2012 Rookie QBs: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts
By Matt Waldman
Posted June 20th, 2012

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Strengths: Luck has one of the most refined games seen from a college quarterback entering the NFL. It begins with his strong internal clock for pressure. He consistently does a good job of adjusting his location in the pocket at the right time so he can avoid the rush, keep his eyes down field, and get rid of the football. Because he does a good job of using his eyes to manipulate coverage and displays an understanding of how to adjust his formations to tip off the defense or get the mismatch before the snap, he's well ahead of the game as an NFL prospect. Luck manages pressure rather than reacts to it. Combined with his smarts for the game, he should start immediately and grow into a quality NFL player. The fact that he does this in a pro style offense is a bonus.

Weaknesses: Luck has good, if not very good, arm strength, but his velocity suffers when delivering the ball beyond the short range of the field when he cannot follow through with his back foot and generate torque in his hips. He also lacks the rare velocity that we commonly associate with top-tier quarterbacks, and he won't make the throws that John Elway, Brett Farve, Michael Vick, or Matthew Stafford are capable of making when the defense forces them off balance and outside the pocket. He needs to do a better job of maintaining discipline to throw the ball away when no one is open. As the leader of his team, this overaggressive tendency needs curbing. Yet this is common for most star quarterbacks that want the game in their hands, and the better players develop wisdom with balancing the line between aggressiveness and recklessness as they accumulate additional experience.

2012 Outlook: In addition to Reggie Wayne and Austin Collie, the Colts did a sound job of providing Luck additional weaponry in this draft. The addition of former teammate Coby Fleener and Clemson star Dwayne Allen give the Colts and offensive dimensions similar in strengths to what Luck had at Stanford. Don't be surprised if the Colts follow the game plan for success of what the Panthers did to tailor its offense to Cam Newton. Luck will not be a 14-touchdown rusher, but a top-15 fantasy season in 2011 is realistic.

Dynasty Outlook: If evaluating players in windows of three to four years, Trent Richardson is the No. 1 pick in dynasty leagues. However, an exception can be made for Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin - especially Luck - because top-tier quarterbacks have a longer range of production at a high level than any position in dynasty leagues. At worst, expect Luck to produce at a level during his career that is at least as strong as Matt Ryan is now.

NFL Comparison: Peyton Manning's name has been thrown out there, and the smarts about the game place Luck in a similar category. However, here are two more names for discussion: Steve Young and Rich Gannon. Luck is far more athletic and mobile than Manning and that gets overshadowed in this draft class because of the presence of Robert Griffin III.

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