What we’ve known for months finally became reality Thursday night.
Quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were drafted No. 1 and No. 2 overall by the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins, respectively.
The NFL draft is an imperfect science. For every Peyton Manning, John Elway and Cam Newton there is a Tim Couch, Ryan Leaf and Akili Smith.
But I would be willing to bet money that Luck and Griffin will both be great quarterbacks in the NFL.
As an Indianapolis native and diehard Colts fan, I couldn’t be more thrilled to land the most pro ready quarterback ever. Luck is the complete package.
He is smart and a football junky. He has great size and an above average arm. And, most importantly, Luck has great accuracy on his throws, which is a must in today’s pass happy NFL.
Luck has all the attributes and tools to become a great quarterback. The second he steps on the field he will immediately be one of the best players at his position in the game. He is that good.
Right now, the Colts lack talent on both sides of the ball, but with Luck under center it should only be a few years before Indianapolis is a legitimate Super Bowl contender once again.
From the get go Luck is going to have tremendous pressure placed on him. He’s going to be compared to Griffin, Newton and Peyton Manning. Replacing a legend like Manning is never easy, but if anyone can do it, Luck can.
“Peyton was one of my idols,” Luck said. “I’m not going in there with the idea I can fill his shoes. He’s a legend, a Hall of Famer; he’s one of the best of all time. If one day I can be mentioned up there with Peyton Manning, that would be my football dream come true.”
In the draft process, many times so called experts become enamored with physical ability and 40-yard dash times. When it comes to evaluating quarterbacks what is often overlooked is knowledge of the game. Being able to read and react to what opposing defenses are doing.
All the great quarterbacks in the NFL excel at the mental aspect of the game and Luck more so than any other quarterback in this draft has that ability.
Gil Brandt, the architect of the great Cowboys teams of the 90s, had extremely high praise for Luck.
“Off the field, he’s Peyton Manning,” he said. “I even told Andrew that same thing. He reaches out to everybody. He doesn’t make anybody feel uncomfortable. I’ve been around him the last couple of months quite a bit, and I’m telling you, he’s just like Peyton. On the field, the Colts are getting a great quarterback and a great person.”
There is little doubt Luck is one of those rare once in a generation quarterbacks. He is the surest thing the draft has maybe ever seen.
But now that the draft evaluation process is over, the real fun can begin.