Writers debate if Andrew Luck is best QB to build around

Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) raises his arm as he leaves the field moments after the Colts defeated the Broncos, 27-24 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) raises his arm as he leaves the field moments after the Colts defeated the Broncos, 27-24 at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indianapolis Colts have one of the best young quarterbacks in the NFL in Andrew Luck but after a rough, injury plagued season in 2015 a debate has cropped up about whether or not he’s the best player to build a team around.

Over at NFL.com, their team of writers has been tasked with debating whether or not you would want to build your franchise around Andrew Luck. This comes in the wake of Luck dropping from seventh to 92nd on their list of top 100 player (which is absolutely worthless).

It is an absurd exercise, especially considering that Luck missed most of 2015 due to injury. Luck never looked truly healthy last season, and when he was at his closest to being 100 percent, he forced overtime against the Super Bowl losing Panthers and followed that up by defeating the eventual Super Bowl champions, the Broncos.

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His chief competition for this theoretical position are Russell Wilson and Cam Newton, who are both great QBs in their own right, but haven’t had their team’s lean on them like the Colts have on Luck. Luck has never had anything resembling a good offensive line in his four year, nor a run game that even attempts to approach what the Panthers or Seahawks have had.

Luck has played in 55 regular season games and attempted 2,106 passes. Newton’s played in 78 games and attempted 2,419 passes (his MVP 2015 season featured his most attempts). And Wilson has played 64 games and attempted just 1,735 passes. Luck and Newton have a career interception rate of just 2.6 percent while Wilson is at 2.0 percent. For comparison’s sake, Peyton Manning‘s career interception rate was 2.7 percent (and was higher than Luck’s through his first four years).

The panel was a bit torn over the decision, but most of the analysts seemed to agree that Luck is still the guy you want under center.

Bucky Brooks chose Newton over Luck.

"Luck has struggled with turnover woes since his arrival, and his lack of ball security is a major issue for a team hoping to build a consistent winner. Sure, Luck has been asked to carry an offense that’s been pressed into a pass-happy approach by the dearth of a steady running game, but he hasn’t been able to guide his team to a Super Bowl. Fair or not, quarterbacks are judged on their ability to win rings, and Luck hasn’t put his team in a position to claim one at this point."

Let us not forget those interception percentages or the fact that the Colts were in the AFC Championship game not long ago (and lost due to the defense giving up all the rushing yards). Newton and Wilson are both members of teams that feature two of the best defenses in the NFL.

Jeffri Chadiha doesn’t want one bad season to taint Luck’s accomplishments, and looks at the deficiencies of his team.

"Remember, he’s never had the running attacks or the dominant defenses that have helped make Seattle’s Russell Wilson and Carolina’s Cam Newton so successful. His shaky offensive line also was a big reason why he missed so much time last season. If anything, 2015 showed us how much help Luck really needs. The fact that he’s made three playoff appearances with that supporting cast means his future is brighter than that of anyone else in his age range."

Eric Davis said that Luck needs help if Indy is going to win a championship.

"That organization asks a lot of him simply because he’s capable of doing a lot. The Colts have their franchise player. They just need to build a talented group around him. Until they get an offensive line, Luck is going to continue to get beaten up, and he’ll probably never reach his full potential."

Elliot Harrison gives the edge to Wilson, because RINGZ.

"The pendulum obviously has swung so suddenly due to turnovers (69 in four seasons), injuries and the Colts’ unsuccessful 2015 season that now I feel the expectations for Luck are more reasonable. If he’s not the best quarterback to build around for the next decade, then who is? Based on team success and numbers, Russell Wilson makes the best argument, though Derek Carr sure is making a case for himself."

So, Wilson gets the credit for the team’s success? Harrison contradicts himself awfully fast too.

"But going into the 2016 season, I think you have to take Wilson, until we see that Luck can stay healthy and return to his previous form. That said, if he can, I still feel Luck is the better passer — and as these two players get older, that would tip the scales in Luck’s favor. Let’s also be mindful that Wilson always has been flanked by the better supporting cast."

Willie McGinest said he’d take Luck. But no Colts fan will hear what he has to say without remembering him faking an injury back in 2003 to stop the clock.

Chris Casserly’s comment? “Think of how bad the Colts would’ve been without him.” Don’t do that, it will make you sad (and if you really hate yourself, go back and look at 2011).

Heath Evans still believes that Luck is incredibly desirable. And Gil Brandt believes that the pieces added to the Colts in the draft will lead to a very successful season for Luck.

The arguments against Luck really just don’t add up, especially when you look at the roster Luck has had to deal with. A porous offensive line, zero run support, and a defense that is only effective against bad quarterbacks (and gives up all the points to competent ones).