History has a funny way of being distorted by time. And Bill Polian’s comments about Tom Brady are landing squarely in the realm of “heavy distortion” area.
The former Colts GM, who made headlines recently with his , has now doubled down on his claim that he knew Tom Brady would be really good coming out of college.
Polian, when asked by NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano what quarterbacks he liked while scouting in recent history, pointed out that behind Peyton Manning, Jimmy Garoppolo was the best he’s scouted in recent memory but that Tom Brady was “obviously” a great prospect.
“Brady, obviously, when he came out was pretty darn good,” Polian said.
This is pretty absurd, considering that Brady fell to the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft until the Patriots reluctantly -- -- plucked him up. If Polian was really high on Brady, he probably should have, you know, drafted him.
Polian’s made this claim before, however. Via Stephen Ruiz of For the Win, Polian once told Sports Illustrated the Colts had a first-round grade on Brady when he was coming out of Michigan.
“Well, Roethlisberger later on [in 2004] -- we were really high on him. Aaron Rodgers the year after. That’s the only name that comes to mind right away,” Polian said. “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.”
The logic here for Polian to explain not drafting a “can-lead-you-to-a-championship” guy in Brady is that, we suppose, the Colts already had Manning on the roster. There was no need for a second championship-caliber quarterback when you already had one.
But let’s be real: if Polian truly believed Brady was a first-round talent who could win titles, not drafting him before the sixth round in the 2000 NFL Draft is one of the all-time draft mistakes. Brady has won five titles -- and counting -- with at least three of those coming at the expense of Polian’s Colts teams. There was at least one other instance where the Patriots went to the Super Bowl (2007) when Polian and Manning were on the Colts.
At some point with Brady sitting there, Polian, if he really believed Brady was a first-round pick, should have pulled the trigger on the Michigan quarterback.
Oddly enough, Polian’s Colts selected another Michigan player, defensive tackle Josh Williams, with a fourth-round pick (122nd overall) in a prime spot to take Brady if he really believed that. Williams played in 73 games in his career. Brady has 63 passing touchdowns in his playoff career.
So the reality is either that Polian is full of it and didn’t believe Brady was a top pick or that the Colts cost themselves a championship or two because he didn’t draft for value.