By all accounts, former Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck rated off the charts in scouting reports before the Colts selected him first overall in the 2012 NFL Draft to serve as the replacement for Peyton Manning. ESPN draft gurus Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay even went so far as to suggest Luck could one day surpass Manning and John Elway on a list of the best NFL quarterbacks in history. Luck earned four Pro Bowl selections during his career, but he shockingly retired in August 2019, weeks ahead of his 30th birthday, after he dealt with handfuls of injury setbacks as a pro.
Enter Clemson Tigers superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence, presumed by most to become the new Jaguars starter after Jacksonville takes him first overall when the 2021 draft opens on April 29. Back in February, some ESPN analysts suggested they doubted Lawrence was the undisputed best signal-caller of his class and a "can't miss" prospect. While speaking with Chase Goodbread for an NFL.com piece, an "area scout for an AFC team whose region includes Clemson" compared Lawrence with the former Indianapolis offensive CEO.
"There's definitely some agreement that he's on Luck's level," the scout said of Lawrence. "Luck wasn't as successful in college as this guy, but their skills are very comparable."
Meanwhile, former Tennessee Titans director of college scouting Blake Beddingfield offered a reminder of how special Luck appeared coming out of college.
"Of the quarterbacks I evaluated, he was as high as there's ever been. I went through Eli (Manning) and (Philip) Rivers, and (Ben) Roethlisbrger, (Michael) Vick, Drew Brees, all those guys," Beddingfield explained for the piece. "I had Luck graded higher than all of them coming out of college."
The Jaguars have reportedly already given Lawrence assignments for this coming fall, and the to-be rookie is expected to be fully recovered by June from the mid-February procedure on the shoulder of his non-throwing arm. With a little bit of luck (pun intended), Lawrence will match or better all that Manning and Elway accomplished over their Hall of Fame careers and do so only with the team that drafts him later this month.