The Indianapolis Colts will select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in this week's National Football League (NFL) Draft, the team confirmed on Tuesday.
Luck is widely considered to be the most polished college quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning, the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player he will replace in Indianapolis.
"In fairness to Andrew Luck and in fairness to the whole process - the media gauntlet he's going to be enduring the next couple days - I thought it was the right thing to do to announce that we are going to take him," Colts General Manager Ryan Grigson told reporters in a video posted on the team's website.
"Didn't see the point in prolonging what the world already knows pretty much."
The Colts gained the top draft pick in Thursday's opening round pick after compiling an NFL-worst 2-14 record last season as Manning missed the entire campaign following neck surgery.
With Luck available, Indianapolis decided not to exercise their option to bring back the 36-year-old Manning, who ended up signing a five-year, $96 million deal with the Denver Broncos.
(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)