Cal vs. Stanford: Andrew Luck Is the Most NFL-Ready QB Since Joe Flacco

Jonathan McDanalContributor IIINovember 19, 2011

STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 12:  Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal warms up before their game against the Oregon Ducks at Stanford Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Andrew Luck is widely believed to me the most NFL-ready quarterback in recent years. I believe Cam Newton is going to prove to be the most NFL-ready in the last 10 years, but he is still learning the NFL system at the Carolina Panthers, and will prove me right or wrong in time. (Plus, that would be a pretty not-interesting article, "I believe Andrew Luck is this year's best QB!")

With hindsight, I believe Joe Flacco to be the most NFL-ready in recent years, with the rookies from this past draft still needing to prove themselves.

Andrew Luck is sporting an impressive 66-plus completion percentage, and has shown the ability to pick his throws based on on-the-field matchups, extraordinarily. I saw him perform quite well against USC, though the Stanford defense made his performance almost ineffective.

As soon as the senior defender for USC was replaced by a freshman, Luck threw to that matchup successfully to pull off the win. Quarterbacking is just as much about your mental capability as it is your physical talent.

I think, if you put Andrew Luck up against Joe Flacco, season-for-season, you will see better results from Luck.

Flacco was drafted 18th overall in 2008, and went to work immediately under center, starting in all 16 games for the Ravens. He led them to an overall 11-5 record in his starting year, going 257-of-428 for 60 percent completion.

This gave him 2,971 yards for 6.9 yards per attempt. If that isn't indicative of NFL-readiness, I don't know what is. Success is the hallmark of preparation and teamwork. Joe Flacco is a name we will all be batting around in coming years, if we aren't already.

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 13: Quarterback Joe Flacco #5 passes the ball during play against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 13, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won 22-17.  (Photo by Stephen Brashear /Getty Images)
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Put Luck in a system with good running backs in need of a complimentary quarterback, and I believe he can prove to be more successful than Flacco was, and therefore, more "ready."

I know there are fans out there screaming that "Luck doesn't play against SEC defenses, and so on," but the fact is, barring a horrible Wonderlic score, Luck will fit the criteria for a possible elite NFL quarterback—26-plus on the Wonderlic, 27-plus starts in college and 60-plus percent career completions in college.

Time will tell, but I believe Luck will be a household name on Sundays next year, and for many years to come.


*Stats from were used in this article