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2011 NFL Draft: Andrew Luck Shocks The World, Returns To Stanford

Fresh off an Orange Bowl victory that had everybody talking about what a slam dunk No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck is, Luck decides to return to Stanford instead of entering the NFL Draft. It's a move that is commendable, especially since Stanford is an excellent academic school, but it's also foolish. If he suffers a fluke injury next year, or even has a down year, he could end up costing himself tens of millions of dollars.

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Regardless of if it's foolish or not, it should affect the Cowboys. Dallas picks ninth in April, and as aforementioned, it was a certainty that Luck would be selected No. 1 overall by the lowly Carolina Panthers. SB Nation's latest mock draft had Carolina selecting Luck first with Patrick Peterson going second overall to the Denver Broncos. The mock draft has Dallas selecting North Carolina outside linebacker Robert Quinn.

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With the No. 1 pick no longer a certainty, it'll be difficult to predict who goes where. It also opens the door up for plenty of trade scenarios as well. Carolina's brass last week was gung-ho on selecting Luck. Said owner Jerry Richardson:

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"We're looking for someone that can be a topflight player and hopefully make us a better team," said Richardson, dismissing talk they might trade down. "And I have no doubt if you have the first pick, we're likely to do that."

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Now that Luck's out of the picture, who knows what Carolina may end up doing with the pick.

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Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.