Stanford Cardinal: Who Decided Andrew Luck Was God?

Jack ButlerContributor IIIOctober 6, 2011

TUCSON, AZ - SEPTEMBER 17:  Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal scrambles to pass during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on September 17, 2011 in Tucson, Arizona.  The Cardinal defeated the Wildcats 37-10.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Everybody knew that the best NFL prospect in the country wasn't available in the 2011 NFL Draft. 

I'm usually not one to knock a guy for staying in college.  Most underclassmen who enter the draft are not fully prepared, physically or mentally.  The extra year in college allows players to gain more experience and mature as a person. 

Luck's situation was a bit different.  He was head and shoulders above the other quarterback prospects.  The Carolina Panthers undoubtedly would have selected him to be their franchise quarterback.  

As of now, it looks like going with Cam Newton was a good choice, but he wouldn't be in Carolina if it weren't for Luck (pun somewhat intended).

Nobody doubted his skill or maturity.  When Jim Harbaugh announced he was headed for the NFL, most of us assumed Luck would follow suit.  Well that wasn't the case and I was baffled.  What did he have to prove?

The Andrew Luck situation reminds me a lot of the way two former Trojans—Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush—came into the NFL.

Leinart would have been the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, but he decided to take a ballroom dance class, bro it up and do keg stands at USC for another year.  

Didn't turn out to be the wisest decision.  He fell to 10th overall in the '06 draft and has pretty much been a career backup.

Just like Luck, NFL Draft analysts couldn't get over Reggie Bush.  To his credit, Bush was so fun to watch during his career at USC.  He was a dynamic athlete who could change a game all on his own. 

The Texans surprised everyone when they announced they were taking Mario Williams with the first overall pick.  How could they pass on player like Reggie Bush? 

Bush failed with the Saints, is now a part-time player with the Dolphins and has resorted to doing Pizza Hut commercials to pay the bills.

The hype surrounding Luck is very similar to what we experienced with Bush.  Remember the Week 17 49ers/Texans game in '05?  It was the Reggie Bush Bowl.  

The loser got the right to select Bush.  Obviously it didn't turn out that way, but my point is that he was so hyped by NFL scouts and we haven't experienced a "sweepstakes" like that until now.

Obviously, Luck deserves all this attention.  He led his team to the BCS last season and is doing the same this season with a new coach.  He's putting up great numbers and clearly has the makeup of a great great quarterback.  

He makes all the right decisions, has pin-point accuracy and is a great leader.  But why has he already been crowned the king of the 2012 Draft?

Let's look at the top QBs taken in recent drafts.  Cam Newton, Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Mark Sanchez, Alex Smith, Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers.  With the exception of Alex Smith, the rest of those guys look like they're all becoming pretty good NFL quarterbacks.  

My question is, what makes Luck so much better then the rest of these guys?  There was no talk of teams tanking the season for the right to take Sam Bradford or Matthew Stafford.  We're in Week 4 and people are talking about the Colts losing out so they can take Luck.

I understand why people think he can be a great NFL quarterback.  He has all the skill in the world, but you really never know.  Success in college does not always translate to the NFL.  

Six months from now, Luck will be the first overall pick in the draft, and deservedly so.  I'm just saying that it might be a little early to call him the next Peyton Manning.  

He seems like a great kid and I'll be rooting for him to succeed.  Let's just hope he doesn't turn out to be a Reggie Bush or a Matt Leinart.