Former Indianapolis Colts general manager Bill Polian claims he and his scouts gave Tom Brady a first-round grade back in 2000.
You know, the year in which Brady wasn’t picked up until the sixth round by the New England Patriots?
During in interview with Doug Farrar of SI.com, Polian revealed the Colts did have a first-round grade on Brady, but that, obviously, they weren’t in the market for a quarterback at that time. Farrar asked Polian if there were any quarterbacks the Colts would have taken in Round 1 if not for Manning being on board already.
“Well, (Ben) Roethlisberger later on (in 2004) — we were really high on him. Aaron Rodgers the year after,” Polian said. “That’s the only name that comes to mind right away. And I don’t think there was a guy in between, but Tom Brady would have been a guy, and we were very high on him. Our guys really loved him, but we weren’t in the quarterback market, obviously. Those would be the guys I remember us giving solid, first-round, can-lead-you-to-a-championship grades.”
Surely Mr. Polian is just misremembering things, right?
After all, the Colts did have just a few more chances other than in Round 1 to have picked Brady up on the cheap, if he was ranked that high on their board. Heck, even taking him in Round 3 or 4, so as to not disturb Peyton Manning’s confidence, would have been smart, if indeed he was a first-round player on their board.
The former GM doesn’t remember exactly where he had Brady ranked, but noted it “was a very high grade.”
Perhaps Polian is telling the truth. After all, he was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame for his work as a front-office man with the Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Colts.
But if he is being completely honest, then Polian knew something nobody else did back in 2000. Brady wasn’t viewed as anyone worth watching when he came out of Michigan, and all 32 teams skipped him over in that draft at least five times, including the Colts.