Andrew Luck ranked 99th best player in NFL
The Indianapolis Colts have one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Andrew Luck, but injuries have slowed his ascension towards the upper echelons of the NFL.
The Colts are hopelessly reliant on the brilliance of Andrew Luck. The young quarterback has carried the hopes of his team for four years now and the Colts will need another great season out of him in 2016 if they want to make the playoffs.
It is undeniable that Luck is a great QB and he is about to sign contract that will make him the highest paid player in the NFL. But after an injury plagued 2015 campaign, Luck has fallen out of the spotlight. He’s dropped like a rock in most rankings, including going from 7th to 92nd on NFL Network’s Top 100 players (not that this means anything).
Luck was largely out of sight out of mind last season where he missed nine games due to shoulder, rib, and kidney injuries. Luck never looked healthy in his seven starts last season, and the limited tape doesn’t make him look very good.
Pro Football Focus is releasing their top 101 players in the NFL right now. Sam Monson has Luck ranked 99th heading into the season, while also noting that he has the potential to be at the top of the NFL. Here are his thoughts on Luck right now:
"If this list was about potential and ceiling, Andrew Luck may well be a top-five player, but so far he has yet to consistently hit those heights, and we are dealing with glimpses of what he could be, rather than the game-by-game proof that he is that guy. Much of it is not his fault, as the Colts have hung him out to dry with a series of poorly-performing offensive lines that finally caught up with them in a big way in 2015, but the fact remains that Luck has never been quite as good as his reputation. His best season came in 2014, and even then he was only sixth among QBs in terms PFF overall grade, and eighth when it comes to passing alone. What gets him on the list at all is the spectacular plays he can make, and the consistent teasing of what he could become. Luck makes plays that nobody else in the league—with the possible exception of Aaron Rodgers—can make, and if he can ever iron out the negative and routine misses, he could be the special quarterback he has been billed as for years."
We’ve seen times when Luck puts everything together. He can make every throw on the field, keep plays alive when they should be dead and buried, and make adjustments that put his teammates in a position to succeed. Luck just doesn’t consistently put it all together and a lot of that has to do with a lack of consistency on the rest of his team.
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The past four years have seen Luck shoulder an enormous burden. He’s gotten very little support from the rest of his team and has taken an absolute beating as a result of poor protection. This had lead to a mentality that Luck has to do it all on his own without a consistent defense or a run game to take any of the pressure off. Had Luck been drafted to a team like the Seahawks, he would likely have multiple rings and be considered a top five QB.
Luck isn’t likely to get much better support in 2016 either. He should have slightly better protection, and will still have a great receiving corps, but the defense and running backs are serious question marks.
Luck seems to understand what he needs to to in order to stay on the field this season. If he can be a bit more cautious, and the line actually protects him, we’ll see Luck return to at least his 2014 form. If he manages to improve on that performance, where he led the league in touchdowns, the Colts will be looking at a return to the playoffs.