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Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Assessing Colts drafting late in first round

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

It’s easy to look at the Colts’ recent drafts and complain about the lack of stars at the top.

I’m guilty of it.

But the context of what Colts vice chairman Bill Polian and GM Chris Polian have done is important. Drafting late in the first round so consistently severely limits the chances at big hits.

The draft structure is designed, of course, to help bad teams get good and to make it difficult for good teams to stay good.

Indianapolis’ good results have meant that it has not drafted higher than 22nd since 2002.

Writes Ajit Kirpekarat on 18to88.com in a breakdown of how the Colts have done with less than premium picks:
“[S]ince 1998, the year Polian was hired as GM of the Colts, the average draft position of all 32 teams was 16th (which should make sense given that there are 32 teams and 32 draft positions). In that period, the Colts average pick was 23rd, or easily the worst draft position average of all 32 teams, with [New England] the next worst at 21st."

I don’t think the Colts have done as well as they could have in recent drafts.

But I’ve revised my thinking some. I am now inclined to emphasize that it’s unreasonable to suggest they should have continued a streak of home runs when they were drafting in the 20s and 30s so consistently.

They’re heading for the top five in the 2012 draft. That pick’s got to be a home run.