What do the Indianapolis Colts do with Andrew Luck?

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24: Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 24: Outside linebacker Bruce Irvin /
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Draft a quarterback in 2018

Another unlikely situation that should be considered by the Colts is drafting a quarterback in the first round next year. The 2018 class is as deep as any in memory and presents a rare opportunity to snag multiple franchise level guys.

USC signal caller Sam Darnold headlines the group, but UCLA’s Josh Rosen, Josh Allen of Wyoming and Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph are all likely first round talents.

Additionally, reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, two-time Heisman finalist Baker Mayfield, Luke Falk of Washington State and University of Washington’s Jake Browning are all packed with potential.

There are a plethora of options available and the Colts will likely have a high pick regardless of whether Luck plays in 2017 or not. There is a very real chance to draft a successor to Luck and develop him with the view to take over in three to four years time.

That would be the best case scenario in a situation in which Luck comes back playing at a high level. However, should the Pro Bowl signal caller’s play diminish drastically, or he continue to be hampered by injuries, this new QB could take over sooner.

There is a strong chance that Luck’s injuries will end up shortening his career by a few years. Do not expect him to play into his late 30’s.

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For an intelligent, highly self-aware person like Luck, the realities of playing quarterback in the NFL and the physical sacrifice required to do it may lead him to retire earlier than most. With the increased awareness surrounding CTE, this likelihood sky rockets.

Luck will have a successful career post football. A Stanford educated guy, who is outwardly academic, will certainly have goals and dreams to achieve beyond the realms of football and may not want to risk his long-term health for longer than necessary.

This situation would leave the Colts up in the air if they weren’t to draft a successor prior to Luck’s retirement, whether that be forced or by choice. However, should Chris Ballard select a prospect to develop under Luck for the next couple of years such as Josh Allen from Wyoming, they would be prepared for all eventualities regarding Luck’s future.

Allen is garnering a lot of attention as possibly the best projection into the NFL. His big frame and strong arm certainly give him an advantage. But, he is raw and would require development.

Drafting Allen or another project like Mason Rudolph would serve the Colts well going forward. Even if Luck defies all logic and plays well into his thirties, having a strong backup in place gives the franchise options.

He would be there to step in for an injury prone Luck, or could be used as leverage in a trade further down the line.

GM Chris Ballard was, in fact, at last weekend’s key PAC 12 matchup between USC and Stanford. Could he have been watching Darnold with a view to selecting a QB come draft time?]