"It's a new era, it's a new beginning," said Colts general manager Ryan Grigson, minutes after the selection. "Really, it's exciting and we got our guy. He's the one we feel is going to take us where we want to go with this thing. He shares the same vision that we all do, so we're excited."
Both quarterbacks grew up with NFL-playing fathers, left their home states to attend college, returned for one more college season when the "experts" thought they should have jumped to the NFL and then finished as Heisman Trophy runner-ups. Luck will even have the same tutors Manning had. Bruce Arians, who was Manning's first NFL quarterbacks coach, is back as Indianapolis' offensive coordinator, and former offensive coordinator Clyde Christensen is now the Colts quarterback coach.
"It is scary how similar it is," Arians said Thursday after a morning minicamp workout. "Their styles, their personalities, their styles as players, it's all the same."
Hours before the draft, Arians told NFL Network's Albert Breer that the team sees Luck as a starter from Day 1.
"Ain't no doubt," Arians said.
Luck was projected as the top player available in the 2011 NFL Draft but surprised some by returning to school. As a redshirt junior, he had the Cardinal poised to make a national championship run until a November loss to Oregon. And though he finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Robert Griffin III, most scouts still ranked Luck the best player in this draft class. That group included the Colts, who told Luck he would be their pick last week.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association have agreed to the basic terms of the rookie salary pool, NFL Network's Albert Breer reported earlier Thursday, which will make it possible for Luck and the Colts to begin discussing his contract.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.