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The Early Lead
Posted at 12:05 PM ET, 04/26/2012

NFL Draft 2012: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, Trent Richardson and other storylines to watch

Just when the first day of the NFL Draft dawns and fans are all happy and hope-y and Jets fans are greening up their faces, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has to make a little joke on Twitter.

Dude, please. Don’t do it. Not for our sake, for yours. There could be some significant karma at play here.

The Colts have said they’ll draft Andrew Luck with the top pick and the Washington Redskins have given every indication of taking Robert Griffin III with the No. 2 pick. But that doesn’t mean that both are destined to pan out as the next great quarterback thing. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Success for quarterbacks taken first and second in the draft has been a 50-50 proposition, history shows.

So take maybe five of the allotted 10 minutes for the pick, Indianapolis. That goes for you, too, Washington.

Other early draft-day observations:

•The vibe this year in Radio City Music Hall will be infinitely lighter. Last year, the league was in the midst of a lockout and the draft opened with fans’ full-throated booing of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

•There will be a trade at some point in the first round. Technically, this already happened when the Washington Redskins made a trade with the St. Louis Rams with the No. 2 pick. But tonight someone somewhere will make a deal. Often, this someone runs the New York Jets or the Dallas Cowboys. In 23 drafts, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has made a deal 75 percent of the time, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder.

•Only three running backs have been taken in the first round in the last three years. Alabama’s Trent Richardson is certain to go very quickly, but teams aren’t eager to pay running backs big bucks in an era in which most use platoons. That’s a diss as far as Richardson is concerned.

“It bothers me a lot because we’re getting pounded on every down,” Richardson said, via Newsday’s Bob Glauber. “When it comes down to it, everyone needs a running back, and they’ve got to use that running back. The value of a running back isn’t the same, and it’s crazy to us.”

•Robert Griffin III promises that his socks will be “breaking news.”

•Bill Belichick usually wears a suit to the New England Patriots’ war room, which is wacky enough. But there’s always a ton of intrigue about just what the teamwill do with the seemingly endless number of picks it has amassed. They have two first-round picks (27th and 31st), two in the second round (48, 62), one in the third (93) and one in the fourth (126).

•Someday, in a year or two, someone is going to be proven colossally wrong about something he or she frothed about tonight. See Kiper Jr., Mel, talking about JaMarcus Russell and John Elway, for example.

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