Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 2/27/12
INDIANAPOLIS They looked good and sounded even better. Their college resumes are sparkling. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III are the stars of this years NFL draft the top quarterbacks in the 2012 NFL draft class, and perhaps the top two prospects overall. How they performed in their workouts at the NFL Scouting Combine did not just validate their status. They enhanced it. Griffin blazed through the 40-yard dash Sunday morning, posting an official time of 4.41 seconds for his two attempts. Unofficially, he was clocked in 4.38 seconds. Michael Vick is the only pure quarterback with a faster 40 time, running 4.33 seconds in 2001. Lucks official time was 4.67 seconds, and he had an unofficial best of 4.59. Those are amazing times for quarterbacks of their size. Luck weighed in at 234 pounds. Griffin was 223. It is close to 100-percent certain that the Colts will take Luck with the first pick in the draft on April 26. St. Louis has the second pick, and with a young quarterback already on hand Sam Bradford, drafted first overall in 2010 they are in prime position to take offers from teams that want to trade up to draft Griffin. All of that will play out in the next two months. For now, the positive impression that Luck and Griffin made left a lingering glow over the Combine. Luck and Griffin attracted a media horde for their interview sessions. Both delivered just like they did in college on the playing field. They were bright, funny, incisive and introspective in discussing issues related to the draft and their individual situations. Lucks performance at Stanford has made many analysts rank him as the best pure quarterback prospect since John Elway was drafted first overall in 1983. Luck threw 80 TD passes against 21 interceptions in his career, with a 35-9 ratio as a senior. At this stage, Lucks quarterback skills are more refined than Griffins, but that should take nothing away from Griffin. Griffin or RG3 as he is called --- was a dual threat player who exploded on the national scene at Baylor in 2011 to win the Heisman Trophy. Luck had been the front-runner assuming there is such a thing for most of the year. Griffin threw 36 TD passes against 6 interceptions in 2011 and ran for 9 TDs. He had 32 rushing TDs for his career. Luck and Griffin will be evaluated in the ratings based on their football ability, but both have the personality and bearing to be the face of a franchise. The NFL is driven by quarterbacks, and they always play a prominent role in the draft. Quarterbacks have been drafted first overall the last three years, and all three players validated their draft position Matthew Stafford by the Lions in 2009, Bradford by the Rams in 10, and Cam Newton by the Panthers in 11. Bradford and Stafford have had injury problems, but their ability is not in question. Stafford overcome his issues in 2011 to throw for 5,038 yards and 41 TDs. There are elements apart from the draft that add intrigue to the process this year. With Luck an odds-on favorite to be drafted No. 1 by the Colts, there is still an issue involving Peyton Manning that must be resolved long before the draft. Manning did not play in 2011 because of a neck injury, and its almost certain that the Colts will release him before March 9, the date when the Colts must pay him a bonus of 28 million to keep him on the roster. Manning is an iconic figure in all of football, not just Indianapolis. Mannings picture is on Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Combine testing and workouts are held. Luck was bombarded with questions about Manning, and he handled them well. He didnt duck anything. I understand the questions have to be asked, Luck said. It's part of it. I understand it's speculation. In my mind, too, nothing's happened yet. I haven't been drafted by any team, and obviously with Peyton, that's still going on with the Colts. It's not uncomfortable. I understand the questions have to be asked. Before that, Luck laughed when asked if hes already bought a house in Indy. Nah -- it's a little premature to do that, I think, Luck said. It is hard to beat the upbringing and training that has prepared Luck for the NFL. His father, Oliver, was an NFL quarterback. At Stanford, Luck played under Jim Harbaugh, the current 49ers head coach who played quarterback for 15 NFL seasons. Griffin is an outstanding athlete. He had the speed to be a world-class hurdler had he chosen to concentrate on track fulltime. Griffins track background should not obscure the fact that he has a strong, accurate passing arm. Griffin and Luck both expressed their appreciation for the other quarterbacks career and accomplishments. It's fun to watch fascinating, Luck said of Griffin. He's athletic. He's explosive. There have been questions about Griffins height, and whether he is tall enough to meet the standard most NFL teams prefer for a quarterback. He was measured at a little more than 6-2 and 223 pounds plenty big enough. We didnt lie about my height, Griffin said, drawing laughs. Griffin talked about the different projections and heights and weights assigned to him throughout his football career. In high school, I was 6-4, 200 pounds, he said. So when I got to college I shrunk an inch and gained weight. I was 6-2, 220. Griffin graduated from Baylor in 2010 with a degree in political science. He took graduate classes in 2011 and had aspirations to attend law school. Griffin and Luck both are from Texas and were recruited by Harbaugh to go to Stanford. Griffin is from Texas and chose Baylor. He also considered Houston. Griffin was asked by a reporter to define himself. That sounds like a paper from my English class, Griffin said, drawing some laughter. Just the person that I am, he continued. Some people think I came on the scene this year, so they havent had as much time to evaluate me. So Im just excited to really show them who I am as a person -- happy go lucky, like to make people laugh, but know when to be serious as well. Griffin is serious about his family background. Both parents were in the military. Military kid, he said. Mom (Jacqueline) did 12 years. Dad (Robert Jr.) did 21. Served in two wars. Discipline was something that was obviously huge. If you say youre going to do something, you do it. If you start it, you finish it. Yes, sir, no maam. Youve got to have that kind of structure in your life. It kind of helped me be that disciplined person I am, whether its with workouts, film, or just the game of football.
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