Robert Griffin III to the Redskins at No. 2? Check.
What happens next is anyone’s guess as the NFL draft could turn into a wild wheeling-and-dealing session Thursday night.
With the new rookie wage scale, which replaces outrageous salaries for top picks with a compensation plan, teams could be gearing up to pull off more trades than ever before. That means draft boards could change all through the night while potential picks wonder where they’ll end up.
“No one really has a clue,” Southern California offensive tackle Matt Kalil said Wednesday at a predraft event at a Manhattan playground. “Unless you’re the GM of a team, you don’t really know who a team is going to pick, so you just let it all play out.”
Kalil has been projected by many to go third overall to Minnesota. But that wasn’t a sure thing just 24 hours before the draft kicked off at Radio City Music Hall.
“It’s something I don’t really have control over,” Kalil said. “There’s nothing guaranteed, so I try not to focus on that. I guess it would be nice to know where you’re going, but I have confidence I won’t slip too far, so we’ll see how it plays out.”
Kalil isn’t alone in all the uncertainty. Rumors swirled about possible trades _ could a team move up to take Alabama running back Trent Richardson? How about teams moving from the top half to acquire more picks? It’s all got most of the 26 players who’ll be in the green room at Radio City scratching their heads.
“For Luck and RGIII, they know what’s going on and they know where they’re going to live and all that kind of stuff,” Alabama safety Mark Barron said. “A lot of us other guys, we’re still wondering where we’re going to be living for the next however many years.”
“It kind of puts yourself at ease, but it does kind of rob you of that natural draftee experience where you don’t know where you’re going and you’re in limbo,” Griffin said. “I kind of know I’ll be in Washington D.C., and I guess that’s great. I’m excited about the opportunity and you just have to move on from there and not worry about the fact you don’t have that normal draftee experience.”
Griffin and Luck are hardly normal draftees, though. They’re both considered the cream of this year’s crop, and they’ll both be walking into starting jobs after it all becomes official a few minutes into the draft.
And they’ll be doing it with very different styles. Griffin, the Heisman Trophy winner for Baylor, is a speedy and athletic quarterback who makes up for his lack of size _ he’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds _ with incredible elusiveness. He’s also got a terrific personality, always smiling and good for a joke or two.
“I just try to keep the atmosphere light and laugh,” he said. “If you laugh everyday, you’ll be fine.”
Meanwhile, Luck has the size scouts love at 6-4 and 235 pounds. He also comes from a pro-style offense at Stanford and projects as a precise and decisive quarterback in the NFL, which is exactly what the Indianapolis Colts are hoping for after choosing to release four-time MVP Peyton Manning.