|If the Browns make a move for Robert Griffin III the Colt McCoy era is officially over. (Getty Images)|
By Ryan Wilson
NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock loves football. It comes through in his work as a color analyst for Notre Dame and Thursday night NFL games, and it's clear as day when he starts ramping up for the draft. On Wednesday, Mayock held a conference call with the media to talk about next week's combine and the two months leading up to the biggest day of the offseason.
Conventional wisdom is that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is a bonafide star at the next level, often described as the "next John Elway." Not surprisingly, Mayock has Luck as his top-rated quarterback but with the understanding that Luck is, in fact, mortal.
“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,” he said via NFL.com.
Mayock thinks that Luck will blow teams away with his classroom smarts and willingly acknowledges his physical gifts. “All those top teams are going to come away saying, ‘Wow I want that guy,’“ he said.
The bigger takeaway from the conference call? Mayock is a big Robert Griffin III fan. So much so that he thinks the Browns, who currently hold the No. 4 pick, might want to give serious consideration to trading up two spots to draft him.
“You probably have the opportunity to move up and get him if you want him,” Mayock said. “To me that’s a pretty exciting proposition. (Griffin) might be most exciting offensive player in this draft.”
Mayock thought Cleveland's two first-round picks (fourth and 22nd) should be enough to get them to No. 2.
“If I were the Rams, I would be ecstatic with that deal,” he 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.”
One caveat (ours, not Mayock's): never underestimate what the Redskins would be willing to give up to get a guy they've fallen in love with. Assuming Peyton Manning is suddenly off everyone's board given the most recent news, and the 'Skins aren't interested in any of the other free-agent offerings, RG3 could be a distinct possibility.
“[If I'm the Browns,] I want to go get RG3," Mayock continued. "I’m going to examine free agency also, but in 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.”
The Browns making a move for RG3 isn't new. Here's what we wrote on January 17:
CBSSports.com mock draft experts Rob Rang and Dane Brugler both have Cleveland grabbing RGIII, decisions no doubt made easier by Colt McCoy's struggles in 2011 coupled with head coach Pat Shurmur's indifferent take on McCoy's future as the starter.
And the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Tony Grossi added at the time: "I would not automatically eliminate the Baylor quarterback from consideration with the Browns' top pick simply because he is a product of the one-read, shotgun spread offense."
In fact, not only are the Browns giving serious consideration to RG3, we'd imagine that the Colts won't rush to any conclusions on Luck without evaluating Griffin. We're not saying this is like Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning back in 1998, but there's no reason for Indy not to extensively scout both players.
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