This year's Indianapolis Colts rookie camp deserves its own theme: Andrew Luck's Rookie Reunion.
After drafting Luck and Stanford tight end Coby Fleener with their first two picks in last week's NFL Draft, the Colts signed Stanford wide receiver Griff Whalen as one of 15 rookie free agents.
So Luck will have some familiar targets for his first weekend of passes as a Colt from Friday through Sunday at the Colts practice complex on Indy's west side.
“You are always looking for playmakers,” Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Sunday, looking back at the draft. “You want to surround your No.1 pick with (playmakers). We said all along (Luck) doesn't have to carry this whole thing on his shoulders. You try to surround him with as many guys as you can, and we certainly did that. Guys that can score touchdowns, you can't have enough of them.”
The Colts are expected to have 25 players at rookie camp, and nine of them are skill position players: Luck, Fleener, Whalen, tight end Dwayne Allen, receivers T.Y. Hilton, LaVon Brazill and Jabi Sambrano and quarterback Chandler Harnish.
Fleener and Whalen are the most familiar with Luck, but other players are eager to develop rapport with the new quarterback.
“He's been touted as the top quarterback in the draft, and all of college football, so I'm ecstatic to catches passes from him,” Allen said. “Of course with all the media coverage he had throughout his junior season, I've been able to watch some of his games and see how much he loves the tight end. So, hopefully, that love translates to his NFL game.”
This week will be the only official practice time for Luck with the Colts until he graduates from Stanford in June. He is allowed, under the rules, to have unofficial workouts with other Colts offsite, perhaps in California or at Miami where wide receiver Reggie Wayne lives.
At any rate, he knows there remain areas he needs to work in preparation for the season.
“I've got to get back to throwing a good deep ball,” Luck said. “I think that comes, too, with reps with the receivers and sort of feeling each other out and seeing the differences between all of our guys. Then, (the receivers) seeing how I throw and all of that good stuff. But that will come with reps and time, and I am looking forward to getting going with the guys.”
Luck said he has already investigated the possibility of finding some places to work with receivers while he's finishing up at Stanford.
"Absolutely, we're trying to be very creative," Luck said. "I've gotten a couple of texts from Reggie about it. We're trying to organize some things. There is so much going on leading up to this and I didn't really have much time to sit down and think, but I'll definitely talk to coach Clyde (Christensen), coach (Bruce) Arians, and the receivers.
"I guess they are learning the playbook, too, right now, as well. It'd be nice to let that sink in with the guys, so they can help me with some of the stuff when we get together.”