Tough Luck – Panthers Want Cardinal QB with No. 1 Draft Selection

Posted: January 4, 2011 in News
Andrew Luck

Andrew Luck led the Cardinal to an Orange Bowl victory. Is he ready to lead the Panthers out of the NFC South cellar? (

The Carolina Panthers announced Tuesday that should Stanford QB Andrew Luck declare eligible for the 2011 NFL Draft, the team would choose him with the number one overall selection.

Luck, who has until Jan. 15 to declare his draft eligibility, threw for 287 yards and four touchdown passes in Stanford’s 40-14 Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech. Perhaps the most impressive part of his near flawless play was that all four scores were thrown to tight ends – showing that he was wise not to force the ball to wide receivers. That fact should impress NFL scouts with his play recognition skills.

While Luck has just under two weeks to make up his mind, the option to return to school is a possibility. Experts will argue over whether he should go pro or stay in college. Remember this – just a few years ago after winning the Heisman Trophy, USC quarterback Matt Leinart chose to return to school for his final season. The decision cost him about 20 projected draft selections.

I personally respect young men who choose to finish out their collegiate obligations and graduate with degrees. However, there are only a few instances where going to the draft early are acceptable. This is one of them.

To shun away from a projected number one overall choice would show that a Stanford education isn’t all what it used to be. When you have a chance to go in the top five, especially the top overall choice, you have to go. When players win important BCS games as juniors and their stocks can’t be any higher, they must go. When your program had an unusually good year and the odds of repeating such success doesn’t seem likely, you must go.

Obviously Carolina isn’t the destination of choice for any NCAA “student-athlete” to begin his professional sporting career. The facts remain however that if chosen first overall, he will be the highest paid rookie, he will earn a long contract with job security, and he will be the talk of the league during all of training camp. The evidence is indisputable; Andrew Luck must declare for the NFL Draft.

Maybe the most interesting spin on this whole situation is that coaching could play a role as well. Earlier this week, Carolina decided to part ways with head coach John Fox who ran the Panthers for nearly a decade. Jim Harbaugh is the most talked about college coach who could decide to go to the professional level himself. Wouldn’t it be funny if he ended up coaching in Carolina and the Panthers selected Luck? Hmm, seems to make a lot of sense to me.

To the front office of Carolina, you’re welcome for the idea.

  1. Chris Ross says:

    Great post. The orange bowl solidified to an even greater extent the value that Andrew Luck holds should he enter the draft this year. Him and Harbaugh have been ducking a lot of questions and it should be interesting to see if he follows in the footsteps of other guys who were in a similar position that he is in now. In other words Matt Leinart and Jake Locker who both lost their status as #1 overall after staying another year in college instead of going out into the draft. Also, he doesn’t want to play for Carolina apparently but what do you expect if you wanna be #1 right. Also, you think you could check out my blog cuz I really wanna hear what you have to say.

  2. It’s a good idea to have Harbaugh follow Luck to Carolina, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. From what I understand he lives in California anyway so I think the 49ers job is sort of a no brainer.

    It’s hard for me to believe that anybody would want the Carolina job right now.

    Check my stuff out?

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