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Thursday, December 8, 2011
LuckWatch: Clear where this is headed?

By Mike Sando

Andrew Luck
The Colts look like a lock to get the No. 1 overall pick and the chance to draft Andrew Luck.
LuckWatch was fun while it lasted.

There can be little doubt what happens next.

The Indianapolis Colts will finish 0-16 or close to it. They'll hold the No. 1 overall choice in the 2012 NFL draft. They'll draft Peyton Manning's successor, probably Andrew Luck.

Analysts will nod. The other teams needing quarterbacks will pick from what's left. Those leftovers could remain on the table a while, too.

Teams slotted second through fourth in the current order -- St. Louis, Minnesota and Jacksonville -- have drafted quarterbacks among the top 12 overall choices since 2010. They might not be in the market for highly drafted QBs so soon. That could allow quarterback-needy teams to land prospects at the position a little later in the round, even if Luck is long gone.

Four of the teams currently slotted to pick among the top 10 have clear needs at quarterback: Indianapolis, Washington (fifth in the current order), Cleveland (seventh) and Miami (ninth). Some of the other teams in the top 10 -- Carolina, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay, among them -- have already invested sizable sums in franchise quarterbacks.

Just outside the top 10, the Kansas City Chiefs (12th) and Seattle Seahawks (tied for 13th with Buffalo) have potential quarterback needs.

The Chiefs have Matt Cassel, but drafting a quarterback early would come as no surprise. Seattle likes Tarvaris Jackson and will presumably bring him back, but the Seahawks also need a longer-term prospect through the draft. The team hasn't drafted a quarterback since Pete Carroll took over as head coach.

Arizona, currently slotted 11th, invested heavily in Kevin Kolb last offseason. Kolb is expected to return, but his contract affords the team some flexibility should the team decide to head in another direction. The teams currently 15th and 16th in the order, San Diego and the New York Giants, already have franchise quarterbacks.