This offseason, the MMQB has been doing a ranking counting down the 100 most influential people for the 2015 NFL season, and this is a list that has a variety of different people on it. Coaches, general managers, team executives, owners, league executives, journalists, referees, and, of course, players have all appeared on the list, among others. Colts general manager Ryan Grigson made it as the 60th most influential person, and now another Colt has joined him on the list. Quarterback Andrew Luck was named the 12th most influential person for the 2015 NFL season.
Not since LeBron James entered the NBA in 2003 (or maybe Sidney Crosby) has a No. 1 overall draft pick entered his professional career with such high expectations and surpassed them so thoroughly in his first three seasons. Now Luck is entering Year 4. If the pattern holds true, his Colts, who reached the Wild-Card round his rookie season, the Divisional Round his second season and the AFC Championship in his third, are Super Bowl-bound. Pro football doesn't work that way, of course, but you can't blame the Colts for planning on the pattern to continue. This past offseason, instead of investing heavily in a defense that's good on the back end but sub-par in the front seven, they chose to put more weapons around their prodigious QB. Wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Frank Gore were acquired in free agency, while blazing wideout Phillip Dorsett was, surprisingly, drafted in the first round. The Colts are all-in on Luck. Any other approach would be imprudent.
We know that the quarterback position is the most influential position in football, and that's a good thing for the Colts. They have one of the league's best in Andrew Luck, and like Benoit wrote, he has exceeded the hype so far (which is saying a lot). Quarterbacks get the most attention of any players, and Luck certainly gets a lot as well. Whether its for being the former first overall pick, for being an exciting player to watch, for being able to make plays out of nothing, for carrying the Colts, or for emerging as one of the top quarterbacks in football, a lot of people are talking about the Colts' signal caller.
In his short three-year career so far, Luck has thrown for 12,957 yards and 86 touchdowns, and in 2014 he broke Peyton Manning's franchise record for most passing yards in a single season with 4,761 and led the league in touchdown passes with 40. With a plethora of receiving options for Luck this year in T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Phillip Dorsett, Donte Moncrief, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen, and others, as well as Frank Gore at running back, the offense could very well reach new heights this year, and it's not a stretch to think that Luck could emerge as a legitimate MVP candidate either. For the Colts, they are hoping that Luck can lead them to the Super Bowl, and because of their quarterback they are indeed legitimate contenders for a title. In short, it's not hard at all to understand why Andrew Luck is ranked as one of the most influential people in football for the upcoming season.