Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
6-foot-4, 235 pounds
Draft projection: No. 1 overall
Lowdown: Not since the San Francisco 49ers went back to back with Joe Montana and Steve Young over a 20-year span has a team been in a position like the Indianapolis Colts this year. The Colts basked in the glory of 13 seasons with Peyton Manning at quarterback. Thanks to Manning’s season-long absence and the collapse of the rest of the squad, the Colts get the chance to take Luck, who looks like a sure bet as a quality NFL starter. Luck went 31-7 as a starter over three seasons for the Cardinal. He attempted 1,064 passes, completed 67 percent of his throws and had 82 touchdowns and just 22 interceptions. He benefitted from the great coaching of Jim Harbaugh his first three years in Palo Alto, Calif. Luck’s father, Oliver, was a second-round pick of the Houston Oilers in 1982 and spent four years in the NFL.
Former NFL coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick assessed Luck this way in a briefing with reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine:
“I think Andrew Luck is the most dynamic quarterbacking talent to come out since John Elway, as a prospect. OK? I go back to the old (line), ‘Son, your potential’s going to get me fired.’ So it is still potential, because it isn’t on the NFL field. People say, what about Peyton Manning? Let’s go back and remember. We had questions about Peyton Manning. You can’t find anybody now who will admit to it, but Petyon Manning and Ryan Leaf were touching.”
“I think Andrew Luck has more credentials, fewer questions about him, than anybody since John Elway. Now it has got to come together. But I think this guy’s the real deal. The arm strength. His arm strength is plenty good. And he’s going to mature. He’s going to grow still in that arm strength. Yeah, I think he’s the most complete quarterback since John Elway.”
(The News profiled 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft. This was the last installment in the daily series.)