AL HAMNIK: Luck of the draft has Colts feeling on top of the world

2012-12-30T18:00:00Z 2013-01-08T23:23:04Z AL HAMNIK: Luck of the draft has Colts feeling on top of the worldAl Hamnik Times Columnist
December 30, 2012 6:00 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Many are saying Andrew Luck may be the greatest NFL rookie quarterback ever.

You in the corner wearing that Robert Griffin III jersey, quit snickering or you'll be asked to leave.

Obviously Luck had a longer check list of superlatives when Colts' General Manager Ryan Grigson made the Stanford phenom his first overall pick in the draft.

The Colts are a surprising 11-5, Luck has thrown for 4,300 yards, 23 touchdowns, 18 interceptions, been sacked 41 times and has a respectable rating of 76.5.

He also has a team-high five rushing TDs.

"First and foremost, from the neck up, he's what you want in a quarterback," said Highland native Grigson. "He's extremely smart. He has an exceptional football IQ. He has tremendous vision and all those types of things.

"And then you throw in the fact he's really built like an NFL tight end. He runs better than most tight ends who are even playing in the National Football League."

Yes, you could say there's a strong connection here.

"He's also highly-competitive, like me, and tough. He just needs experience, that's all," Grigson said.

Luck uses that athleticism and his 4.59 40 time to dodge pass rushers and extend plays.

By never giving up on a play, he will sometimes take a sack, but more often than not, he gives receivers time to get open in the style of Aaron Rodgers.

And when you have good-hands people like Reggie Wayne, Donnie Avery, T.Y. Hilton and Dwayne Allen, you have more "spots" than a dalmatian to throw at.

When an offensive player screws up in a game, Luck often blames himself, whether or not he's at fault, and teammates respect that.

You can fit his ego in a tea cup.

"Andrew has a great level of humility despite how well known he is and how lauded he is in the media and the general public," Grigson said.

"He carries himself so well."

Most professional athletes are addicted to social media and can't get enough of making their opinions, accomplishments and gripes known to the world.

Well, Andrew Luck has said he doesn't use Twitter or Facebook because it takes away from what's really important -- preparation, the team.

"He's secure with who he is," Grigson said. "Wow, his parents did a great job because he's just an exceptional human being on top of being a great athlete and quarterback."

Actually, Andrew Luck sounds like a younger version of Peyton Manning, doesn't he? The Peyton Manning whom the Colts cut at age 35 after three neck surgeries within a 19-month period.

Manning has found new life in Denver while Luck has Indianapolis deliriously happy, though Grigson took some heat after letting the four-time MVP go.

"There's always those comparisons, constantly," Grigson said. "They're both great players and obviously Peyton has a much more extensive body of work.

"But Andrew's unique in his own way."

Unique, as in seven fourth-quarter comeback wins.

And 65 pass completions of 20 or more yards, a league best.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at

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