In all seriousness folks, I do not recall a single draft prospect who got this kind of universal acclaim more than a year in advance of his hypothetical draft date. The closest thing to it was probably the Hershel Walker case, but even the hype surrounding Walker wasn't this great.
I say hypothetical draft date because we should remember that Luck is not yet out of eligibility. We are presuming he will enter the 2012 draft. He could remain at Stanford for the 2012 college season. Everyone in the world of sports will decry that last statement as absolutely crazy, but it is factually true.
As sure as we are all sitting here, we know Andrew Luck will be the #1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Who gets him is one of the most hotly debated subjects on Sports Talk Radio. It is a popular subject. Callers love to discuss this topic. Not a single day goes by without 20 radio jocks discussing who will win the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.
Through the first 8 weeks on the 2011 NFL season, there was plenty of discussion surrounding the Suck for Luck conspiracies that might be lurking and unfolding out there in the NFL. Just how many teams were willing to pack-it-in and throw the entire 2011 season so they can secure their franchise's future by selecting Andrew Luck? Incidentally, the big supposition there is that you can secure your franchise's entire future by selecting Andrew Luck.
Not a single bad word is spoken about Andrew Luck. Nobody has anything critical to say about Luck. All the QB alums from the NFL love this kid to death. Steve Young, Trent Dilfer, John Elway, Joe Theisman, you name it: They all say absolutely fabulous things about this kid. They all seem to believe he is the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning or John Elway.
The one guy I haven't heard comment on Luck (yet) is Kurt Warner. I look forward to his opinion with great interest.
What do I think about Andrew Luck? Well... before saying it let me throw down a few provisos.
- You know how much I hate the entire concept of drafting a QB in the first round.
- You know how much I detest the notion drafting a QB at the very top of the first round.
- You know I rail against these ideas.
- You know I would rather take an offensive or defensive tackle with the top pick.
- You know how often these QBs go bust.
- As Jesus said, beware when all men speak well of you.
- Luck is a bit overrated, but it is hard not to be overrated when you are the most hyped candidate in the entire history of the NFL draft.
With all those cautions stated, I have to say, the hype is mostly legit. The kid does look like the legitimate, genuine article. I have not seen a flaw in his game. I would have to take him at the top of the 2012 NFL draft, if I was the GM with that pick. I would sweat the risk plenty, but I would have to take him.
That's saying an awful lot about the kid when you consider how much I hate taking QBs in the first round.
The kid finally made me comfortable with the hype during the very recent USC vs Stanford game. USC fielded a very game and very talented team that was all-in. They were absolutely determined to beat Stanford.
They jammed up Stanford's power running attack in the early going and broke out to 20-10 lead. At that point all the news on the football wire stated that Stanford was in trouble. The longest winning streak in the country was in jeopardy. USC was beating them down.
We all knew what was going to happen. Stanford would have to abandon the run (for a time) and throw the football to catch up. At that moment the thought on my mind was this: "Okay kid, here we are. This is the biggest moment of your life so far. If you make it happen here, there will be no limit to the praise you'll garner. If you fail here, critics will surface."
Luck started throwing the football all over the field. Before you had time to get up and take a piss, Stanford scored a pair of touchdowns and the score was 24-20 Cardinal. Luck disintegrated a 10 point Trojan lead with little or no difficulty.
Boy was I impressed. He answered the clarion call like a champ.
The game wasn't over. It turned into one hell of a shootout. You know what happened. Stanford won 56-48 in triple-overtime. Every time Stanford needed Luck to show up, he did. He had one interception late in the game, but he came right back from that to lead the Cardinal on a game tying drive. Strangely, it made him look even better. The kid leads a charmed life.
He impressed the hell out of me in that game, as did his counterpart Matt Barkley. Incidentally, Matt Barkley just happens to be a September 8th, 1990 Virgo kid.
As we hear endless talk about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ... err... the 2012 drafting of Andrew Luck, just remember, there is risk in every prospect. Nobody is a can't-miss kid. This kid is just a very good risk.