AP source: Colts picking Andrew Luck at No. 1
The secret is out.
Andrew Luck will be the Indianapolis Colts’ new quarterback.
A person with direct knowledge of the situation said Thursday
that the Colts have notified Luck that they plan to take the
Stanford quarterback with the No. 1 pick in next week’s NFL draft
barring some unforeseen event between now and then. The person
spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly
disclosed its plan.
It’s hardly a surprise that the Colts are turning to Luck as the
cornerstone of their massive rebuilding project. Luck was projected
as the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft before returning to school for
his fourth season. He gave up his final year of college eligibility
to enter this year’s draft, which was dubbed the Andrew Luck
Sweepstakes from the start.
Contract negotiations are not expected to begin before the
draft, the person familiar with the situation told the AP. Will
Wilson, Luck’s agent, did not immediately respond to phone messages
or text messages Thursday.
”We’ve exhausted the process,” new Indy general manager Ryan
Grigson told reporters Wednesday. ”We’ve pretty much made up our
minds and we’re going to go from there. We feel good about it and
we’ll go from there.”
Grigson acknowledged that the Colts made their decision ”a
little while” ago, though he declined to say whether the Colts
would take Luck or Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of
The secret lasted less than 24 hours. ESPN.com first reported
that the Colts’ had informed Luck they will take him. That would
likely send Griffin to the Redskins, who traded a first- and
second-round pick this year and first-rounders each of the next two
years to St. Louis to move into the No. 2 slot.
Luck faces a challenging situation in Indy, which went 2-14 last
season after Peyton Manning was lost with a season-ending injury
that required neck surgery.
Manning was released March 7 and eventually signed with Denver,
and Luck will now serve as Manning’s successor.
He may get off to a rough start through no fault of his own.
”I believe Andrew may struggle early simply because of the
surrounding cast playing with him,” said Colts former vice
chairman Bill Polian, acknowledging both rookies will have their
share of problems in 2012. ”It was nowhere near where Peyton’s
was, and he went 3-13. I think Andrew will struggle more because of
the receivers around him. Only Reggie (Wayne) and Austin (Collie)
Still, Luck was the obvious choice as Manning’s successor all
A pro-style pocket quarterback, Luck threw for 35 touchdowns
last season – breaking his school record of 32 a year ago – and
eclipsed John Elway’s career record (77) at Stanford with 80
touchdown passes in only three years.
He finished with 3,170 yards passing, a 70 percent completion
percentage and only nine interceptions without the benefit of an
elite wide receiver. In a 41-38 Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State,
Luck was brilliant again, going 27 of 31 passing for 347 yards and
two touchdowns with an interception.
And while the Colts sent a larger contingent of scouts to
Griffin’s pro day, it was Luck who had a private workout for the
Colts and traveled to Indianapolis for a personal interview.
Griffin did not, Grigson explained, partly because the Colts had
already made their decision.
What the Colts will get with Luck is a skilled player who’s had
an extra year to mature from 2011, when even then he might have
been drafted ahead of Auburn star Cam Newton.
”I tend to think because of my position as an AD at a Division
I school that spending a full four years is going to benefit almost
every player, not just from a football standpoint but walking away
with a degree is important in today’s world, too,” West Virginia
athletic director Oliver Luck, Andrew’s father, said Wednesday.
”The emotional development that comes with completing the cycle
with the class that you came in with, I think that last aspect is
”Plus, I think the vast majority of cases, it’s beneficial to
come back and play that third and fourth year in many cases,” he
Luck will be far from the only new face in Indy.
Grigson replaced the father-son front office tandem of Bill and
Chris Polian in January, then brought in new coach Chuck Pagano to
replace the fired Jim Caldwell. Pagano has almost an entirely new
staff, and some players have even found new spots for their
The biggest change, of course, is not seeing No. 18 around
Two days after Manning’s release, the Colts cut other veterans
including defensive captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt, Pro
Bowl tight end Dallas Clark and running back Joseph Addai. Longtime
center Jeff Saturday, receiver Pierre Garcon and backup tight end
Jacob Tamme all left in free agency.
Now, the Colts are looking to start fresh.
”Barring any unforeseen problem we’re pretty sure what
direction we want to go. Barring any unforeseen event, we know what
we’re doing,” Grigson said.