Luck's pro day: 'A mere formality'

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
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A superb workout for Andrew Luck at Stanford’s pro day this afternoon won’t change much.

Neither will falling flat on his face.

And falling flat on your face while throwing against no rush and no coverage is pretty difficult for a polished college quarterback.

Luck goes into the day as the presumed No. 1 pick by the Indianapolis Colts, and -- anticlimactic though it may be -- he’ll go out of the day the same.

[+] EnlargeAndrew Luck
AP Photo/Cal Sport MediaUnless something unforseen happens, Andrew Luck's standing with the Colts will not be affected much by his pro day.
You can watch the workout on ESPN3 at 2 p.m. ET today.

“I would think it’s a mere formality,” one scout told me. “I didn’t write him up or study him, but just from crossover tape, you say, 'Oh my God.' He can do a lot of things. He can move. He can throw. He’s smart. He’s in a pro-style offense, so there won’t be a big learning curve …”

“He would have to have a catastrophic workout for him not to be the guy, in my opinion," said a second scout. “The one thing he has to do at his workout in the Colts' eyes is to come out healthy. That is it. He is easy to scout. He is ready to play now and will play at a high level in a short time.”

And from former scout Russ Lande of the Sporting News and GM Jr.: “I think more than anything, since they are going to both [Robert Griffin III’s] and Luck's pro days, they want to be sure about Luck's arm strength as that is a concern amongst some. Other than that, from what I have been told they have already decided on Luck and would only change their mind if something completely unforeseen were to happen.”

The Colts watched Griffin's pro day at Baylor on Wednesday. RG3 threw 51 passes over 30 minutes with music he chose playing in the background.

Such is the low-key nature of the event for a top quarterback with a strong résumé on film.

RG3 still holds out slight hope that he can overtake Luck and be taken first by the Colts.

But the Baylor quarterback doesn’t believe he put any pressure on Luck with his good performance.

"Nah, no pressure,” RG3 said. “... He'll go out and dazzle you guys like we hope we did.”

What is the Luck camp hoping to show?

"Essentially, a wide-ranging skill set, consistency and explosiveness," said George Whitfield, the quarterback guru who's been working with Luck.

The first scout I spoke with said he figures the Colts will arrive early and/or stay late to chat with Luck and perhaps take him out to dinner. Informal interview time might allow them to pick up and flesh out a subject or two they’ve previously discussed. A coach or executive who didn’t get close to Luck at the combine could have that chance now.

The second scout said he thought the get-together would offer a chance for Luck to reaffirm to the Colts that he wants to play for the franchise, and that he and his family will not do what Eli Manning did in 2004. Manning forced the Chargers to deal him after they took him No. 1 because he didn’t think San Diego would offer a good chance to win. He’s now won two Super Bowls quarterbacking the New York Giants.

But there have been no indications that Luck would pull such a power play, that he doesn’t want to follow in Peyton Manning’s footsteps in Indianapolis or that he is wary of the Colts’ ability to rebuild in a speedy fashion.

Rare is the top quarterback’s pro day that doesn’t draw raves. I expect Luck will receive the same sort of praise RG3 did.

The Colts will certainly keep that in context.

They’ll be able to negotiate a deal in advance of the April 26 first round. The rookie deals outlined in the new CBA mean that won’t be complicated, but also mean there probably won’t be a rush.

Luck will surely make an official visit to team headquarters in Indianapolis between now and then.

“You get your résumé on film,” said scout No. 1. “Your references are your coaches. Through the interview process, people around the building find out about your approach and expectations.

“All this running around in tights, I think it’s more a dog and pony show than actual football.”

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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