| About us | Privacy Policy | Contact us | Sitemap
Home News Forum Blog Standings Roster Players Schedule Depth Chart Stats Photos Videos
lucas-oil-stadium-home-of-the-indianapolis-colts-1626 Lucas Oil Stadium home of the indianapolis Colts 1626...
All the latest Indianapolis Colts Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.
indianapolis-colts---where-s-peyton-manning- Indianapolis Colts - Where's Peyton Manning?...
All the latest Indianapolis Colts Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.
new-home-of-the-nfl-indianapolis-colts-0047-lucas-oil-stadium-opening New home of the NFL Indianapolis Colts 0047 Lucas Oil Stadium Opening...
All the latest Indianapolis Colts Photos Store photographs. Football NFL.

Indianapolis Colts News

News » Polian, Colts have several options in NFL draft

Polian, Colts have several options in NFL draft

Polian, Colts have several options in NFL draft
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis president Bill Polian is a draft master.

He took Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf and Edgerrin James over Ricky Williams in his first two seasons with the Colts, providing the foundation for a perennial playoff team. He filled in other holes by choosing players such as Reggie Wayne, Dwight Freeney and Dallas Clark outside the top 10. Heck, he even traded out of the first round in 2004 to nab Bob Sanders.

Yet this weekend could be Polian's biggest challenge.

With the Colts undergoing major changes and no certainty about where the NFL's salary cap is headed, Polian knows he cannot afford a costly mistake - anytime, but especially this year.

"If you miss on some high draft choices and you miss on the players of your own that you decide to pay once they're here, then you can't succeed," Polian said in February.

Fortunately for the Colts, Polian's success rate is better than most.

He's discovered gems, like Pro Bowl defensive end Robert Mathis, in the middle rounds. He drafts a year or two into the future, taking players such as receiver Anthony Gonzalez or Clark to fill projected holes left by free agency. He's even found undrafted contributors, such as three-time Pro Bowl center Jeff Saturday and defensive captain Gary Brackett.

But for Polian, this will be a new experience.

Coach Tony Dungy retired in January, turning the reins over to his hand-picked successor Jim Caldwell. The Colts have new defensive and special teams coordinators, which could force Polian to make a few changes when assessing talent. And the franchise's career receiving leader, Marvin Harrison, was released two months ago.

Plus, there were some glaring holes last season.

Indy's run defense ranked among the league's worst after starting defensive tackle Ed Johnson was released in September. Brackett, a linebacker, missed the final month of the season after cracking a bone in his lower left leg, and Freddy Keiaho, another starting linebacker, has not been re-signed.

That means Polian has plenty of options this weekend. The Colts' first-round pick is No. 27 overall.

He could try to give Manning another target to replace Harrison, such as Florida's Percy Harvin or Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey.

"I'll never get another Marvin as long as I live," Polian said. "This doesn't alter our plans measurably. I think Anthony Gonzalez will step in and do a fine job. But there will never be another Marvin."

He could also take a running back after the Colts' two-headed ground game sputtered last season with Joseph Addai nicked up much of the season. Possibilities include Knowshon Moreno and LeSean McCoy.

Polian may draft for need by taking a bigger, stronger defensive tackle to solidify the run defense. The guy at the top of the list may be Mississippi's Peria Jerry.

Or if James Laurinaitis falls to No. 27, Polian may consider the Ohio State linebacker the best player available.

He could even pull another draft day surprise.

But if anyone is capable of adapting, it's Polian.

"You're not that consistent in the later first-round area without having tremendous knowledge and ability to evaluate players and assess a draft board," ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said. "Bill Polian's a Hall of Fame GM."

To Polian, the architect of a Super Bowl championship team, this is the beauty and the downfall of the draft.

While he often says there's a 50 percent success rate in the draft, those numbers don't seem to apply to Polian.

Since he arrived before the 1998 season, Indy has become the first team in league history with 12 wins in six straight seasons and holds the NFL's longest active streak for consecutive playoff appearances (seven).


Indy's top choices the last 11 years all became starters, ranging from the three-time MVP quarterback to the 2007 defensive player of the year.

Caldwell is eager to get a more hands-on look at how Polian works his magic.

"I was more an observer in the past, and now I'm more of a participant," Caldwell said.

One thing will not change.

Polian will seek players who fit the system, who add something to the team, who are smart and dedicated. And if they don't have those traits, they almost certainly will not be Colts.

"Nothing is static in the National Football League," Polian said. "What you have to do is see where the trends are going and what you feel is appropriate for your club."

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 22, 2009

Corey Hilliard Name: Corey Hilliard
Position: OL
Age: 23
Experience: 2 years
College: Oklahoma State
Copyright © ramshome.com, Inc. All rights reserved 2018.