When watching Andrew Luck there are two mistakes you can easily make. 1) Overlook mistakes that you would hold against other QB prospects 2) Judge him at a higher standard. The hardest thing to do with Luck is to grade him on an equal playing field with every other prospect. He has the prototypical throwing motion.
His form is flawless, from the drop back to the release. He has great pocket awareness and moves around inside the pocket, avoiding pressure like a veteran. He’s comfortable throwing from within or outside the pocket on the run. Luck has excellent precision on his play action and his bootlegs. He seems even more accurate and passes more crisp when rolling out and into the throw. Andrew has great recognition and control of the game at the line.
He’s one of the best amateur quarterbacks at going through his progressions. Luck is at his best when he’s throwing seam, slant, and post routes. While he won’t be confused with having RG3 speed he’s sneaky with his feet. If he’s flushed out of the pocket and the receivers are covered he’s still capable of moving the chains with his legs.
I know there is a law now against saying anything negative about Andrew Luck anytime before May but there are some areas of improvements that need to be made.
At times Luck can become over confident with his arm and accuracy and this leads him to try and fit the ball in non-existent windows. His biggest weakness is in intermediate routes, outside of the numbers. He tends to sail these high. While he has excellent touch on his passes, he may rely on this too much, as he’ll put loft under a ball that needs to be stuck in a window. It allows the corners to close and either break passes up or intercept them. While this didn’t always backfire in college, the quicker NFL corners will make him pay for these errors.
When pressure comes consistently, he struggles to force off passes while using bad mechanics. In these situations he either doesn’t settle his feet or he throws off his back foot. These passes tend to lead to a change of possession or causes his receivers to play defense.
We have to remember that Andrew Luck has already had one rookie season. In 2011 Luck was under the watchful eye of the whole NFL and it’s fans. Every pass he threw was heavily scrutinized and he had to learn to deal with that stress. I believe this will help ease his transition but he’s not without fault in his game.
While we love to say he’s the most pro ready quarterback since Peyton Manning or John Elway, we leave out that both of them still had an adjustment period. Luck didn’t throw down the field a lot in college and seemed to avoid the intermediate out routes as much as possible, unless he was rolling out that same direction.
Of course, without seeing him routinely completing those routes, it could only be expected that one may have some concern. In the NFL game he will have to take advantage of the whole field to spread the defenses out. He can’t just rely on throwing underneath 80-90% of the game with the occasional seam route, out pattern, and fly. Defenses will key on the underneath routes, shut down the run, and bring a lot of pressure. As talented as he is, I believe he will continue to grow and develop into the complete passer. After watching film on most of his 2011 season, it also becomes apparent that his receivers will be a drastic upgrade at the next level.
- QB, Stanford Cardinals
- Ht: 6’4
- Wt: 235
- 40 time: 4.69
- [Ed Note:Make sure to check out the Opposing Views Mock Draft]
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Jayson Braddock is an NFL Scout / NFL Writer & On-Air Personality. Jayson is also a football insider for the Dylan Gwinn show on 790 AM in Houston, TX - Listeners NOT in the Houston metropolitan area can hear Jayson on iheart radio or sports790.com. You can also catch Jayson on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew every Thursday at 10:30am ET. You may email Jayson directly @ email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @JaysonBraddock