Indy fans are hoping that by taking Andrew Luck as the No. 1 pick, the transition following the Peyton Manning era will be a little bit smoother. Based on all the scouting and analysis, Luck seems to be just that: smooth.
“When you look at clean players across the board, when you talk about height, weight, speed, intelligence — A to Z, if you want to label him a nine or 10 in everyone of those categories, you probably can,” head coach Chuck Pagano said.
And Luck is ready to get to work, improving upon his skill sets even more.
“It’s exciting to be part of a team where they are saying that they need playmakers and all of that,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it. … You don’t want to get too ahead of yourself. You have to realize you have to go through a whole process leading up to a game through a season.
“That being said, I do have high expectations for myself. And I’ll try to do the best I can. I know it’s cliché, but I’ll try to live up to my own expectations and fit in with all the guys and then do the best we can.”
And the Colts aren't the only team investing heavily in a highly-touted first-rounder this year.
Washington, as predicted, chose Baylor QB Robert Griffin III at No. 2 overall. The Heisman Trophy winner is one of the fastest players coming off the board and could be the most dynamic playmaker at the quarterback position since Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick.
Cleveland and Minnesota pulled off an early surprise swap, virtually switching the No. 3 and No. 4 picks, giving the Browns the sure-bet of drafting Alabama running back Trent Richardson at No. 3 overall, while the Vikings still got their guy in Matt Kalil, a left tackle out of USC. Minnesota received picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds by making the switch.
Also involved in the draft-day trade-frenzy were the Jacksonville Jaguars who traded with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to move up to No. 5 to select Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon. In exchange the Bucs got Jacksonville's fourth round pick.
The first major surprise of the first round came from Seattle, who considered by many, made the largest reach of the draft so far by taking West Virginia defensive end Bruce Irvin at No. 15 overall. Irvin, was projected by many as a second-rounder at best and has had numerous legal run-ins.
Cleveland also had another surprise of their own up their sleeve when they chose 28-year-old Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden at No. 22 overall; which means that the Colt McCoy days in Cleveland could be limited.
As far as replacing Hall-of-Fame quarterback Peyton Manning goes, Luck seems just 'smooth' enough to keep his focus in all the right places.
"You don't really replace a guy like that," Luck said. "You can't. You just try to do the best you can. Obviously, he was my hero growing up."
And if Colts fans get 'lucky' enough, Andrew will soon be a hero too.