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Andrew Luck will be Indianapolis Colts' first pick in NFL draft

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's been considered a fait accompli for two years that Andrew Luck would become the first pick in the NFL draft. It's been out there for a week that the Indianapolis Colts have come to the conclusion that everyone thought they would.

And now it's official.

New Colts general manager Ryan Grigson announced Tuesday that the team will indeed do what's been expected since it locked up the first pick on Jan. 1 and draft the Stanford quarterback on Thursday night.

"In fairness to him, in the whole process and the media gauntlet he's going to be enduring over the next couple days, I thought it was the right thing to do to announce we're going to take him," Grigson said. "I didn't see the point in prolonging what the world already knew. It's about Andrew. We wanted to do the right thing by him."

The Colts insisted that, despite the widespread belief Luck has been destined to be the first overall pick for two years, their decision wasn't as simple as it might have seemed.

But it was always easy to read the tea leaves. Luck was invited to visit Indianapolis, and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin was not. Luck privately worked out on campus for the Colts, and Griffin declined to work out for any team.

"We did our due diligence and studied them like heck," new Colts coach Chuck Pagano said of the quarterbacks. "Everybody thought this was the foregone conclusion. And really, on behalf of the kid and in trying to make things a little easier on his part, we (decided to go ahead) and make it official, and get it out there that he's our guy."

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Pagano didn't hold back in explaining why Luck was the choice.

"The intangibles are off the charts, you know the skill set, you've seen his body of work," Pagano said. "He's a gym rat, he's a football junkie. He's big, he's strong, he's physical. He can make every throw out there. And he's a great leader in his own way. We all know the story about the SC game and him coming out at halftime and doing what he did.

"We've got a great one. We've got a great one for years to come. And it's another piece of the puzzle that we feel really good about, obviously."

Luck will be at the Colts' rookie minicamp in the first week of May, but he will not be able to participate in any other parts of the offseason program until after he completes the spring quarter at Stanford, because of NFL rules on underclassmen and graduation.

Pagano said Luck is expected to wrap up his classwork June 7. The architectural design major is taking two classes this spring and plans to walk with his graduating class June 17. He'll attend the Colts' mandatory minicamp, set for June 12-14, in between, but he will miss most, if not all, of Indianapolis' organized team activities.

"We'll try to get Stanford to change their rules and get off the quarters system, so we can get him here for the offseason program," Pagano jokingly said. "He's champing at the bit. We're champing at the bit. (Offensive coordinator) Bruce (Arians) and (quarterbacks coach) Clyde (Christensen) and everyone on offense is champing at the bit to get him here and get him going. But his football IQ is off the charts, so I don't think it'll take very long for him to pick things up and get going."

And the coach -- and just about everyone else in the building -- can't wait to start working with Luck.

"I know this -- on any level, if you don't have a quarterback, it's really, really hard to win, especially in the National Football League," Pagano said. "I'm going to sleep well at night knowing that we have a quarterback for a long time."

Follow Albert Breer on Twitter @AlbertBreer

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