It's pretty easy to see that the Indianapolis Colts have been pretty fortunate at the quarterback position in recent years. Despite suffering through a year of Kerry Collins/Curtis Painter/Dan Orlovsky at the position, the Colts have had incredible success. Drafting Peyton Manning first overall in 1998, he played every game for them through the end of the 2010 season, establishing himself as one of the league's all-time greats in the process. He was injured in 2011 and missed the entire season, so the Colts got the first overall pick. They selected Andrew Luck, considered the best quarterback prospect since Manning (and possibly before), and he has established himself as one of the league's best quarterbacks in just three short years.
NFL.com's Elliot Harrison recently looked at the top three quarterbacks in each NFL franchise's history to determine which franchise has had the best quarterback position. With the Colts having Johnny Unitas, Peyton Manning, and Andrew Luck, they came in as the second-best quarterback franchise of all-time, behind only the Green Bay Packers with Bart Starr, Brett Favre, and Aaron Rodgers.
Indy finishes at second overall despite a slight weakness on the anchor -- Andy Luck looks wonderful (especially with the early-'70s bass-player beard), but has only played three years. Still, when evaluating the all-time quarterbacks a year ago, I had Unitas at No. 3 and Manning at No. 4. No club can boast two passers of this stature. Had we skipped Luck, Bert Jones would have been a solid choice. He won the NFL MVP in 1976.
Johnny Unitas is widely considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history and a guy who helped to define the position as we know it today. He was a three-time Associated Press MVP, a ten-time Pro Bowler, and won multiple championships with the Baltimore Colts, including one Super Bowl. He threw for 40,239 yards and 260 touchdowns in a time in which the passing game was not nearly as prevalent.
Peyton Manning is also considered one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history (and he also helped to introduce the pass-centered league that we know today). He is a five-time MVP (most all-time), has made 14 Pro Bowls (tied for the most all-time), and has thrown 530 touchdowns (most all-time) and 69,691 yards (he is on pace to break the all-time record next season with the Broncos). He holds nearly every significant passing record in Colts' franchise history.
Andrew Luck pales in comparison to Unitas and Manning, though he is off to a fantastic start to his career, as he has made three Pro Bowls (in three years) and has thrown for 12,957 yards (most ever by a quarterback in his first three years) and 86 touchdowns. In 2014, Luck broke Manning's franchise record for single-season passing yards and led the league in touchdown passes, certainly getting his career off to a good start. He's likely to just keep getting better, too.
Ultimately, the Colts have been very fortunate at the quarterback position. They boast two of the best players at the position in NFL history, and they have had a very good player under center in every year from 1998-2014 (except for 2011). At the most important position in football, there's a lot to like if you are a Colts fan.