Is Andrew Luck a ‘can’t-miss’ prospect?

The NFL Draft is full of “misses” throughout its history. But many of those were once thought to be “can’t-miss” prospects.

Such has often been the case with the draft’s highest-profile players — quarterbacks. For every Peyton Manning, there is a Ryan Leaf. For every Donovan McNabb, there are the memories of Tim Couch and Akili Smith.

History suggests the “can’t-miss” label is a tough one to carry around. This year, the names are Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, widely regarded to be the top two picks in the 2012 NFL Draft.

“You never know what will happen in the injury department,” analyst Matt Millen told NFL Network. “You can have a guy come in and he can have all the tools, which Luck clearly does – and RG3 has the same set – and then they go out there, and there are just so many variables at play. Having said that, this guy (Luck) is as close as you’re going to find.”

Having the first overall pick, or those that soon follow, doesn’t make these decisions any easier. As personnel evaluators will admit, there is a high degree of educated gueswork involved.

“There’s no science to saying (Luck) is a shoe-in,” veteran offensive lineman David Diehl said on “NFL Total Access” Monday. “Yes, he is smart. He’s an accurate thrower. He can make the right decisions. This guy was valedictorian in high school. That’s not the question here.

“You really don’t know if these guys are can’t-miss. They have to be in a great situation. They have to have the right supporting pieces around them. These are all factors in a can’t-miss guy. Can’t miss? You can’t put that tag on anyone.”

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