the defensive line hasn’t generated a pass rush and their secondary hasn’t generated turnovers. They at least have a good offense. Do they need a quarterback? No.
4. Vikings. 2-7; Offense: 23rd with 19.9 PPG; Defense: 31st with 27.1 PPG; 7th with a +4 turnover differential.
Of all the teams in this group, the Vikings have probably the fewest number of players who can start on a playoff team. Those players are so good, however, that the team doesn’t get exposed all that regularly. Do they need a quarterback? They need a back-up, because Joe Webb still might be raw.
5. Cardinals. 3-6; Offense: 22nd with 20.3 PPG; Defense: 22nd with 23.7 PPG; 21st with a -3 turnover differential.
I think the Cardinals are headed in the right direction – and there are three additional teams with slightly worse rosters – but I think Ken Whisenhunt and his offensive system have held them back for years and he does more damage to his team than any other coach. Do they need a quarterback? Possibly. One of their superior needs will be addressed in the first round. They have a lot of money in Kolb; Also, Skelton and Bartel have shown flashes.
Notice I didn’t put the Dolphins on this list, or Jacksonville or the Redskins. I think all of those teams have good foundations and can hang with and maybe beat just about any team. Jacksonville has a better defense than any of the teams on the list. The Rams have had worse injuries – losing 3 corners to IR – than the Colts but have 2 wins.
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