Andrew Luck Has Dominant Start to Preseason for Colts

Nate Dunlevy@NateDunlevyGuest ColumnistAugust 12, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - AUGUST 12: Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams during a preseason NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on August 12, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It's easy to be cynical about players coming out of college.

We've all heard the Mel Kiper Jr.'s of the world praise this guy or that guy as being "the best prospect in a generation."

I don't blame anyone who refused to buy into the Andrew Luck hype after the draft.

After today, however, the bandwagon is getting pretty full.

Luck has been dominant in Colts camp, showing a master's-level degree of control of the offense, but in his first preseason game, he was simply incredible.

His career opened at home with a 63-yard screen pass to Donald Brown for a touchdown. The moment was electric, but said more about the skills of Brown than it did Luck. Still, for a guy playing in the shadow of Peyton Manning, to match the four-time MVP's incredible first pass to Marvin Harrison in 1998 was symbolic to say the least.

Even after the incredible start, Luck supplied a week's worth of wow moments in just under a half.

He led two more touchdown drives, displaying an advanced understanding of the offense. He hit second receivers, he avoided the rush, he threw on the run.

His most impressive play wasn't even a completed pass. He took a heavy rush up the middle, spun out, bought time with his legs and managed to throw the ball away. It was the kind of veteran play that it often takes quarterbacks years to learn.

Despite a constant pass-rush against a substandard line, Luck did not take a sack, frequently using his feet to avoid pressure. Despite several dropped passes and forced throwaways, Luck still managed to hit 10 of 16 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns.

That's a passer rating of 142.7.

One. Forty. Two. Point. Seven.

It's true that it was just preseason, and it's equally true that the Rams are a terrible team, but Luck's skills were undeniable. He hit tough outs. He hit deep balls. He feathered in a tough pass over the middle. He hit guys who were open in stride and squeezed passes into tight coverage.

Luck will have his struggles this year, and the Colts are still very much a work in progress, but for once, it seems the draft gurus got it right.

He is ready for the NFL. The only question is if the NFL is ready for him.