The practical value of trading the top pick in the NFL draft doesn’t add up, Indianapolis Colts vice chairman Bill Polian told Adam Schein and Rich Gannon on SiriusXM NFL Radio Tuesday.
“I can’t imagine that there are players that we could afford under the salary cap that would come in and help our team, veteran players that would be available in such a trade. And if you traded it for picks, which you probably would be wise to do, those picks would be very high picks, the highest picks perhaps, in a lot of future years, which means that they wouldn’t be on the team in the short run.
“Somehow or other, that theory, people have asked me about that, but it doesn’t hold water with me. I don’t know what you get out of it. If you’re assuming that you trade one of the top three picks in the draft for a bunch of second- and third-rounders in that same draft, I don’t buy that one at all.”
Sounds like if Polian is in place as the head of the Colts going forward, we can scratch trading the top overall pick off the list of possibilities.
He took on a few other key topics too.
On coach Jim Caldwell: Polian said everyone realizes the hand Caldwell has been dealt, wants him to do well and is rooting for him. But ultimately owner Jim Irsay makes the decisions on everyone’s future in evaluations that begin as soon as the season ends.
“He’ll have his point of view and we’ll answer the questions he poses to us,” Polian said. “… We need to give him an appropriate answer for what’s occurred and what he believes to be appropriate plans for going forward. And then he’ll make those decisions. He’s the owner and he hires and fires, and I wouldn’t presume to speak for him.”
On any regrets about what led to a 1-13 season: Polian said he didn’t infuse enough young talent into the team at certain positions and, while drafting low comes with challenges, the team should have done better.
“I think our focus could have been -- my focus could have been -- a little sharper in terms of age and potential injury risk," he said. "I regret not putting a bigger microscope on that.”
I know the Colts have actuarial style tables by position that they use to help predict the shelf life of players by position, but it sounds as if those have proven unreliable as the current roster has broken down.
On needs going forward: “I think we can use explosive players, big-play, third-down producers at virtually every position except offensive tackle. …We can use an influx of young talent. Running back we’ve got talent, you could always use a game-breaker there. I really like where we are at safety, but if Bob Sanders came along in another incarnation he’d certainly be welcome. In other positions I would say big-play, third-down playmaking talent at virtually any other position.”
On expectations for a rookie quarterback: He said he's impressed with what Andy Dalton has done in Cincinnati this year but judges the Bengals to be a "pretty complete team."
He's not big on high expectations for a rookie quarterback in a more common scenario like the one the Colts will present.
On an "incomplete" team, "which ours may be for at least another year, then I am not sure that anyone plays particularly well," he said.
On Peyton Manning’s progress: “He is improving, he can throw the ball with good velocity for about 30 to 35 throws in a limited area, 25 to 30 yards. That’s a lot better, almost 100 percent better, than he was in September before he underwent this surgery.”
Polian said Sunday that Manning could practice some next week and it would be for the quarterback to decide. According to Polian, the work would amount to throwing routes to uncovered receivers or pass-catchers working one-on-one against defenders and that such work is “up to him, not critical.”