Lost in part because of all the silliness surrounding Jeff Saturday's 'outcoached' comments last week, Adam Schefter went on the ESPN Football Today podcast last Thursday and said that the Colts actively shopped 2010 first round pick Jerry Hughes prior to the NFL's trading deadline.
They got no takers.
Hughes was the 31st pick overall that year, and he has done little to justify his draft stock. Last year this time, we posed the question as to whether Jerry Hughes was already a bust. He was a healthy scratch in six games last year, a telling stat considering all the injuries Indianapolis had. He finished 2010 with 6 total tackles in 12 games. This year, he has 5 total tackles and one sack in six games. Numbers like that are dreadful for a first round pick. Thus, the Polians are trying to trade him.
I'll state the obvious, just in case: When a team is trying to trade a first round pick from just two years ago, that means they've given up on that player.
Today, in Indy's 27-10 loss to the Titans, the key play of the day was a blocked punt in the second quarter that the Titans recovered for a touchdown. Hughes was the player who whiffed on his blocking assignment, allowing the rusher to swoop in and swat Pat McAfee's attempt.
I feel a little sorry for Hughes because it's now clear he was drafted by a team that is completely dysfunctional, from the top down. The former-TCU pass rushing standout is much more effective at the NFL level as a stand-up pass rusher at the LBer position, not with his hand on the ground as a DE. He doesn't fit in here, and that's not necessarily his fault. The people in the front office are the ones who get paid to bring in the right players who work within the systems Indy utilizes.
When the preseason ended, the Colts reportedly cut standout rusher John Chick, who had played well, because so much money was wrapped up in Jerry Hughes. Chick opted not to sign on the Colts practice squad and, instead, went to the Jaguars. He was promoted to their active roster early in the year, and already has made an impact with 5 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.
If Colts fans want to know why this team is currently 0-8, the simple-minded excuse is Peyton Manning's injury. But, while not having No. 18 is indeed a factor, it's poor drafting and BAD talent evaluation that are the major reasons why this Colts team is the worst in football.
That's what I think.
It's what Paul Kuharsky thinks.
It's what everyone who isn't Bill Polian's waterboy thinks.