After months of waiting and analyzing, Andrew Luck finally is a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
The Colts selected the former Stanford quarterback with the No. 1 overall pick on Thursday night, making him the heir to the throne Peyton Manning vacated when the Colts released Manning earlier this offseason.
The Washington Redskins had the No. 2 selection and will take former Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
The Cleveland Browns will pick third after giving up the No. 4 overall choice in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings. Cleveland also will give Minnesota a fourth-, fifth- and seventh-round pick in this year's draft.
Luck was expected to go No. 1 in 2011 before returning to school for his fourth college season. His resume looks like an exact replica of Manning's -- both stayed in school one year longer than expected, both finished as Heisman Trophy runner-ups and both had fathers who played quarterback in the NFL.
Now it will be up to Luck, considered the best quarterback prospect since Manning, to replace the league's only four-time MVP for an organization that had gotten used to winning before careening a 2-14 mark in 2011 as Manning missed the entire season with a neck injury.
The lowly mark that earned the Colts the right to select Luck, also cost many of the team's decision-makers their jobs. Before releasing Manning on March 7 to avoid paying him a hefty bonus, owner Jim Irsay replaced the father-son front office tandem of Bill and Chris Polian with Ryan Grigson in January. Grigson then brought in new coach Chuck Pagano to replace the fired Jim Caldwell.
While Luck's selection at No. 1 has been all-but-assured for over a year, Griffin's rise has been meteoric. The exuberant and fun-loving Griffin rocketed from fringe first-round pick a year ago to Heisman Trophy winner, beating out Luck among others for the coveted award given to college football's best player.
The Redskins and coach Mike Shanahan were so enthralled by Griffin that seven weeks ago they sent the sixth overall choice this year to the St. Louis Rams, along with a second-rounder and first-round picks in 2013 and 2014, for the rights to the No. 2 pick.
Like the process that led to their selections, both Luck and Griffin's rookie contracts will be fairly routine. Luck will sign a four-year contract expected to be worth just more than $22 million based on the deal that Carolina signed No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton to last season in relation to the NFL's salary cap.
The NFL and the NFL Players Association are still massaging this season's cap, which is expected to increase by just $225,000 (0.187 percent) from 2011, which means the rookie pool will increase by the same amount.
Griffin is expected to sign a contract that closely resembles the four-year deal that 2011 No. 2 pick Von Miller signed with Denver.