Andrew Luck: Elite NFL Combine Performance Guarantees Star QB Top Spot

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 26: Quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford runs the 40-yard dash during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 26, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Andrew Luck took a risk by participating in all of the non-throwing drills at the combine. After a dominating performance, however, it turned out to be a terrific decision that guarantees him the top spot ahead of fellow quarterback Robert Griffin III.

If Luck would have struggled in the athletic events, which are Griffin's biggest advantage, the Indianapolis Colts might have rethought their draft strategy. Instead, they have to be more happy than ever with the future face of their franchise.

The Stanford product excelled in every drill he participated in, but no result was more surprising than his 40-yard dash, where he clocked in at 4.67 seconds. It's not Griffin speed, but it shows he'll be more than capable of escaping pressure in the pocket.

Luck also had top-tier showings in the vertical jump, broad jump, three-cone drill and 20-yard shuttle. It's safe to say many draft experts were underrating his athletic ability prior to those eye-popping results.

Now that Luck has proven he is the total package, the Colts' decision becomes crystal clear. He's the player who can lead the franchise for another decade or more, just like Peyton Manning did.

The performance also helps ease the pain of eventually losing Manning. It's looking more and more like the Colts will release No. 18 before his bonus becomes due next month, and handing the keys of an offense to a rookie can be a scary proposition. Even Manning struggled in his first season.

Those concerns might not be completely eliminated by his performance inside Lucas Oil Stadium, but they should at least be greatly diminished.

Luck has all the tools a team could possibly look for in a quarterback. While there's truly no such thing as a can't-miss prospect, he's as close as any team could hope for.

Luck should have no problem stepping directly into the starting lineup for Week 1 next season. The Colts are going through a minor rebuilding process, which can be expected after a forgettable season, but there is still some very talented pieces on the roster.

That should make his transition process a little bit easier than Manning's was when he arrived to a franchise a rock bottom.

So, hopefully Luck enjoyed his brief stay in Indianapolis, because his combine performance makes the city a lock to become his new home.