Man has searched for treasure ever since he crawled out of the proverbial primordial ooze.
The Holy Grail. The Maltese Falcon. The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and Curly’s Gold.
And now, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Luck very well could have been the first pick overall instead of Sam Bradford two seasons ago if he had been allowed to enter the NFL draft after his redshirt freshman year. He definitely would have been the first pick overall last season, but he decided to stay in school and continue to study architecture, just like Costanza always wanted to do.
Last season, Luck completed 70.7 percent of 372 passes for 3,338 yards, with 32 touchdowns to eight interceptions. He also had 453 rushing yards, including this impressive run. If that run didn’t impress you, then watch this absurd hit.
This year, provided he opts to grab that cash with both hands and make a stash, he will be the most coveted collegiate quarterback since Peyton Manning. Which leads one to think that some team is going to tank this season for Luck, if not several teams.
Quarterbacks like Luck can keep a team as a contender for a decade—just look at Manning, or Tom Brady or Philip Rivers. Obviously Luck isn’t at their level right now—but, coming out of college, no quarterback (save Manning, maybe) has had a higher grade than Luck.
“He is the best prospect I’ve studied, period,” says Jon Gruden.
According to cbssports.com’s Rob Rang, “A number of scouts over the long weekend made it clear that the comparison to some of the all-time greats aren’t merely media hype —the scouts are drawing parallels, too. Luck’s size, arm strength and surprising speed earn high grades from scouts. His accuracy, ability to read defenses and poise are earning even more exemplary marks.”
And later, “He’s the best quarterback AND elite prospect – including LaDainian Tomlinson, Steve Hutchinson, Calvin Johnson Ndamukong Suh — I’ve scouted, including every Senior Bowl, since 2001.”
The modern comparison for Luck would probably be Aaron Rodgers (smart, athletic and an accurate big arm). But a little bigger: Luck is 6’4’’, 235 and Rodgers is 6’2”, 223.
Luck can save jobs and a franchise, and team head-honchos know this.
Now, no team is going to out-and-out quit from the get-go; this is still a league scarier than a meth-house in Topeka, with deranged psychotics so obsessed with W’s they’d probably offer their first-born to Rumpelstiltskin for just a division victory.
But starting in Week 4, maybe Week 5, you’ll start to see some teams with one or zero wins start to do some strange, inexplicable things: playing with only seven players, punting on third down, signing and starting Jeff George, hiring Jerry Glanville as interim head coach and instituting a strict “No Steroids” policy – the greatest sign a team is purposely trying to lose.
But who will those teams be? Let’s take a guess.