Finally, after complimenting every quarterback in the draft besides Luck, Jim Irsay made this pick official last week. There was never any real doubt, but it’s nice to finally have it etched in stone. A franchise built on Peyton Manning’s sweat had to go with the prototypical, classic version of the NFL quarterback. There was no other way.
This squad is probably more excited about selecting Griffin than they would have been selecting Luck. Whether you think he’s the most promising talent available in this draft or not (and a lot of people do), his it factor is undeniable. He’s the perfect face for a franchise that’s been known far more for its embarrassing, incompetent leadership at the top than anything they've actually been able to accomplish on the field. Management gave up a lot to get its man, but franchise quarterbacks, if they perform, are worth far more than anything that the Redskins may have sacrificed.
Don't buy the hype. Kalil is still the best non-passing prospect available, and it’s a virtual certainty that Minnesota takes him here despite the smokescreens. Even though the Vikings could also improve themselves by picking up Morris Claiborne, the organization’s commitment to developing Christian Ponder into one of the better quarterbacks in the league will stop them from getting overly-creative at this position.
We once had the Browns taking Blackmon here, but Richardson at this spot just makes too much sense. The former Alabama standout is the fourth best player available in this draft (third in some people's eyes), and he’d fit in perfectly into a Cleveland offense without anything even remotely resembling a playmaker. While a wide receiver for Colt McCoy would obviously be great, Richardson is actually a very underrated receiving threat who can open up the offense and take a lot of pressure off the passing game with his breakout rushing ability.
On the surface it doesn’t appear as though cornerback is a huge need for the Bucs. But then, when you factor in Aqib Talib’s possible jail time and Ronde Barber being older than the NFL itself, suddenly the secondary situation becomes a little more questionable. Claiborne is undoubtedly the best cornerback available in this draft (he’s a monster physically and has a nose for the ball), so it’s probably safe to presume that not even a leaked Wonderlic score will be able to bring this kid down.
WR, Oklahoma State
In the end, the Rams will get the guy they wanted all along. Back when they were desperately looking to trade down from the No. 2 pick, St. Louis management made it no secret that it coveted a wide receiver to pair up with Sam Bradford. Well, like they game-planned it, the Rams will end up with their spoils from the Redskins trade and the talented Oklahoma State star they had been hoping to nab from the getgo. Nicely done.
DE, North Carolina
We once had Jacksonville addressing the O-line here, but shoring up the pass rush would probably be the smarter move. Coples is a classic high-risk, high-reward talent. He has ridiculous physical attributes and enough character question marks to make you rip your hair out. If this guy plays to expectations, he could quickly become one of the fiercest pass rushers in the league. If he doesn’t, he can join Derrick Harvey in the Jaguars Hall of Fame.