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Merril Hoge says Colts should draft Griffin over Luck

UP2U Gum At DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 04: Former NFL player Merril Hoge poses with UP2U Gum at DIRECTV Celebrity Beach Bowl 2012 at Victory Field on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for UP2U Gum)

Stephen Lovekin

To suggest there might be a better 2012 draft prospect than Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is considered blasphemy in some circles, but ESPN’s Merril Hoge doesn’t shy from bold opinions.

On Wednesday morning’s SportsCenter, Hoge argued vehemently that the Colts would be better off drafting Baylor’s Robert Griffin III than Luck with the No. 1 overall pick.

“I went in thinking it’s gonna be Luck [over] RG3,” conceded Hoge, who says he devoted 120 hours of game-tape watching to both signal callers.

Based strictly on game film, Hoge called Griffin a superior prospect in terms of accuracy, arm strength, and touch. Hoge gave Luck the edge only as a decision maker, because Luck played in a pro-style college offense and is “outstanding at the line of scrimmage.” As for athleticism, Huge says it’s a “push.”

Hoge emphasized that Griffin’s accuracy, particularly on perimeter and downfield throws, is significantly better than Luck’s. “This to me, you have to have. In college you have to display you have accuracy. ... His accuracy outside the numbers -- short, intermediate, vertical -- I was blown away,” Hoge said. “I could not believe the accuracy. He was better than Luck.”

Hoge was also “blown away” by Griffin’s arm strength and velocity. “Luck is good, however [the football] didn’t come out like RG3.”

Hoge said that in “half a heart beat” he would select Griffin over Luck if he was drafting for Indianapolis. “Don’t be shocked if the Colts take RG3. ... Football people will look at this, and they’ll be like ‘holy cow. That kid [Griffin] is unreal.’”