It’s easy to look back on last April’s NFL Draft now, and admit that Andrew Luck was the unmistakable correct choice for the Indianapolis Colts to take with the number one overall pick. Hindsight is always 20/20, but at the time, the choice to take Luck (while dumping Peyton Manning) was as risky as risky pics get. Luck paid off all season long, and could be very good for the Colts, for a very long time.
Many other quarterbacks taken with the first overall pick were less like Luck, and more like Tim Couch. When you think of names like David Carr, JaMarcus Russell, and even Carson Palmer, you can immediately see how big of a whiff it can be when drafting a rookie quarterback with the first pick in the first round. Luck’s accomplishments have been nothing short of astonishing and record-breaking. He just happened to come into the league among one of the strongest quarterback classes in history.
Luck took over a depleted team, that was totally gutted from top to bottom, after a dismal 2-14 season. Luck led the Colts to an 11-5 record and a berth in the AFC Playoffs, resulting in the second-best turnaround in NFL history. Luck’s 4,374 passing yards were a regular season rookie record, and his five rushing touchdowns were a franchise record for a quarterback. In week 9, Luck passed for 433 yards, which is the most single-game passing yards for a rookie ever. Luck also broke records with six 300-yard passing games and seven fourth quarter comebacks during the regular season. If there’s any doubt that this guy deserves the Rookie of the Year award, please re-read this paragraph.
The votes have already been tallied, and regardless of the outcome, this rookie class has shown and played with class all season long. From Luck, to RG3, to Russell Wilson, to Alfred Morris, to David Martin, the 2012-13 NFL rookies were by and large very impressive. With so much talented competition, Luck may not win the award, but what he has done in his rookie season may very well never be done again.