Andrew Luck ‘is the real deal’

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck celebrates in the third quarter against the Oklahoma...

Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck celebrates in the third quarter against the Oklahoma State Cowboys during the 2012 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona Jan. 2, 2012. (REUTERS/Rick Scuteri)

JOHN KRYK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:37 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS - Stanford's Andrew Luck is the best quarterback prospect since a certain Denver Broncos legend in 1983.

So says former Baltimore Ravens coach and current NFL Network analyst, Brian Billick. Not every analyst agrees with him, including his on-air partner on the NFL Network, Mike Mayock.

On Saturday Billick explained himself.

"I think Andrew Luck has more credentials, and fewer questions about him, than any quarterback since John Elway," Billick said. "Now, it's got to come together. But I think this guy is the real deal."

What about criticisms in some circles that Luck lacks arm strength?

"Well, his arm has plenty. And he's going to grow into that arm, he's going to mature."

One prospect nobody is comparing Luck to, is Ryan Leaf. Billick recalled how every talent assessor in the league in 1998 had Leaf neck-and-neck with Manning atop their pre-draft boards.

Leaf wound up being taken second overall by the San Diego Chargers, and became one of the league's all-time busts, while a bust will be made of Manning at the Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, in a few years.

"We had questions about Peyton Manning," Billick said. "And you can't find anyone now who will admit it ... Now, there's not a human being on the face of the earth (that will admit it). 'Oh, no, we all knew.' That's bull."


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