Colts take Stanford QB Andrew Luck No. 1 in draft
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after he was selected as the first pick overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the first round of the NFL football draft at Radio City Music Hall, April 26, 2012, in New York. / AP Photo/Jason DeCrow
(AP) NEW YORK - Six weeks after saying goodbye to Peyton Manning, the Indianapolis Colts handed Andrew Luck a blue and white jersey, expecting him to be their quarterback for the next decade.
Luck couldn't have chosen a tougher act to follow, but many believe he is the most NFL-ready passer to enter the league since Manning went No. 1 overall in 1998. All Manning did was win an unprecedented four MVP awards and a Super Bowl for Indy.
The Stanford quarterback was told by the Colts last week that Commissioner Roger Goodell would announce his name first Thursday night. He got the nod over Baylor QB Robert Griffin III, the Heisman Trophy who was taken second overall by the Washington Redskins..
After being loudly booed at the outset, Goodell told a raucous crowd at Radio City Music Hall that "the season begins tonight, so let's kick if off." Then he did, congratulating Luck while the crowd chanted "RG3, RG3."
Luck left the stage and slapped hands with some fans in Colts shirts and headed to the interview room.
To get Griffin, Washington dealt a second-round pick this year and its first-rounders in 2013 and `14 to St. Louis to move up four spots.
Less than an hour before Goodell began the draft, Cleveland and Minnesota pulled off another trade. The Browns moved up just one spot, from fourth to third, to ensure getting running back Trent Richardson of national champion Alabama. Minnesota received picks in the fourth, fifth and seventh rounds and still was in position to get one of the elite prospects in this draft.
Minnesota then took Southern California offensive tackle Matt Kalil, who the Vikings were expected to take at No. 3 anyway.
Luck's good fortune put him in a similar position to Stanford predecessors Jim Plunkett, who won two Super Bowls for the Raiders, and John Elway, who led Denver to two NFL titles.
Elway now runs the Broncos and recently signed Manning as a free agent after Manning missed all of last season following neck surgery.
In Manning's place now will be Luck, not a bad way to begin a rebuilding project.
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