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Of all the quarterbacks, Bill Polian prefers Blake Bortles

Blake Bortles AP

There doesn’t seem to be a consensus now on who the first player taken in the NFL Draft should be.

So why would the quarterback order be any different?

ESPN analyst Bill Polian said Monday that Central Florida’s Blake Bortles would be the top quarterback on his board, though all of them would fall to the end of the first round if he were still in charge.

Polian chose properly when faced with the Peyton Manning-Ryan Leaf call in the first round of the 1998 Draft. When he was running the Panthers in 1995, he traded out of the top spot (and a chance at Steve McNair) for an extra pick and the chance to take Kerry Collins. Collins wasn’t sustainable but did get them to the NFC Championship Game, so missing out on McNair was justifiable at the time.

That’s a much better track record than a lot of the guys talking about quarterbacks on television, so it’s worth mentioning

And to be honest, it’s hardly a surprise a gruff old-school personnel man like Polian wouldn’t fall for Johnny Manziel, as Bortles has the kind of classic size and strength and tools that presents much less of a risk of being disastrously wrong.

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21 Responses to “Of all the quarterbacks, Bill Polian prefers Blake Bortles”
  1. novanation33 says: May 5, 2014 2:25 PM

    Landry Jones

  2. thegreatgabbert says: May 5, 2014 2:27 PM

    Wasn’t Polian raving about Manziel not too long ago? These guys just talk because that is what they’re paid to do. If you quizzed them ten minutes later on what they said they wouldn’t be able to answer. The the whole time they were just thinking of the sound the sausages make on the barbeque, when the fat drips onto the fire and sizzles and pops….

  3. tennesseeoilers says: May 5, 2014 2:31 PM

    PFT said: “Collins wasn’t sustainable but did get them to the NFC Championship Game, so missing out on McNair was justifiable at the time.”

    The key phrase there being “at the time” … meaning when the Panthers went to the NFC Championship in just their second year–at which point Steve McNair was still the back-up QB behind Chris Chandler. Sure, Kerry Collins did get the Giants to Super Bowl many years later, but I’ve never met one Panthers fan who wouldn’t have rather had Steve McNair.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: May 5, 2014 2:33 PM

    Quarterbacks are glad the draft is just two weeks later. If it was a month later, they’d be looking at being drafted on the third day…

  5. bobzilla1001 says: May 5, 2014 2:38 PM

    That’s right. Collins wasn’t sustainable. Lasted only about 15 seasons, and he quarterbacked the Titans to a 13-3 record as recently as 2008. Awful.

  6. jbl429 says: May 5, 2014 2:38 PM

    “…though all of them would fall to the end of the first round if he were still in charge.”

    Polian was once in charge of the entire draft order? Impressive.

  7. apeters79 says: May 5, 2014 2:38 PM

    He’s a dinosaur. He got lucky and his latest track record got him chased out of Indy. Stuck in the 20th century

  8. citizenstrange says: May 5, 2014 2:39 PM

    Polian chose properly when faced with the Peyton Manning-Ryan Leaf call in the first round of the 1998 Draft.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    And he’s made a career off of that. He had a 50/50 chance and he picked right. Mazel tov!

    He had the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL and Polian was able to put enough talent around him to win one Super Bowl. That’s how good of a GM he is.

  9. jrob23 says: May 5, 2014 2:43 PM

    quite possibly the most overrated GM in football history. Already had some pieces in Buffalo. Shared duties in the 1985 draft so it’s not all his doing (Bruce Smith was a no brainer) like people think. Every single Buffalo draft after that was average at best under his sole GM leadership. They dominate a very weak AFC and lose every SB.

    Goes to IND and takes no brainer Peyton. Proceeds to win only 1 SB his whole time. The guy is like Bill Parcells (who never won anything without Bill Bellichek) in that they got way too much credit.

    So you take Blake Bortles over Manziel and you will be out of the league in 2 years.

  10. tvjules says: May 5, 2014 2:44 PM

    I hope they line up all these experts post-draft, to see who hit and who missed.

  11. redandgoldhitman52 says: May 5, 2014 2:47 PM

    conner shaw

  12. nfl4dummies says: May 5, 2014 2:47 PM

    Bobby Beathard built some SB teams in Washington but also traded up to get Ryan Leaf. SO, was he a good GM or not?

    Or, as I have always surmised, was he just unlucky not to have the first pick in ’98 and Polian was?

    3-13 vs 4-12. Or getting Manning or Leaf.

  13. indymarc says: May 5, 2014 3:04 PM

    Geez people. Even Polian is entitled to an opinion. I agree with him on this one.

  14. stonefish67 says: May 5, 2014 3:14 PM

    Polian is living on past reputation.
    Another “expert” that lost it.
    HAHAHAHA

  15. andrewluck12 says: May 5, 2014 3:17 PM

    Ah bill polian bringing colts fans such talented first marvels as Anthony Gonzalez, Donald brown and jerry Hughes.

  16. afcdomination says: May 5, 2014 3:19 PM

    there are quite a few interesting qb’s in this draft. some “experts” claiming 10 that have a possible legit future in the NFL, could be a heavy first 2 days at the QB position.

    at least it means they will have to talk about more than just one or two QB’s like they usually do. take that ESPN/NFL N due to your obsession with QB’s you will be forced to talk about more picks on day 2

  17. nooittall says: May 5, 2014 3:42 PM

    By his own admission Bill Polian came within hours of taking Ryan Leaf on draft day over Peyton Manning. Funny how his only good drafts were when he had experienced scouts. When he ran them off and hired all of his son Chris’ friends, their drafts stunk, from 2006 and on.

  18. rcali says: May 5, 2014 4:03 PM

    Oh no, expect a call from Warren Moon Mr. Polian.

  19. thegreatgabbert says: May 5, 2014 4:06 PM

    They need to institute a rule for NFL execs. You can bring ONE (1), and ONLY ONE (1) worthless relative who doesn’t have the initiative to carve out a career on his own into the league. Period.

    It’s such an incestuous racket they’re all going to be dying of haemophilia soon.

  20. nonetruerthanblue says: May 5, 2014 5:51 PM

    No surprise here. Polian is old school and Bortles is the tall, etc etc. that a QB should look like.

  21. raideralex99 says: May 5, 2014 8:59 PM

    Polian gets too much credit for picking Peyton.
    Leaf did not want to go to the Colts so Polian took Peyton instead now imagine if Leaf would have said yes to the Colts.
    Who’s Polian ?

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