Back in April of 2010, the Colts spent a 5th round pick on Oklahoma tight end Brody Eldridge. In the four rounds prior to taking Eldridge - a player the Colts would eventually release just two years later - Indianapolis did what every other team, save one, did: They passed on talented Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Hernandez eventually was selected by Indianapolis' AFC rival, the New England Patriots, in the 4th round at pick No. 113 overall.
According to former Colts president and vice chairman Bill Polian, who presided over that draft in 2010 for Indianapolis, the reason Indy passed on Hernandez, who won the John Mackey Award for the nation's top collegiate tight end for the 2009 season, was (shock) character issues.
Here's Polian talking to the Wall Street Journal, via PFT:
Bill Polian, former general manager of the Indianapolis Colts, said his team was looking for a tight end at the 2010 draft, but steered clear of Hernandez. "There were questions there, which is why a guy of that talent lasted until the fourth round," he said. The Colts, he added, "never got that far" in their evaluation of the player. "We were not in the Hernandez business."
Hernandez's issues at Florida had more to due with his attitude and drugs, not murder, which is what the now-former Patriots tight end is facing charges for presently.
Polian is the second person to come out recently and publicly state that Hernandez's "red flags" at Florida were a concern. Bengals owner Mike Brown said his team wasn't comfortable with Hernandez’s history before the 2010 NFL Draft.
Hindsight is 20/20. Past is prologue. All those phrases like get tossed around by general managers and owners whenever they screw-up on selecting a player. But, when it's shown that a player they passed on turns out to be a potential murdering psychopath, these same football experts flaunt how they "had concerns" about his "character flaws" from his college days.
Meanwhile, Brody Eldridge didn't have character issues. He just sucked.