Nov 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Quarterback Rankings: No. 8

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Every two days, Rishi Pochiraju will reveal a quarterback on his grand list of quarterback rankings. Each quarterback will receive a grade out of 50 – 10 points for each category. See his page for earlier ranked quarterbacks. Up next: number 8.

#8. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

It was most likely the biggest turnaround from one year to another for any team in the league. Indianapolis, with The Sheriff out and the new guy, Andrew Luck, in, improved by nine games from 2011 to 2012.

That improvement was largely due to the play of second-year franchise quarterback Luck, who shattered records from 4th quarter comebacks to passing yards in one season for a rookie. Before he was drafted, Luck was considered the best quarterback prospect since Manning, and did not fail to live up to those expectations in his rookie season.

With a limited supporting cast, the question is now if Luck can repeat his success in 2013, something which he will strive to accomplish.

Physical traits and athleticism

Luck is listed at 6-4 and weighs somewhere around 240 pounds. His physical appearance has drawn comparisons to that of Ben Roethlisberger – a tall, physical quarterback in the pocket, capable of taking hit after hit and getting up after every single one of them. Luck is a pocket quarterback, but his athleticism, just like Roethlisberger’s, is underrated. He uses subtle speed to extend plays and make good out of bad-looking scenarios. Grade: 8.5/10

Arm talent

The Colts’ starter has a very strong arm, although it might not be as strong as that of Jay Cutler, Matt Stafford, etc. Indianapolis’s offense was the complete opposite from a dink-and-dunk unit last season – Luck was working the ball down the field with consistent success under former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. Good arm strength is needed to execute a system like Indianapolis did last season. Grade: 8.5/10

Mechanics

Luck’s mechanics were fined tuned, if that, all throughout college and into the pros. He had minor errors heading into the NFL such as his back leg coming up too much in his follow through, which led to the ball sailing, but he’s seemed to clean up most of these minor errors. Grade: 8.5/10

Mental make-up

Luck is smarter than most quarterbacks in this league. The guy graduated from Stanford, after all. Although he made some mental errors last year that led to interceptions, he engineered seven 4th quarter/overtime comebacks, and wasn’t helped much by a mediocre supporting cast. He’s been reading defenses and recognizing blitzes since college. Grade: 9/10

Intangibles

At number one overall in the 2012 draft, Indianapolis couldn’t have gone wrong with Luck, and it turns out that they didn’t – this is due to Luck’s commitment and intangible qualities. He was named a captain of the team last year. That “C” on the chest shows what kind of person and player Luck is and how much he means to the Colts football team. Grade: 9.5/10

Overall impression

Although some of the stats might not prove it, Andrew Luck was nothing short of great last season. With a mediocre group around him, he somehow managed to give the Colts 11 wins. 2012 was no fluke of a season for this club. If Luck continues his stellar play, Indianapolis will be playing far into January and perhaps into February in the near future. Overall Grade: 44/50

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