Every week Colts.com features a blog written by one of our fans. This week’s blog was submitted by CPearison45
With the 2012 NFL Draft a little over three months away, there has been much discussion on how the Indianapolis Colts should handle their first overall pick. Some fans have shown their support to draft Andrew Luck, the starting quarterback from Stanford University. He was coached and mentored by Jim “Captain Comeback” Harbaugh during his first two years at Stanford and is possibly the most-hyped quarterback since John Elway (who most Colts fans know was drafted #1 overall in 1983 by the Baltimore Colts, only to see him traded away to the Broncos after he refused to play for Robert Irsay).
Luck has had a profound college career and has chosen to forego his senior season to declare for the NFL Draft. His career statistics have been impressive: 9,430 yards, 82 Touchdowns, 22 Interceptions. He has had 1,064 passing attempts with 713 completions for an overall completion record of 67%. He has also had 163 rushing attempts for 957 yards (5.9 yards per carry) with 7 Rushing TDs, and averages 25.2 yards per game.
Andrew Luck was decorated with many awards his junior year while leading the Stanford to an 11-2 record. These awards include; First Team All-America, Maxwell Award, Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Heisman Trophy Runner-Up, Davey O’Brien Award Finalist, Manning Award Finalist, Academic All-America of the Year, Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, First Team All Pac-12, First Team Pac-12 All Academic Team, and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week, October 17, 2011.
Many football fans and insiders believe Luck is a shoo-in for the #1 overall pick. He has a very high intelligence level and has proven he can comprehend a pro playbook. He is the embodiment of an NFL-caliber quarterback with very high accuracy, great technique, and is fundamentally sound. He’s a relatively good sized quarterback too, standing at 6’-4” and roughly 235 pounds.
There has also been criticism of Luck, some saying he’s highly overrated. A lot of talk has been about his poor arm strength and the inability to throw the long ball. However, this can be countered by the fact that his receiving corps at Stanford is one of the slowest corps in all of college. His non-threat of the deep ball could possibly be attributed to his receivers simply not being able to shake the DBs. It is also said that Luck only throws downfield when it is off a play action, with more of his passes coming off of small 5-yard completions. This leads many to believe that his success is only from a product of a dominating run game at Stanford. Could he still have this success with the Colts with their current run game offense which is one of the lowest in the league? Others question Luck’s ability to make his teammates play to their full potential. Can he be the elite quarterback that will rally his team to perform in all circumstances?
So there are pros and cons for the Colts to draft Andrew Luck first overall in this year’s draft. So that leaves the question, if there are disadvantages of drafting Luck, then who would the number two option be? That turns this discussion to Robert Griffin III.
RG3 has also had a very prolific college career at Baylor University. His career statistics: 10,366 yards, 78 Touchdowns, 17 Interceptions. He had 1,182 passing attempts with 790 completions for a 66.8% completion percentage (awfully close to that of Mr. Luck). He has also rushed for 2,273 yards on 528 attempts (a 4.3 yards per carry average), with 33 Rushing Touchdowns and 56.83 yards per game.
RG3 won the prestigious Heisman Trophy Award in 2011 and the Davey O’Brien Award.
There are numerous positives surrounding Robert Griffin III and his ability to become an elite NFL quarterback. He has great arm strength that will keep the opposing team’s secondary on their toes with the possibility of a deep ball on every play. He is extremely accurate in the pocket and while scrambling and is one of the most mobile quarterbacks we’ve seen. He’s extremely polished in his quarterbacking style. This style complements the slow move of the NFL quarterback from the traditional pocket passer (e.g. Manning, Brady) to the mobile, rushing quarterback (e.g. Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers). Griffin represents a dual-threat quarterback and could end up being the face of the new era. Many speculate he could have a better rookie season than Cam Newton just had, depending on where he ends up. Even former Colts coach Tony Dungy mentioned on the Sunday Night Football telecast the idea of drafting Griffin over Luck.
Of course, there are negatives about Griffin also. RG3 is smaller than Andrew Luck, at 6’-2” and roughly 220 pounds. He’s also receiving the stereotypical criticisms about his scrambling and questions on whether or not he’ll be able to utilize the NFL playbook. There has also been speculation that his decision making is not where it should be and he cannot aptly read defenses nor command the line of scrimmage as need be for an elite quarterback.
There are obvious reasons to draft either quarterback this year, but in the end, what it will all boil down to is whether Peyton Manning is healthy or not. If it is determined that the Colts will not retain Peyton any further, than most would say that Luck is the obvious choice. He has the Manning-esque qualities that led us to amazing success during the 2000s. If this happens, than anything Luck can bring to team is a step up from the quarterback showing we watched this past season. If Peyton is healthy, drafting Luck could be a potentially horrible decision. Why? Because Luck is not the type of quarterback that will want to sit behind anyone, he does not want to be Aaron Rodgers. We could possibly see another John Elway or even Eli Manning situation where the newly-drafted quarterback refuses to sign with that team. Griffin would be the obvious choice to draft if Peyton is indeed healthy and able to play next season. Griffin is a very good quarterback already, but he would be more inclined to be mentored by Peyton and to sit and learn for a few seasons. After the dismal season we just concluded, it definitely goes to show that we’re in desperate need for a well-groomed success for when Peyton does retire, and I believe Griffin is that successor.
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