How Luck reminds of Peyton Manning
An examination of the shared skills that set these two elite QBs apart from the rest
In the 14 years since Peyton Manning made his mark in Knoxville for the Tennessee Volunteers, I have not seen a college quarterback measure up to Peyton's standards and skill set -- until now. Stanford Cardinal QB Andrew Luck has the same prototypical size, the same durable build and the same refined, over-the-top delivery that equal Peyton's as a draft-day prospect.
And there are even a few ways in which Luck's college numbers and talents are more impressive than Manning's when he was coming out of college, most notably his athleticism. Luck doesn't have the kind of foot speed to make a living scoring touchdowns at the next level (although he's done a good job of that in college, recording six rushing touchdowns and a 6.9 yards per carry average), but it could nonetheless turn some heads when he works out for NFL scouts (Stanford has recorded a 4.67 laser-timed 40 for him, and a former coach and a former teammate both told me they think he'll run in the 4.6 range when he comes out for the draft). Luck possesses the athleticism and strength in his legs to improvise, extend plays and convert third-down scampers into first downs, something more reminiscent of John Elway than Manning.
Luck has also posted slightly better passing numbers during his collegiate career than Manning did during his (and he'll have the chance to increase that lead if he continues his pace this season):
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