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Rookie Film Room: Andrew Luck, QB – Stanford

Kid Ridiculous, as I now fondly call Stanford’s Andrew Luck is about to put his mark on the NFL.  And make a lot of money at the same time.

Regardless of how you project Luck’s prospects at the next level, you have to admit (at least I hope you do) that it’s easy to get behind a college player that just seems to get “it”.  Luck bypassed bigger money in 2010 by opting to stay in school, work on his game and finish what he started in 2009.  The Fiesta Bowl didn’t end as he had hoped, losing to the Oklahoma State in a high scoring affair and losing the Heisman to the Baylor’s dynamic quarterback, Robert Griffin III, but Luck leaves college with no regrets and with a first pick selection in the NFL draft guaranteed come April.

Let’s zoom in and take a closer look starting with his college production:

SEASON CMP ATT YDS CMP% YPA TD INT
2011 288 404 3517 71.3 8.71 37 10
2010 263 372 3338 70.7 8.97 32 8
2009 162 288 2575 56.3 8.94 13 4

Even his impressive college statistics don’t portray exactly what Luck brings to the table at his position.  While many believe that Luck is the single best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning in 1998, many more believe that you have to go back even further, to 1983 and John Elways, also from Stanford.  Put me with the latter, but it’s very close.  Either way, he’s going to be a great one.

Why?

Let’s break down some of the video to see some of the important tangibles that are considered must-haves for the ability to develop professional quarterbacks from the college ranks.  It’s rare that a prospect emerges containing so many of them before even being drafted.

It shouldn’t be lost that Stanford has an extremely capable offensive line, a pro-style offense and capable receivers that will be playing at the next level in 2012.

1:10 – Smooth footwork, great body position, high release point and drives through the throw with a great wrist-snap and follow through strong on his left leg (right leg pulling off the ground).  This allows him to drive the ball well to the receiver and past the defending defensive back.

1:25 – In the shotgun, stays patient in his drop while he checks through his progression.  Again, finishing with a nice driving pass with a shortened follow-through due to his offensive lineman being pushed back into his throw.

1:50 – Unpressured out of the shotgun, Luck again quickly runs through his progression by looking out wide first, followed by the seam until checking it down with a nice, low, driven ball.  Again, not the follow through onto his left leg, through the pass with his right leg coming off the ground, on even this short route.

2:30 – Now sliding to his left, throwing off balance but notice the wrist-snap which allows him to spin a nice ball with touch over the defensive back  and to his leaping receiver

2:43 – Note his quick feet on the drop to get himself in position to drop in  a nicely thrown corner ball.  The trajectory of the ball from the touch makes it nearly impossible to be intercepted and would take a much taller and well-positioned DB to make any sort of play on it.

5:07 – Again, notice the shoulder positioning that he uses to get the touch on the ball to drop  it into his receiver at a trajectory where only one player can make a play on the ball.

5:18 – This is what separates him from Peyton Manning to being more Elway-like.  The quick read to his right, feels the pressure and has the ability to immediately take what the defense gives him on the ground with the smarts to get out of bounds to avoid the hit.

5:30 – From under center again, he goes through his progression but quickly picks up the incoming defender and rolls from the pocket, ultimately  utilizing a stop-move to pick up the first.

5:40 – Roll-out to his right on a designed play, but snaps through the throw with his shoulders squaring to his target … allowing him to drive the ball on target.

7:03 – Sheer arm strength without a lot of set-up and 55 yards in the air with ease of motion.  Luck’s throwing mechanics would likely allow for a 70 yard, in the air, pass.

The rest of the video is more of the same, showing amazing consistency in his mechanics and that beautiful throwing motion with a high release point, the plane of shoulders, wrist-snap and most of all, the weight transfer that when combined with the rest of his motion, provides for that velocity and accuracy that he is known for.

Aside from his throwing motion, Luck remains a fantastic leadership presence, within the huddle and on the sidelines, while  maintaining an air of humility and confidence.  He leads by example, is a tireless worker and does not settle for mediocre.

Negatives:  Luck’s footwork can sometimes break down as he relies on his arm strength to make the throws that come easily to him, sometimes throwing off of his back foot.  Additionally, one notable area of weakness I have often seen is that in his play action motion, routinely going through the motion of the play-action and not “selling” it.  As he gets accustomed to the NFL, this will be an area of focus and will also greatly increase his results.  Should he pair with Peyton Manning in Indi, who is one of the strongest play-action quarterbacks in the NFL today, he’ll learn the subtle details of effective play-action techniques at a much quicker pace.

The single remaining negative attribute may be the most striking and concerning – that terrible Amish-style beard.  That HAS to go!

When watching Luck’s videos, it’s easy for his motion and positive attributes to almost seem redundant and, dare I say, boring in their repetitive use.  But it is just that fact that makes Andrew Luck the strongest quarterback prospect that we have seen in almost three decades.

In fantasy drafts, if you will be needing a quarterback at any point within the next three-to-four years, I urge you to strongly consider the addition of Luck with the earliest possible pick.  Strong words I know, but words I’m also willing to put my full-faith behind.

Jeff Haverlack
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Mike
10 years ago

I have pick 1.01 in an upcoming 16-team IDP dynasty draft and am torn on who to take at this spot. Starting Lineup is 1-QB, 2-RB, 3-WR, 1-TE, 1-K, 3-DL, 4-LB, 4-DB. I also have pick #14 and #15 in the 1st round (yes three first round picks this year).

Scoring for QB, RB, WR’s is:
0.05 per Pass Comp
0.04 per Pass Yds
6.00 per Pass TD
-2.00 per Pass INT
0.10 per Rush Yd
6.00 per Rush TD
1.00 per Rec
0.10 per Rec Yd
6.00 per Rec TD

My QB’s, RB’s, and WR’s are as follows:
QB – Peyton Manning, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Christian Ponder, Rex Grossman, Josh Johnson, Tyler Thigpen
RB – Adrian Peterson, Jahvid Best, Daniel Thomas, Kevin Smith, Evan Royster, Thomas Jones, Jason Snelling, Earnest Graham, Curtis Brinkley
WR – Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith (CAR), Nate Washington, Malcolm Floyd, Jerome Simpson, Doug Baldwin, James Jones, Emmanuel Sanders, Devin Aromashodu, Ramses Barden, Brandon Gibson

My gut says to take Trent Richardson since you can never have too many RB’s and my top 3 RB’s in the list above all have huge question marks and Richardson may end up being my #1 RB by year end.

On the other hand, a QB like Luck doesn’t come around every year, and I don’t get pick #1 every year (traded for it during last year’s draft). My team is perenially good, so I am normally pick in the 12-16 range (16 team league). I have picks #14 and #15 as well, but with Barkley staying in school there is no way I get Griffin at #14 so best QB available at that spot will probably Tannehill.

I think I’m okay at WR and if needed can pick up a WR with pick #14 or #15 overall, so I think Blackmon is not a serious consideration for 1.01.

The draft isn’t till August, so I have plenty of time to flip flop on this decision, but would appreciate any insight you can give me.

This site is great and a must read for me each and every day.

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Mike
10 years ago

Unfortunately, you probably need RB more than you do QB. Luck is tough to pass up but you at least have starters there. Unless you can trade out of that pick down a couple of picks and pick up a decent RB and still perhaps Griffin … I’m okay with you taking Richardson.

Luck sure seems to be a once in a 2-3 decade player at this point but you never know.

Josh G
10 years ago

In my opinion you need help at both QB and RB. Peyton may or may not play again, he may be ineffective if he does play, and he may even be on another team that has a mediocre or sad situation at WR. Your other crew of QBs isnt exactly impressive, though some are certainly serivceable. While the hype on Luck is..well..insane..I think he is worth the risk, especially since you can always find a running back. That said..your running backs all seem to have question marks due to injury or situation or both.

I still think I’d take Luck 1st overall and then go for someone like Chris Polk perhaps with your #14? It may depend on where Trent goes however. But you also need to factor in that you could have a QB for 10+ years, if not more, in a keeper/dynasty league..whereas you will likely only keep a good RB for about 5 years..and good ones come out every single year.

Mike
Reply to  Josh G
10 years ago

Would it be in my best interest to try to package picks #14 and #15 to move into the top 6-7 to draft Griffin at that spot and take Richardson at #1?

This would then net me Richardson and Griffin instead of Luck at 1 and say Polk at 14 and probably another RB or WR at 15.

Thanks again for the advice.

Josh G
Reply to  Mike
10 years ago

I suppose it depends what kind of draft you have (is it rookies only, or are there vets mixed in with rookies..especially if each team needs to cut some members of his.her team each year..etc)

If there are some vets available, then perhaps RG3 would last beyond the 4th pick. But if it is rookies only, I dont expect RG3 to go beyond the 4th..do you? It’d certainly foil your plans to make that trade and then find the GM just ahead of you drafts your guy. Therefore, trading 14 and 15 to get 6 or 7 may not help you in that situation.

Perhaps you can trade some of your depth or future picks for another early pick or to whomever picks Trent.

Not only that but of Luck/Trent/Blackmon..I think Blackmon is likely to have the most immediate impact. I am high on Trent, but not AP/CJ2K (before this year) high. More like..Ahmad Bradshaw or a little above high…whereas I am high on Luck but not for 3 years and Blackmon might be more like AJ Green/Dez Bryant/Julio Jones…

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Mike
10 years ago

If you can move 14 and 15 to move way up … or for a known RB or even QB … I’d do it. If you can get an upgrade at QB for 14/15 and Richardson … or a good RB for 14/15 and Luck, that’s the way I would go.

Little way that Polk falls that far. Almost zero in my book.

Joe E
10 years ago

I’m in a similar situation as Mike. I normally don’t have the top pick in the rookie draft, but this year I have #1 and #9(via trade) in the 1st round, and #1 and #5 (via trade) in the 2nd round. My QBs are Cam Newton and Sam Bradford. RBs are Chris Johnson, Darren McFadden, Daniel Thomas and Delone Carter. WRs are Mike Wallace, Dwayne Bowe, Antonio Brown, Denarius Moore, Michael Crabtree, and Mario Manningham. My league is a 12 team PPR league where we start 1 QB, 3 RB/WR, 1 WR/TE, 1 TE, 2 DL, 2 LB, 2 DB, 1 D/ST, and 1 K. My gut is telling me to go with Trent Richardson, but am having such a hard time convincing myself to pass on a prospect like Luck. If I do take Luck, then I have to decide to trade Cam or Luck, or ditch Bradford and keep them both. In my situation, is it advisable to pass on Luck and go with Richardson, or Blackmon even…or take Luck and go from there. Any advice is much appreciated. Love this site!

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Joe E
10 years ago

Cam Newton is probably going to do well for you for some time and Bradford has better years ahead in all likelihood. In your situation, I could see you going with Richardson. Or, trade back a bit and see what you can get.

Chris R
10 years ago

I am nearly an identical situation with 1.01 pick.

I have strong runners (Jamaal Charles, Steven Jackson, DeMarco Murray/F. Jones, CJ Spiller) but big question marks at QB (Peyton, Kolb/Skelton, Hasselbeck).

I’m sure I will battle with the decision for the next six months but as of today my money is on Richardson and the immediate trade value that brings. Why draft Luck when you can draft Richardson and then trade him for Luck, pick(s) or established player(s)?

Either before or after the draft.

Josh G
Reply to  Chris R
10 years ago

While one cant argue with drafting the best available player, regardless of position…you would be gambling that someone would give you Luck + a pick or player for Trent.

In your case, you clearly need a QB and clearly dont need a RB. As such I’d take Luck, or if you prefer, RG3.

Personally, I think Luck will be the better QB, but maybe not the better FANTASY QB.

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Chris R
10 years ago

Because trades are never a sure thing. Same thing as above … if you can make a deal ahead of your pick, that’s the best thing to do. But it absence of that, I’d likely still take Luck there.

Also … read my latest Inside the Numbers article here about the first RBs off the board in the last 7 years.

Chris R
Reply to  DLF_Jeff
10 years ago

Great article! I love statistics also…however maddening they are!

Hoping to trade out of 1.1 to the owner with both 1.2 &1.3. He has Stafford and Eli but no RBs to speak of.

For me the perfect scenario would be gain a WR and 1.2 for the 1.1. Draft Luck and be set for quite a while….

Any draft pick calculators?

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Chris R
10 years ago

Draft pick calculators are too one dimensional regardless of what others will try to say. The depth of field is all that is important and this year’s draft is so-so. Good in the top 3, decent through about pick 7 … and a little weak beyond. Picks always lose value after the draft as players go to less than desirable situations.

Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Hey jeff. 12 team dynasty league. 3 round rookie draft. I have the #3 pick and the 2cnd n 3rd in the second. Here’s my team it’s not great.
Hassleback/Tebow/Kaepernick
Blount\Jacobs/Battle/B Scott/Ridley/Tomlinson/B Powell
M Wallace/Stevie Johnson/D Branch/K Williams/Braylon Edwards/T Price/R Barden/
V Davis/J Cook
M Nugent
Jets D
teams pretty bad..bad choices.. Just bad. But I got some good picks. What can I do to be a contender again? Thanks Alan

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Alan Bauerle
10 years ago

Well … you need RB in a big way … and QB. I would say RB is your biggest need. You’re likely going to have the 2nd RB fall or Luck I would guess.

Both could help you. In your situation, if Luck were to fall, you might just want to take him and know that you got the best player in the draft and he could be your QB for the next 12-15 years. Tebow could still be okay next year, he’s a mystery.

Any chance you could trade down to the #5 spot and pick up another pick?

I’m guessing Lamar Miller could be going to CIN and he would make a good a good pick at 3 if you really wanted to go RB. I’d be hard pressed to pass on Luck though. And chances are that you’re going to have a higher pick next year too. Don’t try to fix a team all in one year. If you have Luck/Tebow, Wallace, Johnson and VD .. you’re hurting at RB but maybe you get lucky with Blount and Jacobs at least showing up.

Can you move Cook for a 3rd tier RB with a chance .. .Donald Brown, Starks, etc. ? Maybe you could package Tebow and Cook for a RB .. especially if you have a Denver fan in the league.

In the 2nd round you’re going to have a chance at some decent WRs and maybe an interesting 2nd back. If you don’t take a QB with your first pick, maybe a Tannehill or Foles.

Scott
10 years ago

Hey, Jeff and Josh.

12 team PPR, dynasty, 5 round rookie draft. I have picks 1.02, 1.11, 2.08, 3.02, 3.08 and 5.08.

QB: Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Terrelle Pryor
RB: Steven Jackson, Chris Johnson, MJD, Peyton Hillis, Lance Ball, Taiwan Jones
WR: Anquan Boldin, Greg Little, David Nelson, Jacoby Ford, Arrelious Benn, Greg Salas, Emmanuel Sanders
TE: Antonio Gates, Jimmy Graham, Anthony Fasano, DJ Williams
K: Janokowski
DST: Arizona, Chicago

I have pick 1.02. I think my biggest need is WR, and I’m almost certain, barring a trade, the team at 1.01 will take TR or Luck. I’m leaning towards Blackmon. I know I don’t need a QB, but I have thought about drafting Luck, if he is there, and either keeping Luck/Ryan/Newton, or even trading Ryan for some good picks/players. What would you do at 1.02?

Also, do you think Doug Martin will be there at 1.11? He looks like a Ray Rice clone to me.

Thanks.

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Scott
10 years ago

I’d take Blackmon. You already have Newton and Ryan which is a very good pairing. Remember that regardless of how good Luck is, he can only score so many fantasy points. You have two good young QBs and don’t need him.

I’d go with Blackmon first and Richardson second.

Josh G
Reply to  DLF_Jeff
10 years ago

I dont work for DLF (yet?)..but I just love this stuff..so thanks for inviting my opinion! 🙂

I happen to agree with Jeff and would go with Blackmon. However, I do perhaps overthink things and really want to see where TR and Blackmon go (if Trent falls to Cincy or is taken early, if the Rams trade down to take Blackmon at 4 or so..etc) before deciding which to grab, but if Blackmon is as good as he appears to be, then someone like AJ Green shows that a truly dominant receiver paired with a capable and eager QB can do wonders. Bradford to Blackmon might be a nice pairing.

DLF_Jeff
Reply to  Scott
10 years ago

So hard to say with Martin. I’ll say “yes” he’s still there at 11, but it will be very close. As far as clones go, while I can see it, it’s almost impossible to label someone a clone. I always thought Jerome Harrison was a good Brian Westbrook clone too and he never materialized.

I have liked what I’ve seen with Martin though.

Greg G.
10 years ago

Competitive league and fresh off a championship! Managed to trade my way to 1.02 and 1.12 (twelve team dynasty league)

My team is as follows:

Stafford
Cutler
Rice
Wells
Sproles
Nicks
Fitzgerald
Wallace
Harvin
Titus Young
Hernandez
Finley

PPR 1 pt. per reception plus .5 per completion and .5 per return yard.

Have a feeling Richardson is gone at 1.01. Thinking about locking down Luck and waiting to get a 4th back with 1.12. Once in a decade quarterback that would allow me to play matchups down the line. Thoughts? Thanks!

Greg G.
Reply to  Greg G.
10 years ago

I should mention that trading down and receiving anything valuable in return is like walking on water in my league…impossible!

Josh G
Reply to  Greg G.
10 years ago

Have a pretty similar team myself and without hesitation I would take Luck at 1.02 if Trent is gone.

First off, you have Nicks, Fitz, Wallace, Harvin, T. Young as WRs..so you are set there in terms of production as well as having youth on your side.

Secondly, best case scenario is Luck is all we hope he is and becomes your starting QB for the next decade. A more likely scenario is that it takes him a couple years to reach a tier 1 or 2 status, of which Stafford is already there. So you ride Stafford’s arm for 1-3 years while Luck matures and the Colts rebuild. Meanwhile you can always grab another QB in a later round to backup Stafford if you dont trust Cutler. And in 2 years if Luck looks legit, you can always either bump Staff to use for matchups or as backup only or trade him!

Josh G
Reply to  Josh G
10 years ago

err..forgot to mention that considering your depth at WR, you dont need Blackmon if you were considering him.

You have solid RBs, so if Trent falls to you..you may have a choice between Trent and RG3..and I think I’d still go with Trent!

Greg G.
Reply to  Josh G
10 years ago

Thanks! Appreciate the feedback!

Lee
10 years ago

These are my quarterbacks and RB’s. It is PPR league. I have the 1.01 pick. I need recommendation as who I should take between Luck and Richardson? This is a dynasty league.

Painter, Curtis BAL QB – 8 TS-2 FA
Romo, Tony DAL QB – 5 1 FA
Young, Vince PHI QB – 7 MOVE FA
Blount, LeGarrette TBB RB – 5 0 FA
Bush, Michael CHI RB – 6 0 FA
Green-Ellis, BenJarvus CIN RB – 8 0 FA
Ingram, Mark NOS RB (Q) – 6 2 FA
McCluster, Dexter KCC RB – 7 2 FA
Slaton, Steve MIA RB – 7 2 FA
Starks, James GBP RB

Josh Gans
Reply to  Lee
10 years ago

In your situation I think I’d take Luck. You have Romo to help you win some games now and phase Luck in I am guessing in a couple years. While I love Trent’s potential..theres always seemingly a few great RBs every year, but Luck’s potential only comes once every decade (or thereabouts).

And while I am not a big fan of your RB situation, I think you have enough talent there to keep your head above water..or maybe package 1 or 2 up and get more picks or a better player..etc

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