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Andrew Luck sweepstakes: Colts have inside track over Rams

December 24, 2011 |  5:32 pm


Andrew Luck, the Stanford quarterback who is presumed to be the consensus No. 1 NFL draft selection next spring, will be going to Indianapolis or St. Louis, the last teams standing in the sweepstakes.

Minnesota is no longer a possible destination after the Vikings' 33-26 victory over Washington on Saturday. Because the Vikings' schedule was stronger than those played by the Colts or Rams, Minnesota can't select first if all three teams finish 3-13 after next week's games.

The Colts have the inside track if they lose at Jacksonville (4-11) next Sunday, but that isn't a guarantee since Indianapolis has won two in a row, including a victory over Houston on Thursday. Indianapolis would likely take Luck since quarterback Peyton Manning, a four-time MVP and future Hall of Famer, has missed the entire season with a neck injury.

The Rams will get the No. 1 pick if Indianapolis beats Jacksonville and they lose at home to San Francisco, which is still playing for the No. 2 seeding and a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.

If St. Louis gets the pick, expect a shopping frenzy to ensue since the Rams took quarterback Sam Bradford with their first selection in the 2010 draft.

Luck, who returned to Stanford this fall despite knowing he would've been among the top picks last spring when Carolina selected quarterback Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick, is considered the most NFL-ready of a slew of quarterbacks to enter the league recently, including Andy Dalton of Cincinnati, Christian Ponder of Minnesota, Blaine Gabbert of Jacksonville, Tim Tebow of Denver, Bradford and Newton.


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--Dan Loumena

Photo: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck on the sidelines at Oregon State in November. Credit: Greg Wahl-Stephens / Associated Press