Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 4/24/12

Andrew Luck will be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson announced Tuesday.

The redshirt junior from Stanford is considered one of the top quarterback prospects since Eli Manning left Ole Miss in 2004. It's expected Luck will be the team's starter when the season begins in September, filling the void left when Peyton Manning was released in March.

Grigson said last Wednesday that the team has known "for a long time" and two days later, Luck was informed of the franchise's decision.

"We've exhausted the process, pretty much made up our mind," said Grigson, who initially said he would withhold the player's identity until the first round begins Thursday. "We're going to go from there."

Luck and Baylor Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III have been the top two overall rated players by NFLDraftScout.com since before the Scouting Combine in February. Griffin III is expected to be selected second overall by Washington.

Grigson, hired from the Eagles in January as a first-time general manager, hasn't had an easy first few months on the job.

He released Manning and popular Colts such as Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai while owner Jim Irsay stressed patience as the team rebuilds. Irsay said months ago that rebuilding would begin with a quarterback.

Most projected Luck as the top pick for the past two seasons, but he surprised the NFL and college football alike when he decided in January 2011 that he'd return for a final season at Stanford to earn his architecture degree.

There are pundits who rate him the top prospect at the position since Manning came out of Tennessee. Griffin gained momentum with a highly productive junior season and beat out Luck for the Heisman Trophy. But concerns about him coming from a spread offense and being described as a running quarterback work in Luck's favor.

Scouts consider Luck cerebral but also very athletic with Combine testing numbers that put him in an elite class at the position.

Grigson, a former offensive lineman at Purdue who was raised in Indiana, said the Colts won't draft for need with any of their 10 picks. He believes this draft class is exceptional along the offensive line.

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