Bill Polian Admits Drafting Jerry Hughes Over Rodger Saffold Was A Mistake

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 14: Carson Palmer #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals tries to avoid Jerry Hughes #92 of the Indianapolis Colts during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 14 2010 in Indianapolis Indiana. The Colts won 23-17. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

While listening to the Bill Polian Radio Show tonight, it was just kind of the run-of-the-mill show after a loss.  Polian explained some things that went wrong, the general mood of the team, how the team will bounce back on the short week, etc.  Then, with about 10 minutes to go in the show, a caller asked him about the big discussions on 1070 The Fan all day, about whether the Colts should have taken an OT in the draft last season.  I don't have the quotes yet (posted tomorrow), but I'll paraphrase what he said:

When we did our evaluations on Saffold, we felt he would be a Right Tackle, and we really liked Hughes, so we drafted Hughes.  In hindsight, however, we should have taken Saffold.  He's been great this season.  Hindsight is always 20/20.

Again, those aren't exact, but he made his intentions very clear.  My mouth dropped when I heard that, and immediately had the following thoughts:

  • Polian clearly doesn't think RTs should be taken that high in the draft.  The Packers used a pick in the low 20's to take Bryan Bulaga, who was also going to be a RT.
  • Is he using this as motivation to the underachieving Hughes, who hasn't done much of anything all year, other than a couple good plays in the Texans MNF game?
  • That's really early to be making that kind of statement.  Saffold's faced very few elite DEs as of yet.

Also, earlier in the show, he talked about how much he missed on Tony Ugoh, so I'm thinking that decision weighed heavily in the Saffold/Hughes decision.  Ugoh was projected to be a LT, so it makes sense why he was willing to give up a first round pick for him.  As it stands now, it really sucks if he was trigger shy on taking an OT, especially a RT.

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