Sunday, February 26, 2012

Stars of the Draft: Andrew Luck

     Andrew Luck walked off the field in disappointment. All around him was celebration, as Oklahoma State won the Fiesta Bowl thanks to an overtime field goal. It is not normal for Luck to be on the losing side; in his entire Stanford career, the star quarterback lost just 8 times (a record of 31-8). But now was different...this was his final college game before entering the 2012 NFL Draft. Luckily for Luck, he is the heavy favorite to be picked first overall by the struggling Indianapolis Colts. So what makes Luck so different? What characteristics does he own that forces experts to call him the greatest QB entering the draft since Peyton Manning? The NFL Report will analyze this future star, and what should be expected from him in later years.
Andrew Luck
     It was the first game of the 2011 season, and Andrew Luck started off with a bang against San Jose State. There was 14:55 left in the 2nd quarter. Luck lobs a ball 41 yards for the score, and goes on to win 57-3. As the season progressed, Stanford fans witnessed their quarterback put up great statistics day in and day out. By the end of the regular season, Andrew Luck had 3,170 passing yards, 35 TD's and a passer rating of 169.7. Sadly, these statistics were unable to beat out Robert Griffin III for the Heisman Trophy. Still, Luck managed to win the Maxwell Award along with being a First Team All American. Along with several awards, Luck now owns countless records, whether it be single season or statistics throughout his entire career. Even if he were to fail in the NFL, Luck should go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks in Stanford history.
     Size, strength, accuracy.... all three are characteristics that differentiate Luck from the average college quarterback. First of all, fans have witnessed Luck's extraordinary accuracy time and time again, for it is rare to see him miss an open wide receiver. In fact, Luck owns record for the highest single season completion percentage in Pac-12 history (71.3%). As Luck enters the NFL, open wide receivers will become more scarce, meaning his ability to thread the needle will only help him. Though he does not have the arm strength of Aaron Rodgers, Luck is still able to throw a deep ball down field, while staying on target. Unlike college stars like Tim Tebow, Luck has spectacular throwing mechanics, very similar to Peyton Manning or Drew Brees. These mechanics allow him to have consistent passes on target. However, his best trait is the ability to march down the field. Though he has the capability of bombing balls deep down field, it is more common for Luck to throw short passes that help move the chains. Many rookies in the NFL make stupid decisions because they feel rushed. Luck on the other hand will try and get in the end zone one step at a time. The number one prospect has also proved to have great pocket presence when being rushed by defenders. Countless times in the Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma State put pressure on Luck, but he was still able to throw accurate passes down field. He may not be a Michael Vick when it comes to escaping the pocket, but Andrew Luck has the speed needed to escape defenders, and getting some extra yards in the process. In fact, Luck had the same 40 yard dash time as rookie sensation Cam Newton (4.59).
       Being drafted first overall comes with high expectations, for everyone is watching you. In the past, many quarterbacks have folded underneath the pressure. However, there have also been several success stories in the past few years. For example, Eli Manning was selected first overall by the New York Giants in 2003, and has already won 2 Super Bowl Rings. I believe Andrew Luck is the real deal; any quarterback who is compared to superstars like John Elway, Peyton Manning or Drew Brees has to be a sensational athlete. I am not saying by the end of his career, he will own every major passing record, but I can see many Pro Bowl appearances in this guy's future. Andrew Luck will be selected by the Indianapolis Colts first overall, and I know he has many great years ahead of him.

1 comment:

  1. This kid is the best writer i've seen in my 58 years. I thirst for more entries!