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The Early Lead
Posted at 01:42 PM ET, 01/03/2012

Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III: Whom should Colts pick at No. 1?

The Colts won the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. But are they having second thoughts about the No. 1 pick? (Rick Scuteri - Reuters)

Poll: Who should the Colts draft with the No. 1 pick? Vote here.

For more than a year it’s been considered a foregone conclusion by most that whichever team landed the No. 1 overall pick for the 2012 NFL draft would select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. Anything else would be ludicrous.

Luck is touted as the most NFL-ready quarterback since Peyton Manning or John Elway. He’s big (6-4, 235), he’s accurate (71 percent passing this season) and he’s a winner (31-8 as a starter).

Well, Indianapolis “earned” the right to draft Luck. And depending on who you ask, Manning is either totally cool with the Colts drafting Luck as his eventual successor (and insurance policy) or very unhappy about it.

But has anyone asked Manning how he’d feel if the Colts picked another quarterback with their top choice? Perhaps the guy who won the Heisman Trophy and has been rocketing up draft boards? Robert Griffin III, anyone?

Over the weekend, former Colts coach Tony Dungy floated the idea of the team drafting Griffin over Luck. Of course that was before owner Jim Irsay dumped Vice Chairman Bill Polian and General Manager Chris Polian on Monday. And while Luck did little to damage his stock in Monday’s Fiesta Bowl loss (27 for 31 for 347 yards and two scores), Griffin’s rise should at least generate some discussion.

Here’s a look at their numbers from this season...




Despite a smaller stature (6-2, 220), Griffin brings the added element of mobility to his game. This season he rushed for 699 yards and 10 touchdowns on 179 attempts. And while Luck has shown scrambling ability (453 yards in 2010), he doesn’t have the same dual-threat ability.

How would Griffin look in a horseshoe helmet? (Darren Abate - AP)
If Manning is able to return healthy next season, would Griffin play-making ability warrant a few plays per game to give the Colts a different look while he learned the offense under Manning’s tutelage?

Perhaps. But Luck’s skillset would enable Indy to keep its offense in tact going forward, and if Manning can’t get back to full health, would the Colts rather insert Luck into the huddle or revamp their offense around Griffin?

Luck remains the odds-on choice for the top pick. His play over the last three seasons warrants that distinction. That said, just this season we saw a player explode on the college scene as a junior, be selected No. 1 overall and go on to excel in the NFL the following season. Where are all the Cam Newton doubters now?

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Early Lead: Oklahoma State sends Andrew Luck off on losing note

D.C. Sports Bog: Robert Griffin on the Redskins

Early Lead: Colts fire Bill Polian, Chris Polian, keep Jim Caldwell

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By  |  01:42 PM ET, 01/03/2012

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