Published: February 15th, 2012 | Tags: Combine, 2012 NFL Draft, Andrew Luck, Bill Belichick, Cleveland Browns, Indianapolis Colts, LaMichael James, Mike Mayock, New England Patriots, Oregon Ducks, Peyton Manning, Robert Griffin III, St. Louis Rams, Tom Brady
Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III widely are considered the top two prizes of the 2012 NFL Draft. Many experts believe that if Luck goes No. 1 overall to the Colts, then the Rams’ second overall pick — potentially RG3 — will be available for the right price.
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Wednesday that if he were the Browns’ GM, he would try to trade for the Rams’ pick and take Griffin.
“You probably have opportunity to move up and get him if you want him,” said Mayock, speaking on a conference call with NFL reporters from around the country. “To me, that’s a pretty exciting proposition. (Griffin) might be the most exciting offensive player in this draft.”
Mayock said a trade involving the Browns’ two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 22 overall) could be enough to move up two spots.
“If I were the Rams, I would be ecstatic with that deal,” Mayock said. “If you’re moving down two slots and picking up the 22nd pick, I’d be happy with that. I would be very happy with that deal.
“I’m looking at that real hard,” Mayock continued, speaking from the Browns’ perspective. “I want to go get RG3. I’m going to examine free agency also, but in the draft, I’m looking to move up to No. 2 as opposed to No. 3. … I’d rather not give up No. 22 also, but I think that’s shortsighted when you talk about securing your future at the most important position in all of sports.”
Other highlights from the chat:
- Luck is Mayock’s top-rated QB in the draft, but he told reporters, “I don’t put him up there as a once-in-a-lifetime guy … I’m not sitting there saying he’s going to be Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.” That’s no knock on Luck, whom Mayock said will excel when teams sit down with him and talk football during the combine. “All those top teams are going to come away saying, ‘Wow, I want that guy.’ “
- Mayock isn’t sure if Bill Belichick will hold on to both of his first-round picks, but he believes the Patriots’ draft will be centered on improving their defense — with special attention paid to the end and secondary positions. “You’ve got to rush the quarterback and you’ve got to defend the back end,” Mayock said. “I think those are the two areas of need.”
- Oregon RB LaMichael James is one player who could gain the most during the combine. Mayock said he wants to see how James performs in specific movement and football drills to evaluate how his skill set translates from the Ducks’ spread offense. “(James) could wow people,” Mayock said.