NFL spokesman Greg Aiello informed the media today at the 2012 Scouting Combine that once the final order is determined for the first round, the Indianapolis Colts are free to sign whomever they intend to draft No. 1 overall.
The Colts are widely expected to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, but owner Jim Irsay also specifically mentioned Baylor's Robert Griffin III as another player his franchise is considering with the first pick. Irsay has said that his team plans to select a quarterback with the first pick. Dane Brugler, Pete Prisco and I each project the Colts to ultimately choose Luck in our current mock drafts.
The Colts aren't necessarily expected to actually sign anyone at this early stage of the process but the ability to negotiate with players could make their decision at No. 1 that much easier.
The vast majority of the draft order has already been determined, but four teams -- the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks -- won't know which pick they'll be using until coin-flips break ties. The winner of a coin flip tomorrow morning will determine whether it will be the Panthers or Dolphins selecting eighth. The loser will pick ninth. The Buffalo Bills own the 10th pick. The Chiefs and Seahawks' coin flip will determine which club gets the No. 11 and No. 12 overall picks.
Regardless of which teams win the coin flip, the competing teams will alternate picks in Rounds 2-7.