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The hype around Andrew Luck

Luck is widely acknowledged as the top prospect in the upcoming draft class. Not only that, he is widely claimed to be the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning. I've even heard some people say he is the best since John Elway. Widely is being conservative. I haven't heard anyone state anything different, until Phil Simms.

Unlike Phil Simms, I don't have access to radio and tv shows. So the only people that get to hear my opinion are you fine people that read my blog and whoever I run into at work. But if I had the media access Simms does, you would have heard me say the same thing Simms said, which is that I don't think Luck has elite arm strength. Or, at least I haven't seen him display elite arm strength (and when I say arm strength, I mean how hard he throws the ball, not how far he can throw it).

Simms has seen more of Luck than I have. So he working from a bigger data set. But from what I have seen of Luck, he doesn't throw the ball very hard. That's not to say that the ball doesn't get to his receivers on time and in an accurate manner. Nor does it say that he isn't a very good QB who can't translate into a very good NFL QB. But Simms' point is that if you are going to compare someone to John Elway and generally claim that he is an all time great prospect, he needs to display elite skills across the board. And he simply doesn't show the kind of arm strength that supremely talented QBs have; QBs like Elway, Marino, and Favre.

Arm strength isn't the most important skill for a QB. Its more important to be able to see the field clearly, process information quickly, and be fundamentally sound with your feet and delivery. What arm strength does is give you a little more wiggle room in terms of how quickly you have to get rid of the ball and how much you have to use your feet and lower body in order to throw the ball. In other words, you might be able to be half a second slower reading a defense if you throw the ball a little harder than most QBs. And if you have defenders right in front of you and can't step into a throw, you might be able to throw the ball more effectively than someone who needs their lower body to generate velocity on their throw.

I'm not sure if scouts and everyone don't see what Simms and I are seeing or if they do and don't think it matters. If they don't see it I'm not sure why. If they see it and don't think it matters I can understand that. But I think they should temper how they speak of him as a prospect, or at least add the addendum that he doesn't have elite arm strength. As for my endorsement of the Suck for Luck campaign, I'm still on board, just because having the first pick is good in and of itself aside from the presence of Luck. But I won't blindly believe the hype.