Redskins will have the 6th overall selection in 2012 NFL Draft

Ever since the Redskins endured a season-defining six game losing streak – a streak that spanned from mid-October through Thanksgiving weekend – thoughts of competing and aspirations of postseason play quickly turned into a focus on positioning in the 2012 NFL Draft.

With the 2011-2012 NFL regular season coming to a close yesterday, the top 20 picks in the upcoming draft have been determined, with the Redskins having secured the 6th overall pick:

Source:

1. Indianapolis
2. St. Louis
3. Minnesota
4. Cleveland
5. Tampa Bay
6. Washington
7. Jacksonville
8. Miami*
9. Carolina*
10. Buffalo
11. Kansas City*
12. Seattle*
13. Arizona
14. Dallas
15. Philadelphia
16. NY Jets
17. Cincinnati (from Oakland)
18. San Diego
19. Chicago
20. Tennessee

* Picks of these teams will be determined by a coin-flip

The remaining 12 draft selections belong to teams currently in the playoffs, and their picks will be determined based on any postseason advancement.

Indianapolis secured the first overall pick in the 2012 draft, after losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars yesterday. While Indianapolis and St. Louis both finished with a 2-14 record, Indianapolis had the lower strength of schedule (based on their 2011-2012 opponents). Strength of schedule is the first and “only” tiebreaker used to determine draft order; if two teams finish the season with an identical win-loss record and strength of schedule, an NFL-officiated coin-flip ultimately breaks any tie (as is the case between Miami & Carolina and Kansas City & Seattle).

The Redskins and Jaguars both finished the season with a 5-11 record, but the Redskins strenght of schedule was lower than that of the Jaguars, thus giving them the “higher” draft pick.

The majority of people believe that Andrew Luck, the prized quarterback prospect from Stanford University, will inevitably be drafted by Indianapolis, as the heir-apparent (or immediate replacement) to Peyton Manning. Any team thinking about moving to the top overall spot, via a trade with Indianapolis, will likely have to offer an enormous & unprecedented package of current & future draft picks, and probably players too. But that”s even assuming Indianapolis would entertain the idea of trading out of the top selection, and bypassing the opportunity of drafting one of the best quarterback prospects to come out in the past 10-12 years in Andrew Luck.

If Luck goes first as predicted, all eyes move to the second overall pick, owned by the St. Louis Rams. Many people believe that three teams picking in the top 10 – Cleveland, Washington, and Miami – are anxious to select a quarterback in this year”s draft, and if Luck is gone, then those three will likely mapping out scenarios to move up and grab Robert Griffin III from Baylor University. St. Louis probably won”t be a threat to take a quarterback themselves, given that they just took Sam Bradford with the first overall pick in the 2010 draft, and probably will not sever ties with him, even after a highly disappointing 2011 season.

As of this moment, Cleveland is probably the front-runner in any potential trade talks. If St. Louis and Cleveland consummated a trade, the Rams wouldn”t move back very far (only two picks), and could potentially get the Browns 4th overall pick and Atlanta”s 1st round pick (currently owned by Cleveland as well, as part of the Falcons move to acquire wide receiver Julio Jones in the 2011 NFL Draft) as well; St. Louis would likely ask for at least those two first round picks, plus later round picks and future draft picks as well.

The first round of the NFL Draft will take place the evening of Thurday, April 26th.


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