Has a good strong arm that the ball consistently comes out with good velocity and zip. Can fit tight windows when he needs to, especially when throwing over the middle or down the seam. Has an over-the-top release that he can quicken when he's under pressure. Has good accuracy on most of his throws. Knows how to throw away from the defender and throw his guys open so that only they can make the play. Has good anticipation on most of his reads and throws, especially when throwing over the middle. Gets good placement down the seam and able to fit the ball over underneath linebackers and corners in zone. Has good touch on the fade throws in the redzone. Can make the back-shoulder throw down the seam. Comfortable going to his second read and won't panic when he has to scan the entire field and go through multiple progressions. Knows how to look off the safety, and will use the pump fake to move him. Comfortable audibling or making adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Does a pretty good job recognizing the blitz. Good when moving outside the pocket and throws with good zip and accuracy on the run because he squares his shoulders. Does a good job resetting his feet when he's moving in the pocket. Throws a good catchable ball even when he's unbalanced. Able to slide or roll to his left or right and throw the ball with accuracy. Steps up in the pocket, resets his feet and will throw the ball with good zip and accuracy 20 yards down the field. Is comfortable improvising when he has to and can extend plays and make plays with his legs when need be. Is a fluid runner that is comfortable with the ball in his hands, and can be shifty in the open field. Will lower the shoulder and run with authority when he has to. Plays with good eye level when moving around the pocket. Has good pocket presence and poise in the pocket, able to stand tough and take the hit when need be. He's strong, and will be difficult to sack for even the bigger defenders. Can side-step pass rushers and create space within the pocket to find throwing lanes.
Doesn't always have great placement on all of his throws, missing on some. Has a tendency to underthrow some of the out passes, and defenders can jump them. Will overthrow and lead his receivers a bit too much on the slants and crossing routes from time to time. Will rush some throws under pressure, and doesn't always reset his feet when moving with the pocket after going to his second or third read. Will throw off his back foot at times and fade away with interior pressure. Doesn't always secure the ball when he's on the move, leading to some fumbles, and is not the fastest runner with the ball in his hands.
Luck is a rarity as a draft prospect because he operates a pro-style offense, and is asked to manage a game much like an NFL quarterback is asked to do. But he goes beyond just managing the game, to doing a lot of little things to make his team win that go unnoticed by casual observers. Most of the negatives about Luck's game are mere nitpicks that indicate that he is not perfect. But he is overwhelmingly the most polished quarterback I've ever seen in college (and I've been scouting for most of the past decade), and it's astounding when you consider he's only been at this for three years. He was already a franchise QB prospect as a sophomore a year ago, and while he was not completely polished, he made the necessary improvements this year that he now stacks up as well as the other elite QB prospects I've seen in that span, which include Carson Palmer, Eli Manning, and Matt Ryan. There is really nothing that Luck cannot do. He has a good arm, is athlete and makes a lot more plays with his legs than he's often given credit for, and he shows an innate level of mental acuity than most college quarterbacks. The game appears to have already slowed down for him that he's performing at a level that one would compare him to many pro quarterbacks. He is the son of former Houston Oilers quarterback Oliver Luck (1983-86). He shows excellent intangibles, maturity, and leadership during his time at Stanford, and was a big reason for the resurgence of that pro game. A lot of his early success seemed to be dependent on Toby Gerhart and how good a running team Stanford was, and while they have never abandoned the ground game during his time there, you could see them putting more and more on his shoulders with each successive year.
2011 GAMES WATCHED:
(9/17) at Arizona: Short (<10 yds): 12 of 18 (67%), 121 yds (6.7 YPA), 85 YAC, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 1 poor throw, 0 drops; Deep (>10 yds): 8 of 14 (57%), 204 yds (14.6 YPA), 70 YAC, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 4 poor throws, 1 drop
(10/8) vs. Colorado: Short: 17 of 23 (74%), 146 yds (6.3 YPA), 135 YAC, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 1 poor throws, 1 drop; Deep: 9 of 10 (90%), 224 yds (22.4 YPA), 38 YAC, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 1 poor throw, 0 drops
(11/12) vs. Oregon: Short: 21 of 26 (81%), 145 yds (5.6 YPA), 59 YAC, 2 TDS, 1 INT, 0 poor throws, 3 drops; Deep: 5 of 13 (38%), 88 yds (6.8 YPA), 10 YAC, 1 TD, 0 INTs, 5 poor throws, 1 drop; Fumble: 1
(11/26) vs. Notre Dame: Short: 16 of 23 (70%), 120 yds (5.2 YPA), 62 YAC, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 2 poor throws, 2 drops; Deep: 4 of 7 (57%), 113 yds (16.1 YPA), 43 YAC, 2 TDs, 0 INTs, 2 poor throws, 0 drops
(1/2) vs. Oklahoma St: Short: 11 of 12 (92%), 100 yds (8.3 YPA), 59 YAC, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 0 poor throws, 0 drops; Deep: 2 of 4 (50%), 84 yds (21.0 YPA), 16 YAC, 1 TDs, 1 INT, 1 poor throws, 1 drops
2011: 13 GP/13 GS (11-2 record), 288 comp., 404 att., 71.3%, 3517 yds, 8.7 YPA, 37 TDs, 10 INTs; 150 rush yds, 2 TDs
2010: 13/13 (12-1)-263-372-70.7-3338-9.0-32-8; 453-3
2009: 12/12 (8-4)-162-288-56.3-2575-8.9-13-4; 354-2
- missed 1 game in 2009 with a broken finger on his throwing hand
Luck may not come into the league immediately and set the world on fire, since that will depend on the team that drafts him (Indianapolis?) and the system and supporting cast he has around him. But he definitely has huge upside. He's very polished for a college passer but a lot of people are making the assumption that means he doesn't have as high a ceiling as other passers that have their best years ahead of them. And those people could not be more wrong. Luck should be able to handle an NFL offense right from the start, and while he'll undergo growing pains like all rookie quarterbacks experience, he's got the intangibles, confidence, and maturity to roll with the punches. NFL teams are going to be able to throw some things at him that he's never seen before and thus he'll make some mistakes. But his ability to play when things get "muddy" you see no drop-off in his game. In fact, you can certainly say he gets better. While he's often compared to Peyton Manning, and certainly in terms of his physical stature, maturity, and leadership potential he does remind you a lot of Manning. But his game is much more reminiscent of Aaron Rodgers in terms of his ability to move around and make plays outside the pocket and down the field. That's what I mean when things get muddy. He can play behind a subpar line, and can play with subpar receivers because he has the talent level to make guys look better with his mobility and accuracy. And that's where he might teeter back towards Manning, who had to deal with much of that during his career in Indianapolis. But Luck is such a player that if he's surrounded by a solid line, give him a few dynamic weapons on the outside, and can give him a balanced ground attack, you're offense is probably going to be unstoppable. He's the type of player that I think might have some ups and downs during his first few years in the league, but by his third or fourth year, especially if he's gotten the chance to play in a single system and had an offense built around him, he could really make those big strides forward similar to Manning did a decade ago. Whatever environment he goes to, he's goign to instantly win over that locker room, he's going to start as a rookie and his teammates will instantly gravitate to him because of his smarts, maturity, and leadership ability. And that team should be able grow in time, and he should in a few years be considered an elite passer and be such for a very long time.
Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers.
Luck is an instant upgrade over Matt Ryan. Luck has all of the intangibles that Ryan possesses, but coupled with a much better physical skillset. But we know that he is not going to be a Falcon barring the biggest trade in NFL history, so it's pretty moot.
Luck is the best quarterback and overall prospect I've seen in ten years of scouting, and thus is a no-brainer as the No. 1 pick. He's not perfect, but is the prototypical franchise/elite QB prospect.
1-pathetic, 2-poor, 3-weak, 4-below average, 5-average, 6-above average, 7-good, 8-very good, 9-excellent, 10-elite
Arm Strength: 8.0
Decision Making: 10.0
Pocket Awareness: 10.0
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.