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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Niners DT: Andrew Luck Would Not be Top Pick if he Played in SEC

Andrew Luck is such a strong NFL prospect there are teams privately happy to be playing poorly this season. Many franchises feel that being able to choose the Stanford quarterback in the draft will be a turning point for their organization. Luck is the consensus top pick, and widely regarded as one of the best quarterback prospects in recent history.

But one person isn’t too impressed by Luck, and feels that if the Heisman contender played in the SEC, he wouldn’t even be the top overall pick.

49ers defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois, who went to LSU (pictured above in his college days), says he is a big college football fan. When asked about a potential Stanford-LSU national championship game, he began pumping up the SEC and knocking Luck.

“[A Stanford-LSU title game] will never happen,” Francois said in response to a reporter’s question Tuesday. “If it happens, Luck’s draft stock will fall. If he plays an SEC team, his stock will fall. I ain’t got nothing against him. He’s a Pac-12 guy. I’m not a Pac 12 fan at all, I’m an SEC guy. But if he ever plays against an SEC school, Alabama, LSU, that draft stock is going to fall. That will be one game they just don’t show the scouts.”

Francois insisted Luck would not be drafted number one overall if he had to play an SEC team.

“He won’t. I can say that hands down. I can say that from past experience seeing Brady Quinn when he played us in the Sugar Bowl. He was a Heisman Trophy candidate and possibly the No. 1 pick. You seen that change real quick. JaMarcus actually became the No. 1 pick and his (Quinn’s) draft stock dropped to … I can’t even remember. Andrew Luck – good quarterback. Good guy in the Pac 12. But playing against an SEC school – that won’t work too well for him.”

The closest Luck has come to facing a powerhouse defense is when he destroyed Virginia Tech defense in the Orange Bowl last year. But that was an ACC team, not an SEC team. In addition to Quinn, you can point to Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith who had a disastrous championship game against Florida — the type you don’t want to show scouts.

I’m sure people will be quick to rip Francois for going against the consensus, but he does have a point. The best defenses in college football tend to come from the SEC. If Luck had to play LSU or Alabama, maybe he wouldn’t look like such a stud. But I don’t think that would change whether he’s going to be the top overall pick. Scouts and teams have seen enough from him over three years to believe he’s going to be special. Only time will tell who is correct, but we appreciate someone who has an opinion that defies conventional beliefs.

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