INDIANAPOLIS — A person with direct knowledge of the situation says the Indianapolis Colts are taking Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 pick in next week's NFL draft.
The team has informed Luck that he will replace Peyton Manning in Indy. The person spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity because the team has not publicly disclosed its plans. ESPN.com first reported the move.
Luck has been expected to be the top pick since he returned for his junior season with the Cardinal last year. The Colts got the first pick after a dismal 2-14 season, and Manning has since joined the Denver Broncos after missing all year recovering from neck surgery.
If the Colts take Luck, the Washington Redskins are expected to take Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III with the second pick next Thursday night.
Luck, a two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up, is an obvious choice to replace Manning.
A pro-style pocket quarterback, Luck threw for 35 touchdowns last season — breaking his school record of 32 a year ago — and eclipsed John Elway's career record (77) at Stanford with 80 touchdown passes in only three years.
He finished with 3,170 yards passing, a 70 percent completion percentage and only nine interceptions without the benefit of an elite wide receiver. In a 41-38 Fiesta Bowl loss to Oklahoma State, Luck was brilliant again, going 27 of 31 passing for 347 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
While the Colts sent a larger contingent of scouts to Griffin's pro day, it was Luck who had a private workout for the Colts and traveled to Indianapolis for a personal interview.
Luck will be far from the only new face in Indy.
New general manager Ryan Grigson replaced the father-son front office tandem of Bill and Chris Polian in January, then brought in new coach Chuck Pagano to replace the fired Jim Caldwell. Pagano has almost an entirely new staff, and some players have even found new spots for their lockers.
The biggest change, of course, is not seeing No. 18 around town.
Manning was released March 7, a move designed to help quicken the rebuilding process that will now be led by Luck. Two days later, the Colts cut other veterans including defensive captains Gary Brackett and Melvin Bullitt, Pro Bowl tight end Dallas Clark and running back Joseph Addai. Longtime center Jeff Saturday, receiver Pierre Garcon and backup tight end Jacob Tamme all left in free agency.