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Tag:2012 NFL Draft
Posted on: December 19, 2011 11:53 pm
 

Polian on Manning return in 2012: 'I don't know'

Bill Polian on Peyton Manning coming back in 2012: 'I don't know the answer to that.' (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

There's a reasonable chance that Peyton Manning's already played his last game in a Colts uniform. But you'd never get anyone in the organization to admit the possibility that Manning wouldn't return, at least not right now.

Or would you? Bill Polian, speaking on his weekly radio show Monday night said he "didn't know the answer" as to whether or not Manning would be back with Indianapolis next season.

Indy's Big Decision

"I don't know the answer to that," Polian said, per our Colts Rapid Reporter Tom James. "There are so many variables involved that it's impossible to tell at this point in time. It's our fervent hope that he is. But I couldn't unequivocally give you an answer of yea or nay."

Polian's radio shows are almost always an exercise in interesting comments -- and it might seem like the prudent thing for Polian to do in this situation is simply avoid commenting.

After all, the decision to bring Manning back is on the team. As Polian is the guy who makes that decision (although ultimately answering to owner Jim Irsay), he would know whether or not Manning is going to return.

What that means is Charley Casserly's report of the Colts wanting to renegotiate the terms of Manning's option, or at least the deadline for the option, is likely correct.

The Colts will ask Peyton for more time to evaluate his health before committing $28 million to him in 2012. And that's fair. But it's still an ominous sign for Peyton's future in Indy that the guy making the call can't commit to whether or not his franchise quarterback will return.

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Posted on: December 15, 2011 10:08 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2011 1:28 am
 

USC OL Matt Kalil to enter NFL Draft, sign agent

By Will Brinson

We've seen a recent surge of top prospects entering the 2012 NFL Draft (the top wideout, Justin Blackmon, and top quarterback, Andrew Luck, on Rob Rang's big board are already in) and now top offensive line prospect Matt Kalil will leave USC and enter the draft.

Kalil, the third-best prospect according to NFL Draft Scout, will leave the Trojans program and make the leap into tue NFL.

"It was definitely a tough decision because I love SC," Kalil told the LA Times. "But itís a special opportunity. Itís time to move on."

Kalil's brother, Ryan Kalil, currently plays center for the Carolina Panthers, and there's been talk of joining the brothers in a tandem on the line there.

Of course, the younger Kalil would need to fall to the Panthers first, and in Rang's latest mock draft that didn't happen. Rang has Kalil going to the Vikings (currently slated to have the third pick).

It's also possible the Rams could consider Kalil with their pick (currently No. 2), depending on how they grade Justin Blackmon and/or if no teams are willing to trade up to a higher spot.

2012 NFL Draft

Ultimately, Kalil will probably end up being a top-five pick.

Premiere offensive lineman come at a high cost for teams looking to shore up their offensive lines, and even though we've seen the value of quarterbacks in the first round spike significantly over the past year or so (thanks, ridiculous 2011 NFL Draft class!), the value of a left tackle who can step in and perform well from day one can't be overstated.

Kalil's decision could also influence quarterback Matt Barkley. Barkley hasn't made a decision about the draft yet, but losing the guy who protects his blind side (coupled with a high draft rating) could potentially push him closer to making a decision and turning pro.

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Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:19 am
Edited on: December 11, 2011 12:34 pm
 

Do some NFL GMs prefer RG3 over Andrew Luck?

By Will Brinson

Robert Griffin, III, who won the Heisman on Saturday night, led Baylor to a 9-3 season that was filled with some incredible highlights, five straight wins to close the season and a rare second-straight bowl. And all along, "RG3" has seen his NFL stock rise, to the point that he's now considered the No. 11 overall player on Rob Rang's big board (and wearing Superman socks to the Heisman presentation).

And according to ESPN, Griffin's stock has gotten so cranked up that he's "preferred over Andrew Luck" by at least one NFL general manager. Adam Schefter reported that news Sunday, along with a few other quotes from general managers that include "sure-fire first-round pick" and "top-15 pick."

The latter two quotes aren't particularly news-y so to speak, as Griffin's been considered a lock for the first round for several months if he entered the draft, what with teams like the Colts, Dolphins, Redskins and Seahawks potentially drafting a quarterback in the first round.

Griffin has, as Rang noted recently, some "red flags," including injury, offensive system and his size.

"That said, Griffin is a better athlete than either Luck or [USC QB Matt] Barkley and is a better deep ball passer, too," Rang wrote this past week. "Those physical attributes, along with the poise he's demonstrated this season, could result in a top 10 pick should Griffin, a redshirt junior, choose to leave school early."


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And it's entirely possible that Griffin could be a better NFL quarterback than Luck.

While the Baylor quarterback's stock has risen all season long, Luck's seen his value drop substantially (at least relative to the hype he was getting two months ago).

If Luck goes to the Colts with the No. 1 overall pick and they still keep Peyton Manning, there's a really good chance that people will believe Griffin was a better selection, because he'll get playing time first.

Much of it simply depends on where Griffin ends up. Judging by the opinions of most folks, wherever it is will be a team with a high pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.

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Posted on: December 8, 2011 12:31 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 3:47 pm
 

OK State WR Justin Blackmon NFL bound

By Will Brinson

Andrew Luck, CBSSports.com's No. 1 overall prospect in the draft, already said he's "absolutely" ready for the NFL and looks primed to enter the draft, regardless of how the Heisman Trophy ceremony plays out.

And another top prospect is NFL-bound as well: Justin Blackmon, the top-ranked wide receiver (and No. 7 overall prospect) on NFLDraftScout.com's big board, is a different story.

Blackmon told ESPN on Wednesday that he intends to declare for the draft following Oklahoma State's appearance against Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl.

"I'm pretty sure that it will be [my last game)," Blackmon said. "I think it's just time. It's that time to go. I came back last year to win a Big 12 championship, set us up for a BCS bowl and I think we did that."

Blackmon's decision, provided the Rams continue their spiral back into putridity, is probably a good one. Both St. Louis and Cleveland (as my colleague Ryan Wilson noted last night) look like teams with high picks that need a playmaker at wide receiver.

In Rang's latest mock draft, Blackmon's currently slated to go off the board No. 2 overall to St. Louis.

It's scary that we're already at the point of the season (Week 14 and beyond) where the NFL Draft starts to come into focus, because that means the actual football season is wrapping up. But we're here, and we're starting to get some idea of what prospects will be leaving college football to make their way into the pros.

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Posted on: December 7, 2011 5:25 pm
Edited on: December 8, 2011 1:37 am
 

Archie Manning: Luck, Peyton could work together

By Will Brinson

Archie Manning's on a media tour for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award these days and over the past 48 hours, he's probably been asked about Peyton Manning's future no less than 50 times, particularly as it relates to the strong possibility of the Colts drafting Andrew Luck.

One such time was Tuesday morning, when I spoke with Archie about the future of his oldest son with Indy.

"Well, you know, we'll just kind of have to see how that all plays out," Archie told CBSSports.com. "I think so much as far as what happens with Peyton will be about his health. And with the Colts, certainly understanding they're having a tough year and they'll have a high pick. I think Andrew Luck is a great prospect, somebody you can bring into your team and be a franchise quarterback and have a long career so you gotta to appreciate what the Colts are going through.

"It'll all work out. It'll all work out, seeing how they finish the season, seeing how they do, seeing how Peyton's health is, it'll shake out and be fine."


Archie later stated that he didn't "think [having Luck and Peyton on the same roster] would necessarily be a great fit for either one," a comment that drew plenty of skepticism about Peyton's future with the Colts. (And, perhaps, a text message or two from Peyton to his pops.)

The elder Manning clarified those remarks on ESPN radio Wednesday morning, when asked why he didn't believe the two could co-exist.

"I'm sure they could," Archie said Wednesday. "Andrew is a great young man and we've enjoyed getting to know him. He and Peyton have a friendship, and I'm one of the few people out there that's not really concerned about this deal. All good people respect each other and I'm sure this will all shake out."

The reality of Archie's comment that drew skepticism is probably this: he believes Peyton can play a few more years, and he believes Luck, as he told me, can step right in and be a franchise quarterback.

Keeping both guys on the same roster isn't just difficult from a financial perspective (though it's certainly possible), it's difficult from a football perspective, because it means limiting the number of years in which Luck can receive on-field training as a starting quarterback.

And it's precisely why the Colts are likely to have a difficult decision in the coming months.

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Posted on: November 9, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Sarkisian: Comments not 'a knock on Andrew Luck'

Posted by Will Brinson



Recently, Washington Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said if he were running the team with the first-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, he'd take Southern Cal's Matt Barkley over Stanford's Andrew Luck.

Feeling Lucky?

Considering many folks would take Luck over even Cam Newton (!), this came as a bit of surprise. As it turns out, it's not Coach Sark ripping on Luck, it's him being really, really high on Barkley. How do I know this? Well, I listened to the always excellent Free Bruce podcast with my CBSSports.com colleagues Bryan Fischer and Bruce Feldman, featuring Sarkisian as a guest recently.

"Well, I want to start with this: One, this is by no means a knock on Andrew Luck. He's a tremendous quarterback, played at a high level, what he's done at Stanford and the accolades he's gotten he deserves mightily," Sarkisian told CBSSports.com. "What I do know about Matt Barkley is the system he plays in. I know him personally from the time of recruiting him since ninth grade on at modern-day high school.

And the way he's matured and played at the level he's playing at and the types of things he's been asked to do, for me and for our system and what I do, I would draft Matt Barkley. And again that's not a knock on Andrew Luck. I think he'll be the No. 1 pick in the draft. But for what we do, I think Matt fits a little bit better."

So there you have it -- Sark doesn't necessarily believe anyone else will take Luck over Barkley, and he doesn't think Luck won't be great, he just believes Barkley is an ideal quarterback for a pro-style offense.

Of course, most folks believe Luck will be perfect for a pro-style offense as well, so that might not be the most convincing argument.

Barkley's production (67 percent completions, 2,608 yards, 28 touchdowns, six interceptions) isn't that far off of Luck's production (71.3 percent completions, 2,424 yards, 26 touchdowns, five interceptions) this season, if it at all.

And as CBSSports.com's draft expert Rob Rang notes in his recent Big Board rankings, Barkley isn't exactly a slouch.

"Barkley is still a top-notch prospect in his own right," Rang writes. "In a typical draft he would be generating No. 1 overall buzz."

Of course, Rang also notes that his highest-rated player in 12 years of scouting professionally is Luck (ahead of Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson).

So maybe it's possible that Sarkisian is right, and both guys will be great.

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:06 pm
 

Luck's dad also thinks 'Suck for Luck' is stupid

Posted by Will Brinson

Not everyone believes that Andrew Luck is a stone-cold lock as an NFL stud, the general consensus is that the Stanford quarterback will be pretty, pretty good in the NFL. (Though I'd still rather have a certain Carolina quarterback myself.)

The possibility of him being a franchise-changing quarterback's inspire several fanbases to fire up a "Suck for Luck" campaign. Luck himself recently called the idea "stupid." His father, West Virginia Athletic Director Oliver Luck (seen right, as a member of the Houston Oilers), agrees with him.

"I played for five years in the NFL, and I never have seen an NFL player take a play off," Luck's father said on SiriusXM's Mad Dog Radio Thursday. "Because these guys are playing for their livelihoods and the coaches are coaching for their livelihoods, I absolutely think it is stupid that fans would believe that a team intentionally loses a game."

The Luck family isn't the only group of people who can't stand the social media campaign, but they're certainly the group most directly effected by it.

Luck came back to school in order to make a run at a BCS Championship and enjoy what is likely his final season as a star quarterback on a college campus.

He's obviously having a great run at Stanford, but there's an exceedingly ridiculous amount of discussion (yeah, I'm guilty too, but whatever) about where Luck will go, who will get him, and how he'll play once he gets to the NFL ... if it even happens next year.

All of that is combining to put a ridiculous set of expectations on young Andrew, and his father -- wisely -- understands that trying to mitigate those expectations will only make things easier for his son as he progresses to the NFL.

Also, he correctly knows that NFL players -- professional football players -- don't tank for some rookie, regardless of who he's compared to. So there's that.

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Posted on: October 15, 2011 5:46 pm
 

Luck on 'Suck for Luck' campaigns: 'It's stupid'

Posted by Will Brinson

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is, once again, the prize gem of the NFL's incoming draft class. But things are a little different this year, as a number of discontented fan bases fired up "Suck for Luck" campaigns in the hopes that their team will be worse than your team and therefor end up drafting the Stanford prospect No. 1 overall.

Awkwardly, Luck's very much aware of these campaigns and, as he told Judy Battista of the New York Times recently, he's not a fan.

"I am aware of it," Luck said. "A couple of guys told me about it. I think it's stupid. Simply put."

It is stupid. And frankly, kind of annoying, given that there are so many fanbases -- the Colts, the Seahawks, the Chiefs and the Dolphins to name a few -- involved this early in the season. (There's nothing wrong with scouting Luck, of course.)

In fact, Chris Joseph, the fella that runs Fins Nation, a Dolphins blog, is quoted in Battista's article as wholeheartedly endorsing the campaign, saying that he "actively rooted" for the Dolphins to lose to San Diego recently.

That's pretty awkward if you're a "real fan" or whatever, but making it even worse is that Luck still has a year of eligibility left. As a redshirt junior, Luck doesn't have to leave Stanford. Though if he wins the Heisman (he's the prohibitive favorite right now) and the first-ever Pac-12 title game, plus a BCS bowl game, he'll be hard pressed to hang around, especially since the Cardinal graduating 23 seniors from this season's team.

But maybe Luck will think twice if the folks who'll end up cheering for him in 2012 spent the entire prior year rooting against their own team.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com