In this column, myself, and fellow Rant Sports writer, Gil Alcaraz, are debating the future of this year’s top NFL draft pick, Andrew Luck. Is Luck another potential number-one overall pick bust, or is he the real deal who will help guide the Indianapolis Colts back to a place of prominence in the NFL?
My esteemed colleague Gil says real deal. I say bust.
Now before I have the entirety of the states of Texas, California, and Indiana rioting outside my front door with torches and sickles, let me explain exactly what I mean by “bust” in this context.
Do I think Luck is going to end up breaking into homes and stealing prescription drugs? No. Crazy talk. But I do think that Luck is going to fall very short of the value given to a number-one overall pick who has been tagged as the next face (and savior) of a franchise.
The reasons why are simple.
In watching Andrew Luck play for his three years at Stanford, and then studying films and videos over this past off-season, I just don’t see skills beyond that of other highly touted quarterbacks that have come from the Pac-12. He’s good. I’ll give him that. But he’s good for a Pac-12 quarterback, in much the same way Mark Sanchez, Matt Leinart, and Carson Palmer were good for quarterbacks that have recently come out of the Pac-12.
Luck put up impressive numbers against – for the most part – less than impressive defenses. His offensive line established the run, gave him a lot of time in the pocket, where he was then able to throw to wide-open receivers. NFL corners aren’t going to give Luck many opportunities to see receivers that open, and Indianapolis will probably struggle with the run game.
If you are looking for the next Troy Aikman, John Elway or even Aaron Rodgers, I think you’ll be disappointed.
Does Luck have some unique skills and abilities? Absolutely. But he’ll probably end up with a career closer to Mark Brunell, particularly given the poor supporting cast he is inheriting in Indianapolis.
Luck isn’t walking into the best of situations to begin his NFL career either. He has no weapons to speak of, the Colts offensive line is atrocious, and the NFL has become a quarterback/coach driven league. I can’t see Luck being ready to take this team on his shoulders.
Oh…and let’s not forget having to play in the shadow of Peyton Manning. Ask anyone who’s played quarterback for the Denver Broncos or Miami Dolphins for the past 15 years how easy it is to follow a legend.
No, Andrew Luck will be good. He may have a nice NFL career. But in the end, he’ll be looked at as yet another quarterback taken first in the draft with unfair expectations placed upon him.