Issue 2- September 20, 2012
NFL draft day is when dreams come true or are crushed. 2012 was the year of quarterbacks. Five of the quarterback picks started their season-opening game, more than any other draft in NFL history. Here’s a look at the top picks of this year’s draft and an overview of their debut.
Number one: Selected by the Indianapolis Colts, quarterback Andrew Luck has big shoes to fill, replacing probable Hall-of-Famer in Peyton Manning. Luck has shown he has the potential to lead this team.
Luck attended Stratford High School in Houston, Texas. As quarterback, he accumulated a total of 7,139 yards for 53 touchdowns and rushed for 2,085 yards. A well-rounded student-athlete, he was also the co-Valedictorian of his class.
Luck committed to Stanford University. Over three seasons, he threw for 9,430 yards, with 82 touchdowns and only 22 interceptions. He rushed for 957 yards, including seven touchdowns. Luck had a record -setting season, and was projected as the first overall pick of the draft. He won numerous awards, including the Maxwell Award as Player of the Year and Orange Bowl MVP.
Luck was selected first overall. On July 19, he signed a four-year $22.1 million contract with the Indianapolis Colts, which included a $14.5 million signing bonus.
His first time on a professional stage, Luck suffered a disappointing 21 to 41 loss to the Chicago Bears. He was 23 of 45, with 309 yards, one touchdown, and three interceptions. He had two carries for nine yards.
“There will be a lot of positives, a lot of negatives,” Luck said. “We’ll try to learn from it. I’m still disappointed fresh off what happened, but we’ll get over it.”
The Colts hope Luck continues his record setting and proves successful in the NFL. Die-hard fans want to see Luck become the new Manning and turn a disappointing 2011 season into a 2012 rookie celebration.
Number two: Leading the Washington Redskins to an opening-day victory, Robert Griffin III proved he has what it takes to win in the NFL.
Griffin played basketball, football, and ran track for his high school in Copperas Cove, Texas. He was a track star, setting state records in the 110- and 300-meter hurdles. He was the World Junior leader in the 400-meter hurdles in 2007, with a time of 49.56 seconds. He received Gatorade Texas Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year Award, and was part of USA Today’s 2007 All-USA track and field team.
Along with his success on the track, he was a winner on the football field. Over his two seasons as a starting quarterback, he accumulated 5,518 yards, 73 touchdowns,and nine interceptions.
As class president, Griffin was also a star in the classroom, graduating a semester early and ranking seventh in his class.
At 17, Griffin began his classes at Baylor University. He continued track and field as well as football for the Bears.
He was first in the 400-meter hurdles in the Big 12 Conference and NCAA Midwest Regional championship, breaking the NCAA Midwest Regional record and went on to compete in the semi-finals of the Olympic trials.
In his college career, Griffin totaled 12,294 yards with 110 touchdowns. As a freshman, he started 11 out of 12 games and was voted the Big 12 Conference Offensive Freshman of the Year. He was forced to sit out his sophomore season after tearing his ACL in the third game, but returned to play his junior and senior years.
Griffin won the Heisman Trophy along with many other honors. He graduated in three years with a degree in political science and a 3.67 GPA. He made the Dean’s list twice, and began pursuing a Master’s degree in communications.
On Jan. 11, 2012, Griffin announced his desire to enter the 2012 NFL draft. He was the first Baylor quarterback to be selected second overall since Adrian Burk in 1950. The Washington Redskins signed Griffin to a four-year $21.1 million contract with a $13.8 million signing bonus.
In his NFL debut, Griffin celebrated a victory in the Superdome, beating the New Orleans’ Saints 40 to 32. He was 19 of 26, with a 73.1 percent completion rating. He threw for 320 yards and two touchdowns, with no interceptions. He had 10 carries for 42 yards.
“I’ve won a high school state championship and a bowl game in college, but to play in the NFL, the pinnacle of it all, and win your first game… it’s at the top.” Griffin said.
2012 was the year of the rookie, the NFL draft produced starters with raw talent. Griffin and Luck’s journeys will be interesting to watch as they attempt to make their mark in NFL history.