"With the 44th pick of the 2004 NFL draft the Colts select, defensive back, from the University of Iowa, Bob Sanders"
Oh yeah, that's why.
The 2003 Colts were the stereotypical Manning Colts team. #2 offense, led by the passing game with a below average defense. Edge James returned to being an effective back, rushing for 1259 yards at 4.1 YPC with 11 TDs. Peyton fixed the final flaw in his game by nearly halving his interception %, throwing only 10 in 566 attempts (for a nearly 3 to 1 TD:INT ratio). Marvin Harrison made the Pro Bowl, Reggie Wayne put up 838 yards and 7 TDs. Brandon Stokley and Dallas Clark were outproduced by the immortal Troy Walters-Marcus Pollard combo. The future Colts starters combined for 551 yards and 4 TDs while adjusting to the offense. While the 2004 starters at TE and slot WR put up 997 yards with 6 TDs.
The defense regressed from it's 2003 level to 20th in the league. Dwight Freeney racked up 11 sacks and forced 4 more fumbles to bring his first two season totals to 24 and 13. Raheem Brock took over for Chad Bratzke at LE while Bratzke moved into a situational role. Brock recovered 3 fumbles and made 2 sacks. David Thornton stepped into Mike Peterson's shoes without any problems. Marcus Washington knew it was a contract year forcing 3 fumbles and making 6 sacks in his last year with the Colts. Undrafted rookie Gary Brackett played in all 16 games getting a INT and a sack. Two new starters moved into the lineup. Mike Doss and Nick Harper. Harper picked off 4 passes and finished second on the team in tackles (to another new starter David Thornton). Doss forced 3 fumbles, an INT and finished 3rd in tackles. FS Idrees Bashir missed half the season with an injury.
Marcus Washington left in free agency leaving the Colts with a hole at LB, a MLB who doesn't fit the system, a bad run D, 3 young DBs and an old #1 CB.
Four players were drafted in 2004 have made an All Pro team. Just one was drafted in the first round. Only one has been selected as an All Pro twice. He was not the first round pick. Five of the 1st rounders have made multiple Pro Bowls. Larry Fitzgerald, Sean Taylor, DeAngelo Hall, Tommie Harris and Shaun Andrews (the AP selection).
After 43 picks that returned one all pro and 5 multiple time Pro Bowlers, with the 44th pick after trading back out of the first round the Colts drafted a safety out of Iowa who had fallen despite an impressive college career due to his height and injury history. Sanders is the only 2004 draft pick be a 2 time All Pro and was named the 2007 DPOY. After Sanders three Pro Bowlers were taken before the Colts next pick.
- #64 DT Darnell Dockett- 1 PB, 3 INT, 15 sacks, 4 year starter
- #65 K Nate Kaeding- 1 PB, Highest career FG% in NFL history
- #66 C Nick Hardwick- 1 PB, 4 year starter
With back to back 3rd round picks Polian proved he isn't perfect. Ben Hartsock and Gilbert Gardner. Hartsock has less than 250 career yards and Gardner was benched for sucking in his one season as a starter. One Pro Bowler, a pass rusher with 31 sacks in 4 years and four players that have started at least 3 of 4 seasons.
- #81 TE Chris Cooley- 1 PB, Captain Chaos, 2608 yards, cashed $9 million signing bonus check at bank drive-through, 27 TDs, took in-laws to a strip club
- #84 OT Sean Locklear- 3 year starter
- #94 OT Travelle Wharton- 3 year starter
- #96 LB Landon Johnson- 4 year starter
- #98 DE/OLB Shaun Phillips- 31 sacks, 3 INTs
- #101 LB Demorrio Williams- 3 year starter, 5 INTs, 6.5 sacks
Another miss with 4th round pick number one. Kendyll Pope played in two games in his NFL career. The next 18 picks included a Pro Bowl CB and future starters at WR and DE.
- #108 WR Jerricho Cotchery- 2469 yards, 8 TDs
- #110 CB Nathan Vasher- 1 PB, 17 INTs
- #117 DE Robert Geathers- 20.5 sacks, 2 INTs
The Colts draft got back on track with a four year starter Jason David. David picked off 11 passes and became a decent zone CB by the time the Saints stuck him in a man scheme with disasterous results.
- #126 DE Jared Allen- 1 AP, 1 PB, 43 sacks, 3 DUIs, 4 year starter
- #136 DB Gibril Wilson- 4 year starter, 11 INTs, 6 sacks
- #157 K Josh Scobee- 4 year starter
Polian brings it all the way back to genius in the fifth with the pick of Jake Scott. Scott started every season in Indy as a guard and could play tackle as needed.
- #154 RB Michael Turner- 1328 yards, 6 TDs, 1 undefeated Colts season ended.
- #156 FB Mike Karney- 4 year starter, 5 TDs
In the 6th round the Colts took Von Hutchins another DB that wouldn't do much. The last All Pro in the draft was taken later in the 6th.
- #179 DT Corey Williams- 17 sacks, 1 INT
- #188 P Andy Lee- 1 AP, 1 PB, 4 year starter
With their second 6th rounder the Colts picked up their clipboard holder of the future, Jim Sorgi. Sorgi has an amazing 6 to 1 TD:INT ratio and has thrown INTs on less than 1% of his passes.
- #209 OT Shane Olivea- 4 year starter, currently unsigned and suspended for failing a drug test.
- #216 WR Patrick Crayton-Terry says he's good
The Colts last pick was Kicker David Kimball who has yet to play in an NFL game.
- #249 DE Bobby McCray- 2 year starter, 22 sacks
- #251 OG Scott Wells -3 year starter
- Undrafted Willie Parker- 2 PB, 4818 yards, 23 TDs
2. Bob Sanders
I get excited about a guy when he has something that causes everyone to overlook him and I know it is something that just doesn't matter. -Paul DePodesta, Moneyball
3(1) Chris Cooley. A top TE to pair with Clark
3(2) Shaun Phillips. He's emerged as a dangerous pass rusher and moves well enough that LB could be an option with the Colts
4(1) Nathan Vasher. A Pro Bowl corner in Lovie Smith's D should fair pretty well with Dungy
4(2) Jared Allen. Make sure Lorenzo Neal's number is in his phone
5 Jake Scott. Can't argue with an instant starting in the 5th round
6. Corey Williams. A pass rusher at DT since McFarland is in Tampa and Brock is at DE.
6. Scott Wells. You can never have too many good linemen
7. Willie Parker. Some explosiveness in the Colts run game for cheap.