Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning


Andrew Luck vs. Peyton Manning

Its hard to overstate the greatness of Andrew Luck.

Stanford plays Colorado this weekend, and the Buffaloes head coach, Jon Embree, said he wished Luck had just entered the draft last year. But since he didnt, heres the silver lining Embree gave to his football team:

For those of you that will not get an opportunity to play professional football, youre going to get an opportunity to see what its like going against Peyton Manning.

Embree probably thought he was giving Luck the highest praise possible, but he was engaging in understatement. Luck is better than Peyton Manning -- hes a better college quarterback, and hes a better NFL prospect. Hes Manning-plus.

Heres how Luck compares to Manning: Hes big like Peyton. Hes accurate like Peyton. And now hes calling his own plays during two-minute drills just like Peyton.

PREVIEW: Colorado vs. No. 7 Stanford

But heres how he surpasses Manning: He can actually move. Hes a mobile quarterback. He can avoid a sack, he can scramble, and he can lower his shoulder and bounce defenders like Tim Tebow or Josh Freeman or Cam Newton.

He also can throw when hes running. Sometimes he stands in the pocket and throws soft-touch passes like Joe Montana used to, and sometimes he rolls out of the pocket and fires bullets on the run off one leg like Aaron Rodgers does every week.

He looks like a shortstop firing to first base after scooping up a weak ground ball. Its the most athletic throw in football, and Luck makes it look easy.

He can also catch passes, as we saw last week. He caught a ball over his shoulder one-handed next to the sideline, and it was such a difficult catch, he might be the only player on the Stanford football team who could make the play.

Andrew Luck is a complete football player. He can execute everything on the field that a player could possibly execute -- a block, a play call, a throw, a catch, a run, anything. He could be a first-round pick at tight end or linebacker.

The most accurate label for Luck might be The Greatest NFL Quarterback Prospect of All-Time, but thats probably an understatement, too.

Freelance writer Grant Cohn is a regular contributor to

Giants Notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday


Giants Notes: Span feeling better, hopes to return to lineup Wednesday

CHICAGO -- Joe Panik's leadoff homer in the series opener was a jolt, but the Giants are a much more dangerous offense when Denard Span is clicking atop the lineup, a spot ahead of Panik, and they hope to have that duo going Wednesday. Span got treatment all day Tuesday and said he could return to the lineup against Kyle Hendricks. 

"The swelling has gone down," Span said of his sprained left thumb. "The thing to do is to come in tomorrow, test it out, and if it feels good, you strap it on."

Span said an X-ray came back clean, but he didn't grab a bat Tuesday to test the thumb, focusing instead on treatment. He is batting .326 in nine games since coming off the DL. His replacement in center this week, Gorkys Hernandez, was 0-for-3 against Jon Lester, lowering his average to .160. 

--- The main story from the second game of this series: Johnny Cueto is now dealing with a second blister, and you can see the lack of movement on his pitches. The Cubs took advantage. Lester didn't need much help while throwing a 99-pitch complete game in two hours and five minutes. 

"He threw a lot more changeups than we've seen in the past," Buster Posey said. "He's shown it in the past but tonight he had good command of it. It wasn't just a show-me pitch. He used it a lot and threw it to lefties as well.

Posey twice grounded short rollers in front of the plate.

--- Posey's throw to nab Javy Baez on Monday was one of the best of the year, and on Tuesday afternoon, Bruce Bochy said, "If he's given a chance, I don't think there's anyone better in the game." That might be true, but Willson Contreras is threatening to get into the conversation. He threw an 85 mph rocket to second in the fifth to nab Eduardo Nuñez. If you're wondering how Lester -- who flat-out has the yips about throwing to first base and doesn't do it -- has allowed just six stolen bases this season, look no further than his young catcher. Long-term, Contreras is the guy I would expect to compete with Posey for Gold Gloves. 

"Nuney, with his speed, can go," Bochy said. "Their catcher made a great throw. Put it right on the money."

--- From before Tuesday's game, what do the relievers think of the new hidden bullpen at Wrigley? And if you missed the Power Rankings the other day, the records are outdated, but there are updates in here on old friends Matt Duffy, Chris Heston, Tommy Joseph, Adalberto Mejia, Yusmeiro Petit and others. Petit in particular is incredible ... just keeps doing his thing. 

--- This play was made by the shortstop. That's good for the old UZR.

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

Report: Warriors assistant GM on verge of becoming Hawks GM

The Warriors are reportedly about to lose a member of their front office.

The Hawks picked Golden State assistant GM Travis Schlenk to become the team's new general manager, and the two sides are discussing contract terms, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Last September, after five seasons as assistant GM, Schlenk was promoted to vice president of basketball operations/assistant general manager.

In his 13th season with the Warriors, Schlenk assists in the management of all day-to-day basketball operations, including all player-related matters.

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, he served as Golden State's director of player personnel. Before joining the front office, Schlenk spent five years as an assistant coach and video scout for the Warriors, having originally joined the organization prior to the 2004-05 season as a video scout.

More to come...

Golden State Warriors media services contributed to this story