If only every NFL front office man had the foresight of former Indianapolis Colts president Bill Polian. He joined the recent wave of coaches and personnel men saying "I told you so" about former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday:
"There were questions there, which is why a guy of that talent lasted until the fourth round.
"We were not in the Hernandez business."
Polian might have been naturally wary. As the Carolina Panthers GM in 1997 he drafted Rae Carruth.
It's bold of guys like Polian and Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown (really, the Bengals) to come out now and tell everyone that they just knew Hernandez was bad news. Last week, columnists lined up to take their shot at the Patriots for ignoring the obvious signs. Now current and past team guys get to fill their niche by offering expert opinions.
And what have we learned from this whole thing? Teams should never draft a college kid who's been in trouble off the field. Nope, never. Because it's just going to lead to unimaginable tragedy.
Polian acknowledged that the Colts were actually looking for a tight end in the draft that year. They didn't find one suitable to their liking. Instead, he wisely heeded his infamous scouting reports, finding mid-round standouts like defensive back Kevin Thomas in the third round and guard Jacques McClendon in the fourth.
Besides Hernandez, Polian's Colts elected not to draft Miami tight end Jimmy Graham, picked immediately after Thomas, and BYU's Dennis Pitta, who went right after Hernandez in the fourth round.
So what have we learned from Bill Polian's hindsight? Don't take risks when you can ride pretty far on one Super Bowl championship and a single playoff win over the Patriots.