Andrew Luck: Why He Won't Win Rookie of the Year in 2012

Ryan DavenportContributor IAugust 25, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 19:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts signals to the his reciever against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the game on August 19, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

First overall picks in the NFL haven't often proven themselves worthy of the top selection in their rookie seasons.

Since the NFL began handing out its Rookie of the Year Award in 1967, only five No. 1 selections have been graced with the honor, which is a testament to how inexact a science the NFL draft can be.

When Andrew Luck takes the field for the first regular season game of his career on September 9th, he'll be on a quest to become the sixth-ever top pick to be named the league's top first-year player.

Recent history is certainly on his side, as fellow quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Cam Newton, the two No. 1 picks prior to Luck, not only went on to win the award, but they did so without making the postseason.

Unfortunately, Luck won't continue that trend.

That's not to say that Luck won't be successful with the Colts, but rather that there are so many first-year players who will be difference makers in 2012. 

For starters, Robert Griffin III is in a considerably better situation than Luck, as the team around him features a number of established veterans, and despite not having a bona fide No. 1 receiver like the Colts' Reggie Wayne, he has a variety of talented targets to throw to.

Outside of RGIII, there's Miami's Ryan Tannehill, Seattle's potential starter Russell Wilson and Justin Blackmon in Jacksonville, who has demonstrated a considerable amount of chemistry with second-year quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

There's no denying that Luck is the most promising prospect among this year's rookie class, but the talent around him, in particular the offensive line, isn't good enough to give him a fair shot at outperforming the competition.

Thus far in the preseason, Luck's been impressive, but with two touchdowns and two interceptions in two games, it appears that he'll have to overcome adversity early on in order to achieve success down the road.

The difference between Luck and the reigning top rookie is that Newton was able to create his own opportunities with his feet, as evidenced by his NFL-record 14 rushing touchdowns last season.

If history's told us anything, it's that true field generals, even ones as talented as Luck, take time to develop into top-flight quarterbacks.

He'll be a star for years to come, and he'll add to his already lengthy list of awards and accolades as a Colt.

But not quite yet.