Andrew Luck did not disappoint at Stanford’s Pro Day on March 22. On a cool and cloudy morning with gusty winds swaying the eucalyptus trees near Elliott Field, Luck and several of his Cardinal teammates jumped, sprinted, ran agility drills and then conducted the Main Event—Luck’s outdoor passing drills.
Here’s five things we learned.
1. Nothing—and Everything
I have been fortunate to have attended over 20 of Luck’s college games for Stanford. Today, in front of a gathering of hundreds of NFL scouts, ESPN commentators, current and former Stanford players and other spectators ranging from kids to grandparents, Luck really did nothing different from what he’s displayed throughout his college career.
Taking snaps from All American OL David DeCastro, Luck demonstrated the same athleticism, footwork, effortless spirals, great touch, and, oh yeah, a cannon of an arm, as shown by the last of his 51 passes, a long 70-plus-yard bomb to WR Chris Owusu.
At the same time, Luck’s 47-of-51 passing performance in the cold swirling winds (including two drops, by Owusu on the aforementioned 70-yard pass, and by Coby Fleener) reaffirmed that he can make any NFL throw with precision and pace, whether left, right or center, or short, intermediate or deep.
And of course, the Pro Day left to our imaginations the peerless, cerebral gameday instincts that Luck possesses. We'll have to wait until Sundays to see that in action.
2. Moving to His Left
While Luck is touted as being the best pure pocket passer to come into the NFL since Peyton Manning, he is equally adept on the move.
Luck was especially impressive throwing on the dead run as he sprinted to his left, being chased by a broom-waving coach, tossing darts in stride to his receivers.
3. Deep Passes
Luck had only one deep pass that was affected in flight by the 20-mph winds. Most every other pass was a tight whistling spiral. He did overthrow Griff Whalen once, and Owusu dropped the 70-yarder, but otherwise Luck was perfect on his long-range connections.
Stanford RB Jeremy “Patch” Stewart ran a 4.52 in his 40. He also participated in the Luck passing drills, and Luck easily placed several passes right into Stewart’s hands on short patterns.
5. Stanford Got Speed
Chris Owusu was one of the fastest WRs at last month’s NFL Combine, and today he exploded off the line and out of his cuts, despite the windy conditions, and caught just about everything in sight.
While some believe his foray into the NFL may not be the wisest of moves, clearly Owusu believes he’s ready for the next level.
DBs Delano Howell (4.47), Michael Thomas (4.49), Johnson Bademosi (4.38) and Corey Gatewood (4.51) all ran well today.
Former walk-on WR Griff Whalen, who led the 2011 Cardinal in receptions, yards and receiving TDs, clocked a 4.54 in the 40. Impervious to the temperatures in the low 50s, he took off his shirt for the passing drills and ran precise routes with sure hands.
The 6'6" TE Coby Fleener, sporting a crewcut, had a blazing 4.45 in the 40, and except for the one drop, looked good in the passing drills. Anyone think he won't be the first TE taken?
Next stop for Luck and his Cardinal teammates: the NFL draft, on April 26.