What, you say? How can a free agent QB who has barely played more than just one game in his entire NFL career (although that was some amazing performance) be the wild card that determines how the 2012 NFL Draft will go? Sure there are a few teams that covet the Green Bay Packers back-up quarterback, but what about all the others who don't and have no interest in Flynn?
That's what makes the NFL Draft such a great event, especially for us draft addicts who just can't seem to get enough of the talk, posturing, worthless Mock Drafts, etc. We see the "butterfly effect" on what happens from picks two through 32 and perhaps beyond based on the signing on just one guy.
Look at it this way. Andrew Luck is going to the Indianapolis Colts with the first over all pick in the draft. Forget about anything you might have heard about Robert Griffin III's amazing Combine or abilities, he is nowhere near the QB that Luck is or ever will be. When I say the difference between Luck and RG3 is black-and-white, I'm definitely not talking about race.
Luck is more polished, a better reader of defenses (and offenses), a more accurate arm and a much better pocket passer, which is what wins at this level of play. Griffin is a freak of nature with great skills and amazing stats this season, which obviously was noticed by winning the Heisman Trophy. But this post is not about the difference between these two. Luck is the aforementioned definite top pick, and what happens afterward could determine where the dominoes fall.
The teams that obviously either need or are rumored to be in the hunt for either Matt Flynn or Robert Griffin III are the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins or Washington Redskins. Others say the Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks, and even a few more may be looking at signing Peyton Manning or perhaps looking at one of these guys, but for the most part, it's the Browns, Dolphins and Redskins.
It looks most likely that Flynn will be pursued hardest by either Miami or Washington. Miami is also whispered to be a possible landing place for Manning, while Washington has been mentioned as looking at Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannenhill. The Browns seem to be projected by just about everybody to be trading their two first-round picks to the Rams for the right to move up and grab RG3.
However, depending on where Flynn ultimately lands, all the Mock Drafts we've seen will totally change, at least at the top of the first round, but perhaps rippling down to the bottom as well. Most likely, whatever happens will not affect what the Baltimore Ravens do with the 29th pick, although if that ripple effect ends up taking the guy they were looking for and the next guy on their list is not worthy of that pick, there is no reason to believe that GM Ozzie Newsome would hesitate to trade back for his guy and more picks.
At the same time, if it looks like the guy may not fall all the way to #29, then don't be surprised if the Ravens trade up to grab that guy they covet and prevent another team from getting the player they want, especially if it's a division rival.
Free agency begins in early March and wherever Matt Flynn lands will ultimately determine the renewed focus of the entire draft, as well as so many other free agent signings, but none of them with the magnitude and that "butterfly effect" mentioned above.