For months, it has been a virtual certainty that Andrew Luck would be the top pick on April 26th’s NFL Draft. This is because, for months, it was viewed (with virtual certainty) that Andrew Luck would be the best player available when Roger Goodell steps to the podium and announces who the Colts have chosen. Now, though, there is some dissension in the media ranks.
According to ESPN’s Merril Hoge, who has apparently locked himself away in some Bristol dungeon for the last three months and watched every piece of collegiate game film on both Luck and Griffin, RG3 is the better player right this second. It’s a bold statement, and one that, initially, you might think is being made by a man on TV with a massive tie knot who simply wants to be contrarian and stir some shit up. You would be wrong.
Hoge graded both Luck and Griffin in five categories: accuracy, arm strength, touch, decision making, and athleticism. RG3 graded better in accuracy, arm strength, and touch. Luck graded better in decision making. Athleticism (both are freakish athletes) was a push. Say what you want about Merril Hoge (and since he’s on ESPN, people say a lot about him) but as Pro Football Talk’s Evan Silva points out, he’s usually right about this stuff.
My gut reaction: Hoge is only half right. I think RG3 will be the better quarterback, because he oozes leadership qualities and has every physical tool Luck has (except size). This is not to say Luck won’t be good — he’ll be great, in fact — but Griffin III will be better. He won me over with reports on his consistent accuracy, his outlandish 40 time, and his complete schooling of Steve Mariucci during an NFL Network segment. I don’t care that he’s only 6-2. Look at this photo of him dapping Luck at the Combine. Not markedly smaller.
With that said, there is zero chance the Colts would even think about passing on Luck. We have been force-fed the notion that he’s the best available (and perhaps the best available in some time) for the last year. He is the safe pick, and to roll the dice on Griffin would be a possible deathblow to Colts GM Ryan Grigson. I’m assuming Grigson likes his job, so he’ll pick Luck.
Here are Hoge’s segments, via ESPN.