Andrew Luck will be the number one pick in the NFL draft Thursday night, making him the 31st quarterback to go first overall, and the 10th in the last 12 years. It's a unique fraternity that comes with prestige, money and huge expectations. Mike Vick knows this, having gone number one overall to the Falcons in 2001, beginning a string of five years in which a QB was the first to hear his name called in New York.
(With Luck's expected selection Thursday, it will bring the current streak of top pick quarterbacks to four).
Vick and several other number one overall QBs spoke to the NFL Network about all that goes along with the honor of being chosen first. The interviews are part of a four-part series, The Ones, airing this week. Vick, who has admitted to not studying very hard with Atlanta recommended that any QB taken first get in his playbook.
"Make sure you study," Vick told the network. "I would have studied more. You've got to be in that book and you've got to understand the concepts and what you're doing as a team and what you want to get accomplished at the end of the day."
He also said there is little patience for first overall picks, who are expected to elevate their franchises. Vick and ex-Cowboy Troy Aikman both said the pressure was truly ratcheted up in year two.
"Going into my second year, the pressure was on, I understood that year, we had to go to the playoffs," Vick said.
He got the Falcons into the postseason that year, beating the Packers in Green Bay before losing to the Eagles, and he went to the NFC title game in 2004, where he again lost to the Eagles. Vick hasn't been as deep into the playoffs since.
Vick also remembered the joy of going first.
"I'll never forget my mom jumping for joy," he said. "It was probably hard for her to believe that it was actually happening, so that hug was still tighter than the ones I got growing up."
It's a feeling of excitement and accomplishment few have experienced, and one Luck should enjoy shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.
(The Ones is airing on NFL Network's NFL Total Access at 7 p.m. this week and Thursday at 1 p.m. as part of their pre-draft show)