As we all know, the Indianapolis Colts headed into the 2012 draft with questions surrounding almost every position on the team. Would Peyton Manning be back? Would the Colts take Luck and still keep Manning? How would the team improve the defense in the draft?
Well, Manning was released, Bill Polian and Jim Caldwell were fired, and that left the door open for Chuck Pagano and Ryan Grigson to begin their tenures with the Colts.
Both would have their hands full as they would try to take the Colts back to becoming one of the elite teams in the NFL again, luckily for them Andrew Luck was available. An easy pick for the team, but it was the later round picks that have made the front office and Pagano look smart, as the team is now loaded with young talent.
Lets look back at that draft, and see just how well the Colts would quickly reload the team and get back into the playoffs the last two seasons.
1st round, 1st overall – Andrew Luck (QB, Stanford)
Very few rookies have come in with more expectations than Andrew Luck
Luck was favored to be the first overall pick well before he officially declared for the draft, that’s including the year before his final season with Stanford. So when Indianapolis landed the first pick, there was no question who they would be selecting to replace the newly released face of the franchise, Peyton Manning.
With a weak rushing game, Luck became the main offensive weapon for the Colts. Luck would not disappoint setting seven rookie records such as: most passing yards in a single game (433 against Miami), most passing yards in a single season (4,371), most 300+ yards passing games (6), most pass attempts in a single season (627), most wins by a number one drafted quarterback (11), most game winning drives (7), most fourth quarter comebacks (7), and became the second rookie to throw for over 4000 yards (Cam Newton being the first in 2011).
As impressive as Luck’s rookie season was, he would follow with another great season in his second year. Luck now holds the record for most passing yards through two seasons, and tied John Elway for the most wins through 20 games with 14. Luck has shown great chemistry with his group of receivers in his first two seasons, throwing for 8,196 yards and 46 touchdowns with 27 interceptions. Though he is not known for his legs, he has deceptive speed allowing him to scramble outside of the pocket and has picked up 632 yards rushing. Luck has also made the Pro Bowl in each of his two seasons.