The Brain and the Brawn of Stanford Andrew Luck stays for one more year so he will be a senior, before entering the 2011 NFL Draft. Given the situation with the collective bargaining agreement in the NFL and whether it can be resolved in time before the 2011 Draft, it remains to be seen. This may not be the most effective decision, but it was the most practical decision in the long term. This decision is coming from a Stanford student who should complete his architectural design degree by next season. Very practical, but there is a bigger engine at work here perhaps.
Given that Jim Harbaugh has accepted the position as head coach of the San Francisco 49ers, it would be given that Harbaugh still has plans for Andrew Luck, even as a senior. Oliver Luck, his father and an athletic director at West Virginia, denied that the potential NFL lockout or being selected first by the Carolina Panthers did not influence his son’s decision, but I remain skeptical.
It’s an ultimate win-win decision made by Andrew Luck. First, it gives him to time to complete his education, which will be important after his NFL career comes to an end. Second, it gives him time to consult with NFL quarterbacks, such as Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning and the St. Louis Rams Sam Bradford. He can get word on the drafts in 2011 and 2012 with their assistance. Lastly, it gives him to consult with Jim Harbaugh and possibly connecting with the San Francisco 49ers in 2012 since most likely, Luck won’t remain first in the draft next season. He should be able to remain competitive amongst the NCAA quarterbacks entering the draft still, and Harbaugh can trade, as necessary, as Luck’s standing comes into play in the draft. As I said in the previous article, Harbaugh will need a quarterback of his caliber in the stable, and with both Andrew Luck holding out for this year’s draft and the potential lockout occurring, it will give them both time to gameplan. The only downsides of Luck’s plan are that he will be entering a potentially large pool in 2012, and his rookie wages may be cut. Then again, most of the elite quarterbacks today weren’t originally selected first in the draft.