Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin's professional quarterback set the NFL rookie record for passer rating while tying Peyton Manning's rookie record for touchdown passes last season. It's his college quarterback, though, whom Baldwin believes can become the greatest of all time.
"I'm on the record as saying Andrew Luck can be the greatest quarterback who ever played the game of football," Baldwin said Wednesday, via ESPN.com. "I've seen him do some unbelievable things that I still can't believe a quarterback was able to do. I have tremendous respect for that guy."
Baldwin's allegiance to Luck doesn't mean he is selling Russell Wilson short.
"They're both very good quarterbacks," Baldwin explained. "They're both highly intelligent, both make plays with their feet and both have great arms. I don't want to take it any further than that."
While Baldwin's comments will certainly be viewed in some corners as undeserving and premature, he's hardly alone in his assessment. Entering the league, Luck was touted by various outlets as the best prospect since Peyton Manning, the best prospect since John Elway, the best prospect ever and the most NFL-ready prospect in history.
In my offseason review of the Indianapolis Colts' 2012 NFL Draft class, I nonchalantly labeled Luck a future Hall of Famer. Gregg Rosenthal predicted that Luck will become a future legend of the game.
To what end should players, coaches, analysts and Average Joes wait until conventional wisdom catches up before forecasting greatness? It's anathema to the function of prognostication.
Luck combines many of the best traits from Manning and Elway. It's not crazy to espouse the belief that he will one day surpass their greatness.