Luck is also friendly and polished, showing the traits of a guy who grew up with a father _ Oliver Luck _ who once played in the NFL. Asked about stepping in and starting for the Colts, Luck deftly sidestepped the question.
“I guess it’s nice, but there’s always competition in football and if I go out there and lay an egg and I’m not the best quarterback out there, I hope they don’t start me,” Luck said. “I’m excited, though. I’m going to go out there and hopefully play, obviously, and put my best foot forward and enjoy all the guys.”
Luck acknowledged that it was a “relief” to know he’ll be going to the Colts _ even if they’re starting from scratch.
“Obviously, the slate has been wiped somewhat clean with some new coaches and some players who have gone or left, but I’ll try to come in there and work as hard as I can,” Luck said. “If that means it’s a rebuilding process, I guess you can label it as that. The guys I’m sure are working very hard and I just want to get out there and join them.”
After Luck and Griffin, Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill is expected to be the next quarterback taken _ possibly eighth overall by Miami, where he’d be reunited with Mike Sherman. The new Dolphins offensive coordinator was Tannehill’s head coach the last four years.
“If I did happen to go there, it would be good,” said Tannehill, who would compete with starter Matt Moore. “It would give me some familiarity with the offense, so I think it would help ease the transition a little bit.”
Oklahoma State’s Justin Blackmon will likely be the first wide receiver picked, possibly as high as No. 4 by Cleveland. Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, Georgia Tech’s Stephen Hill and Baylor’s Kendall Wright are other receivers who might go in the opening round.
“It’s a great time to come into the league if you are a receiver,” said Blackmon, a two-time winner of the Biletnikoff Award as college football’s top receiver. “More teams are throwing the ball a lot more. It’s more wide open than ever on offense.”
Other players who could be top-10 picks are South Carolina defensive end Melvin Ingram, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox and North Carolina defensive end Quinton Coples.
After winning the national championship in January, Alabama could be a big winner in the opening round. Crimson Tide teammates Barron, Richardson, linebackers Courtney Upshaw and Dont’a Hightower, and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick could all hear their names called Thursday night.
“This is a great experience, especially when you have a team where we came from,” Richardson said. “All these guys are going to the draft and we’re all going to be in the first round. Alabama set the bar high last year when they had four come out and all four went in the first round. Hopefully we can break that record and have five.”
One thing’s for sure: Nobody is looking forward to the anxiety of waiting in the green room.
“It kind of made me a little nervous when we were talking to the commissioner and he said, `You’ll be back there for an hour and it’ll feel like you’ve been back there for five days,’” Kalil said. “I’ll be sweatin’ up a storm back there.”
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