I have long held to the belief that any college player that we’re talking about as the likely #1 pick in the draft at this time of year or around whom we’re building a “sweepstakes” usually sees that esteem (and his draft status) drop substantially before we actually get to the draft. That said, very smart people are saying that Stanford’s Andrew Luck not only has all of the tools necessary to be a successful NFL QB, but also that he’ll be a top-10 NFL signal caller on the day that he is chosen.
With that in mind, here’s who could/should be feeling Luck”y” 3 weeks in to this NFL season.
Colts – (0-3) – It would seem like perfect synergy if the Colts, sans Manning, found their way somehow to the top pick in the draft and the chance to transition from one elite quarterback era to another. Certainly the chance to study for a season or two at the foot of a talent like Manning could give Luck a chance at an Aaron Rodgers-like level of preparation before actually being called on to play significant time. Surely too, Manning would rather the Colts spend a top pick on a player that could help him to win now, in the time that he has left. It’ll be interesting to see if Manning rushes back late season and piles up a couple of wins for the Colts as “Luck Insurance”. You can bet that the Colts are coming to grips with Manning’s eminent decline even if Manning himself is not, and a talent like Luck would be tough to pass on.
Dolphins – (0-3) – Compared to the potential Colts’ situation described above, and given the recent success of young NFL signal callers, Miami might be a more appealing situation for Luck himself. Taking his talents to South Beach would surely give Luck the chance to play sooner rather than later and would be a nice “booby prize” for Dolphins fans reduced at present to pining for Kyle Orton. The interesting part here is that although head coach Tony Sparano could certainly use a talent like Luck to jumpstart that offense, since Sparano himself is already squarely on the hot seat it seems unlikely he’d be around to enjoy the fruits of Luck’s labor if the Dolphins finish with the type of record that lands them a shot at Luck.
Vikings – (0-3) – The Vikings are off to a rough start under McNabb and look to be getting old in a hurry. While the team spent highly to bring in Christian Ponder this off-season it’s unlikely he’d be enough to compel them away from Luck if given a chance. Before long it may be Ponder who gets his shot and therefore gives the Vikings a better shot at positioning themselves for Luck as a result. It looks like the Vikings may be in need of a serious overhaul on both sides of the ball, and Luck would make a pretty nice cornerstone on which to begin.
Seahawks – (1-2) – Jim Harbaugh and Pete Carroll in the same division already projects to be a contentious situation. The Niners, given Harbaugh’s familiarity with Luck and their own QB situation with Alex Smith would seem to be the ideal landing spot for the toast of the draft. San Francisco’s 2-1 record so far though looks to be a severe roadblock to such a reunion. The Seahawks meanwhile may be the worst team in football (yesterday’s win notwithstanding) and are by no means married to current QB Tavaris Jackson. The chance to beat Harbaugh for the next decade or more with a QB of his own making might be too much for Carroll and the Seahawks to resist.
Broncos – (1-2) – Hey why not? The Broncos already have 2 first round QBs on their roster and neither is doing enough to win the job away from delightfully mediocre former 4th round pick Kyle Orton. The Broncos look like a team that will play their way out of this conversation as the season progresses, but you never know…Tim Tebow may still get his chance yet and might keep the Broncos “in the hunt” as a result.