Our 2012 Community Mock Exercise kicks off with a look at the Indianapolis Colts and their attempt to move on from the illustrious Peyton Manning era. Although we had community members sign up to represent each of the 32 teams, I'll be stepping in to get things rolling before handing things over for the remaining picks. Here's a quick overview of what we'll be doing with these posts.
The community mock will dive much deeper than our writer's mock. Each post will give insight into each team's needs, as well as an in-depth profile of the selected player from trusted resources around the web. Of course, they are all just opinions from watching tape and measurables, but hopefully there will be information to help educate on the prospects you don't know and those you think you know.
So without further delay, let's get down to the first pick of our 2012 Community Mock Draft.
GM: KD (substituting)
Selection: (QB) Andrew Luck, Stanford
Manning's been at the helm since 1998; leading the Colts to a Super Bowl victory and playoff appearances in every season except for his rookie year and 2001. All good things come to an end though, and when Manning would not accept a pay cut to go along with sharing practice time with his heir apparent, the new era had begun.
I'll admit, I'm a RGIII fan. However, there is little chance that Jim Irsay will pass up the golden boy that has been named a better prospect than Manning and comparable to John Elway. As if he hadn't secured the number one pick already, Luck surprised some by displaying elite athleticism during the 2012 Scouting Combine. This week, he shut down the Stanford Pro Day on Saturday; one-upping Griffin's Pro Day performance from 24 hours earlier.
Standing 6'4" and weighing in at 234 lbs, Luck ran a 4.67 40 yard dash during the combine. He was only bested by RGIII, Russell Wilson of Wisconsin and was barely edged out by LSU's Jordan Jefferson. The boy's got scramble ability. He finished third amongst QBs in the three-cone drill, indicating his body control and ability to change directions without losing speed. His vertical cleared three feet, and his broad jump reached ten feet four inches. In essence, he proved to be an elite athlete to top off the fact that he is a cerebral QB.
Follow the jump for more detail and analysis of the pick.
At his Pro Day, Luck provided more evidence of his control of the position. During passing drills he completed 46 of 50 passes, with three of the four incompletions drops by his receivers, per ESPN.
Another very impressive subtlety -- on three occasions, Luck's receivers slipped or stumbled, upsetting the timing of the route, and in each case, Luck adjusted on the fly to make the completion. Unlike some other highly regarded quarterbacks in this draft class (specifically Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden), Luck has no issue retiming routes when he needs to. - Doug Farrar, Yahoo! Sports
Of course, these accolades during the extended Underwear Olympics only cement a reputation earned on the field. Observers haven't seen a quarterback with this much mastery of a quarterback's tools in a long time. His read progression, accuracy, pre-snap decision-making left little to question. If Stanford had better skill position players, one could only imagine the numbers he would have put up. Still, he completed over 70% of his passes two years running, and has thrown for just over 6800 yards in that span. He followed his 2010 TD-INT ratio of 32-8 with a 37-10 performance.
The talent is clearly there. If the Colts put some talent around him, and Indianapolis will have gobs of cap space to do just that next season, his filling of Manning's shoes seems like a Lock, not luck.
HIGH PRIORITY TEAM NEEDS (lower number indicates higher priority) according to Drafttek.com
-- Threat Level Red (priority 1-2): Feature Wide Receiver, Center, 34 Nose Tackle,
-- Threat Level Orange (priority 3-4): Tight End, Cornerback, 3-4 Defensive End, 3-4 Outside Linebacker, 3-4 Will, 3-4 Sam, Free Safety, Strong Safety, Feature Running Back, Right Tackle, Guard, Possession Receiver,
-- Threat Level Yellow (priority 5-6): Quarterback, Left Tackle
-- Drafttek.com ranked #1 Overall, #1 at the position
-- Wes Bunting, National Football Post: #1 Overall, #1 at the position
What I like...
- Exhibits natural bend at the knees and balance with his footwork in the pocket, is consistently in an effective throwing position.
- Possesses an impressive feel in the pocket, subtly moves away from pressure, keeps eye level down the field and isn't afraid to take a shot after letting go of the football.
- Is a very good athlete for his size, can hurt you with his legs on the move, takes good care of the football and knows when to take off.
- Is natural/coordinated on the move. Throws accurately off the boot-action game, generates good torque from the hips and consistently squares his shoulders into his target.
What I don't like…
- Has locked onto receivers at times a bit more frequently this year compared to years past.
- Tries to get too cute at times with his touch on bucket throws down the field. Passes will hang on him giving defensive backs a chance to range and break on the football.
- Accuracy will get a bit inconsistent at times when asked to quickly step up in the pocket and throw on the move when being flushed due to pressure.
-- Scout.com ranked #1 overall, #1 at the position
-- Mike Mayock ranked #1 at the position
Accuracy: Possesses extraordinary accuracy to all levels of the field. Consistently throws his receivers open, leading his receivers to where the defenders are least likely to be able to impact the reception or stop the receiver from gaining additional yardage. Zips the deep out low and outside. Excellent touch down the seam to fit the ball between the linebacker and safety over the top. Leads his backs on swing passes and receivers on slants/crossers so that they do not have to break stride. Rare accuracy extends to the deep ball, as well, as he throws a tight spiral with good trajectory that makes his passes easy to track over the shoulder. Trusts his accuracy too much, at times, showing a willingness to throw too often into coverage. In his two multiple INT games of his young career (Oregon 2010, Arizona State 2010) all four of his interceptions were thrown into double coverage.
Reading Defenses: Put simply, it is Luck's recognition of defenses that might be his most extraordinary accomplishment. Had full freedom to call audibles at the line and takes advantage of his recognition to improve the offense's chance at a successful play, including often switching from passing plays to handoffs and bootlegs. Often will look one way and throw the other, leaving defenders with very little time to react. As mentioned previously, he does need to improve his decision-making, at times, as he will occasionally take unnecessary risks throwing the ball into double coverage.
Intangibles: A winner who helped elevate the Stanford program. Highly intelligent; was the valedictorian at Stratford High. Elected to return for his fourth year at Stanford in large part due to the fact that he wanted to finish his degree. Father, Oliver Luck, is a former West Virginia and Houston Oiler quarterback who now serves as the Athletic Director at his alma mater.
Up next, Dire Wolf and the Washington Redskins with the #2 overall pick.