Bill Polian: Colts steered clear of Aaron Hernandez in the draft

Getty Images

Another day, another NFL executive saying that he knew enough to steer clear of Aaron Hernandez in the 2010 NFL draft.

Yesterday it was Bengals owner Mike Brown, who said his team was wary of Hernandez’s character before the draft. Today it’s former Colts General Manager Bill Polian, who told the Wall Street Journal his team steered clear of Hernandez.

“There were questions there, which is why a guy of that talent lasted until the fourth round,” Polian said.

Polian added that the Colts were looking at tight ends (and they selected tight end Brody Eldridge in the fifth round), but they “never got that far” in their evaluation of Hernandez.

“We were not in the Hernandez business,” Polian said.

The second-guessing of the Patriots for drafting Hernandez has been ongoing for the last two weeks, as some folks say they knew all along that Hernandez was trouble, while others say that the Patriots should have known. Some of that second-guessing is, frankly, ridiculous: Hernandez was a trouble-maker at Florida, but no one expected him to become the defendant in a first-degree murder case.

Still, the Wall Street Journal‘s report says that a scouting service that prepares psychological profiles of players for NFL teams warned its clients that Hernandez was “living on the edge of acceptable behavior” and cautioned that he could become “a problem” for his team.

That scouting service provides reports for 18 teams. It is not clear whether either the Patriots or the Colts are among those 18. But Polian wants to make it clear that he never would have drafted Hernandez.

82 responses to “Bill Polian: Colts steered clear of Aaron Hernandez in the draft

  1. Bill Belicheat so desperately wants to win a Super Bowl without his illegal cameras, murderers are just fine with Belicheat if they can help on the field.

    Patriot Way is a bunch of manure, Bill Belicheat is a genius, more manure.

  2. This is hardly news at this point. Every team (yes even your team) gambles at some point on a talented kid with known character issues. The Patriots gambled. Sometimes … rately … you hit the jackpot. Sometimes you hit somewhere in the middle. Sometimes you hit on what you thought the kid would turn out to be and he’s out of the league in a few years (Marcus Vick). The Pats just hit on the ultimate of bad gambles and ended up with a serial murderer. No one could have guessed … And I have no love for the Pats.

  3. Meanwhile the patriots enjoyed a nice trip to the SB and then the AFC championship, while the Peyton manning circus with Irsay at the helm went on in Indianapolis,
    and the Bengals are hoping another relevant topic or subject comes up where they are mentioned or asked about something.

  4. Well Tinsk, You obviously don’t know a thing about football. He’s been a winner most of his career. How about you?

  5. Hernandez’s 2010 Psychological Profile

    Shortly before the 2010 NFL Draft, a scouting service that prepares confidential psychological profiles of players for NFL teams found that Aaron Hernandez enjoyed “living on the edge of acceptable behavior” and cautioned that he could become “a problem” for his team.
    On one personality test, Hernandez, who was arrested last week on murder and weapons charges, received the lowest possible score, 1 out of 10, in the category of “social maturity.”
    The evaluation, which was done before the New England Patriots selected Hernandez in the fourth round of the 2010 draft, was produced by a North Carolina scouting service called Human Resource Tactics.
    The one-page form, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, includes scores Hernandez received on several tests routinely administered to NFL draft prospects. The results of these tests are kept confidential.
    The Patriots declined to comment on whether they had seen the report before drafting Hernandez. Hernandez’s attorney, Michael Fee, didn’t return messages seeking comment.

  6. what percentage of 4th rounders last 3 or more years in the NFL? Two good years from this turd is most likely very good from a 4th rounder so not than big of a wasted pick.

  7. Still don’t understand the connection with why people needed to foresee he would be a murderer to know it was a good idea to consider other options? But more importantly, the decision to not trade him before that extension was MUCH MUCH worse than to spend a cheap 4th round pick to feel him out and mentor him, if you are going to do a decent mentoring job.

    So the murder is irrelevant to the Pats’ failure to not trade him, but even if they kept him, which they did, then it was on them to manage him all the way through and they seemed to be oblivious as to what his issues were or how they could help him and foster a good partnership with this massive multi-tens-of-millions of dollars worth of liabilities.

    Kraft is a fool and Belichick is a lousy GM, that’s potently obvious when you break down this whole scenario because it was obvious all along the way for those of us that were analyzing the decisions.

  8. So unimpressed with those speaking out after the fact. Give us names of others “you steered clear of.” Name names!!! Who knows, there might be another killer on the loose…

  9. This is not newsworthy. Every single team steered clear of him at least 3 times…just like every team stayed away from Tom Brady at least 5 times.

  10. Criticizing the Patriots for drafting AH is nonsense. NFL draftees are hardly all Boy Scouts and AH was drafted about where his background suggested he should be. Giving him a $41 extension after 2 years, however, is worthy of scrutiny.

  11. I know he wasn’t a Polian draft pick, but the Colts were still Marvin “shooter” Harrison’s team.

  12. In my opinion, these are just people trying to pile on the Pats; seriously, of course Polian was going to take this stance – he hates the Pats, and they hate him.

    The rap sheet on Hernandez, before the past two weeks, was similar to many other players who get drafted; He smoked pot and got into fights – he’s not the only one… How the hell is that supposed to foreshadow murder? It’s not a small number of pro athletes that have gang ties; sorry to tell you.

    What he did, is disgraceful; either for the murder or the cover up. But come on, the Pats were supposed to know this was coming?

    If Hernandez gets off, another team WILL sign him; because he can play football!

  13. “Why yes, I’d love to take this opportunity to take cheap shots at a Patriots franchise which owned us during my tenure in Indy”

  14. I don’t think bill polian is saying this because its the pats. I mean , cmon, more and more teams are saying it . It’s a unwritten rule that teams keep quiet but when you are respected as polian , and your retired , you can say whatever you want. He is not the lone voice in the wilderness girls and boys…. and he gave an honest answer.

  15. I live on the edge of acceptable behavior but I’m not to kill anyone.

  16. I welcome to hear from before June 17,2013 the people who felt that the Patriots/Puma/Muscle Milk et al should not have signed Hernandez to a long term contract before the end of his rookie contract. Nobody knew the dark circles in AH’s life.

    Anyone who predicted this would happen to Hernandez, I look forward to your post.

  17. It’s ridiculous to blame them for drafting a guy with that talent in the fourth round, but giving him a huge contract last year after some of the warning signs and getting to know him better while on the team is perhaps questionable.

    I’d think they would have seen enough of him on the team to know that he was living another life. But then again, the Falcons never saw it with Mike Vick either…

  18. sure didn’t steer clear of that safety with all the gun problems going on right now. kind of the last person who should be speaking up on players acting out right now

  19. I seriously doubt anybody could have seen the extent of Hernandez’ criminal mind. Seriously, did anyone see all of this coming – even if you thought he was a general-purpose troublemaker? I don’t think anyone could have possibly predicted how much of a problem this dude could become.

    Although NFL execs are rushing to pat themselves on the back for not drafting this guy, there are probably a couple of organized crime families who are really bummed out that they didn’t get to recruit him.

  20. All of Bill Belicheat’s peers are lining up to give him a stiff kick in the nuts!

  21. Many of the teams in the league now employ security personnel who monitor players and the individuals they hang with. The security men know where to seek info-teammates. The same security men or teams contract a security company to perform work before the draft-talking to students, trainers and others regarding the player at the college level. I find it inconceivable that the Patriots did not perform such due diligence-before Hernandez became a pro and after. If they did they made a decision based on their gut-it looks like it was a bad one.

  22. i bet if bill polian was a still a GM about a month ago he would have gladly traded a 1st and 2nd rounder for hernandez.

  23. It’s a shame when people who are wealthy still try to do childish things like this, bandwagon.

  24. Where was Polian’s hindsight when Rae Carruth was convicted of murdering the mother of his unborn child? Or Kerry Collins drinking problem? How long is he going to get by on not screwing up the top pick in 1998.

  25. Every single owner/Gm in the league is going to be saying this. It’s getting old, real old. This seems like something ESPN wanted him to say. We get it, you passed on the guy. Not like the Pats didn’t get anything out of him, he’s a great player but a terrible person.

  26. One thing about it … the Patriots can’t say the red flags kept them from selecting Hernandez. The Dummies.

  27. Polian lost his job because he sunk the Colts with awful drafts and made his team completely reliant on Peyton Manning. Seriously just look at the first pick Polian made in each draft since 2005: Marlin Jackson, Joseph Addai, Anthony Gonzalez, Mike Pollack, Donald Brown, Jerry Hughes, and Anthony Costanzo. All of those picks are busts except Costanzo and he’s just ok.

    Belichick is still employed by an NFL team and when his star quarterback went down for a season he had built a team good enough to win eleven games.

    There’s many reasons Polian’s a talking head in Bristol now and out of football, one of those reasons is that Belichick has kept the Patriots among the better teams in the league while Polian failed to do the same with the Colts.

  28. colts fan here, but i dislike it when bill tries to do stuff like this, he also made some HORRIBLE picks too, huh bill?

  29. Father dies when son is age 16, son graduates school early and enrools at Florida at age 17.., youngest kid drafted..low on social maturity? Who could believe it , that he was both the youngest, traumatized and also the least mature?

  30. funny how after all this time, now after the fact with the benefit of hindsight polian and the bengals say this is why they avoided hernandez. yeah necause up until a few weeks ago they were probably kicking themselves

  31. funny how after all this time, now after the fact with the benefit of hindsight polian and the bengals say this is why they avoided hernandez. yeah necause up until a few weeks ago they were probably kicking themselves

  32. Hernandez, if he is a serial killer, is the first known subject of his kind in the NFL. Teams have taken mid round fliers on similarly troubled kids, yet none of them have been suspected of triple homicide. They’re doing what they’re paid to do. Stir emotions and thus debate, which leads to attention, which leads to revenue in one form or another…

  33. The only thing Polian did was draft a unanimous #1 pick in Manning. He has no other credentials.

  34. The only team we can say with 100% certainty to have passed on Hernandez was the Baltimore Ravens. Both TEs they picked in that draft have proven to be model citizens for their communities.

    And it’s no surprise that the Ravens won’t speak a word about why they chose to pass on him and Gronk. 1 – the moment you say it you curse yourself to have a problem player function as the counter factual. 2 – it’s classless, the product of your better judgement should be self evident and shouldn’t need to be pointed out.

    Not to mention the Ravens are veterans of years of media hackery and vile taunting for the Ray Lewis episode and more recently the McClain saga.

  35. What a jerk he is. He come across as a pompous a$$ on tv, and it’s also evident here. His words mean nothing here.

  36. By signing this guy, the Patriots introduced this murder into the local environment, ignoring all the warning signs leading up to the pick. The Patriots empowered this psyco. They hold some blame here definitely. The league should fine and take control of the Patriots draft and future player selections since they can’t be trusted

  37. I am dismayed at all of the people criticizing the Pats for drafting AH. He was a fourth rounder, not a first rounder. If AH did not allegedly kill three people, picking him in the fourth round would be call a steal.

  38. For anybody wondering why teams sometimes take chances on great talents who have character issues like Aaron Hernandez, Brody Eldridge caught a grand total of 14 passes in two seasons for the Colts.

  39. Bill also liquidated all of his assets and spent them in a mad spree prior to the end of the world as prophesized by the Mayan calendar. But hey, you can’t always be right.

  40. So did 32 other teams Bill, 3 times, if you are the great GM you’re implying yourself to be you’d be the GM of an NFL team, not on the sidelines with Casserly.

    What Hernendez did has nothing to with the patriots, the guy was obviously one of the stupidest people on earth, not only for committing the crime he did but the way he carried it out, but the point is the Patriots shouldn’t be the ones to blame.

  41. Not to mention Bill, you literally have one of the worst draft track records ever, You got luck getting Manning 15 years ago and he was the only reason why your team wasn’t 2-14 every year. There was nothing genius in our method of drafting, you couldn’t even field a good O-line causing one of the greatest QBs to almost get crippled.

    Btw, you drafted Curtis Painter and started him knowing Manning wouldnt play in 2012, enough said.

  42. Stop scrutinizing the 2010 Draft. That’s like scrutinizing Nicole Brown Simpson for obliging to marry OJ. Sometimes, you just don’t know the end result.

    We can’t blame Belicheck, Kraft or even the NFL. We blame Aaron Hernandez, and once we’ve exhausted that – we blame the UofF. UofF brushed off everything this goon did because he came in with a high school record, to them, that’s success of the Gator football field.

    Aaron Hernandez clearly has a mental issue. He didn’t know enough to understand that he has 41 million reasons to get up each day and be happy, thankful and appreciative of what the NFL has done and would do for him. Matter of fact, he seemed to have lived under some notion that because he wears a Pats jersey that he’d be able to do what he does and should his name arise in the incident, he’d be able to clear his name or buy someone off.

    Well he’s quickly learned. It just isn’t like that. And if you’re an NFLer and you’re strapped with a tre-pound on your hip, unload it and get rid of it now, and quickly. Or you are welcoming yourself into a world of despair and will end up in the Carruth/Hernandez posse.

  43. If a guy with character concerns gets to the 4th round without Dallas, Oakland, or Cincy snatching him up, you know there’s trouble.

  44. Seriously? Now everyone is coming out with their “my crystal ball was right about Hernandez” before the draft, really?

  45. “And so begins all the other NFL teams saying they knew what the patriots didn’t.”

    As much as I’m sure arrogant Patriot fans would love to believe they and their team of the center of the universe… and everyone even tangentially related to the football world just can’t wait to get out there and take shots at the Patriots re Hernandez, due to jealousy or what have you… please use your brains people!!!

    Mike Brown and Bill Polian were asked specifically about Hernandez by the PRESS, who then turns around and builds an entire story around it. If you want to get mad and take shots at someone…. take them at the press.

    And YES MDS, this means you too… all the 2nd guessing may be “ridiculous” – but its YOUR profession doing the 2nd guessing – not Browns or Polians. Brown and Polian were honest, in regards to a direct question… Hernandez wasn’t on their draft boards period.

  46. Has anybody stopped to think that Polian and Mike Brown were answering a question when they made these comments and weren’t just claiming they were geniuses? Maybe they were asked a question and gave an honest answer. Why is it so hard to believe that most teams had him low or off their draft boards? He did fall to the 4th round.

  47. Taking an iffy character guy in the 4th round isn’t really a gamble. They don’t sign for much money and cutting a trouble maker etc wouldn’t harm the caps all that much!
    Apparently, Hernandez behaved well enough (not to mention played well enough) for 3 years to make the Patriots feel like this is a guy they could keep, that he had reformed, didn’t get into trouble etc. That’s how he got his big contract.

    Looks to me he had everyone fooled. I don’t remember any rumbling about his character during his time with the Pats. If he’s convicted, he should be thrown into the whosegow for life, eating bread an water, remembering what might have been .

  48. Fans and media cannot have it both ways. Randy Moss was also passed over in the draft for many of the same reasons. He could well have ended up in the same place as Hernandez but didn’t, and the Vikings were called geniuses. All of this is an educated gamble.

  49. Belichick used a late 4th round draft pick on a player with a first round grade. The player performed on the field. When the team had evidence of his off-field criminal behavior they cut him. This is not a story about the Patriots’ bad behavior, it is a story about Hernandez’s criminal behavior and his inability to allow opportunity and affluence to change his character and behavior.

  50. Wait until the concussion factor comes into play . He was dinged quite a few times and that defense could come onto play

  51. Of course, everyone who didn’t draft him, had him off their board, who is going to say different in these days of media hype. Couldn’t you see a headline saying “Rooney wanted Hernandez and Still Thinks He is a Great Guy, Plans on Picking Him Up on Work Release.” Uh, not likely.

  52. I’m a Bills fan, so not only do I hate the Patriots but I also really like Bill Polian. With that said, this is a pointless cheap shot. The Pats spent a 4th round pick on a first round talent. They got 3 seasons of solid production out of him, made it to 2 conference championship games and a Super Bowl. It was a 4th round pick! Teams gamble on 4th round picks all the time. Aaron Hernandez screwed up, and will probably never play football again.

  53. Could we stop with the Mike Vick comparisons? It’s largely known that Vick was made an example of for killing dogs brutally. I am in no way excusing what Vick did and he served his sentence for his crimes…
    But AH could be the perpetrator in 3 (or 4) murders of PEOPLE! Yes actual human beings! To me, what the falcons ‘didn’t see’ in Vick as the #1 overall pick has absolutely nothing to do with a man who fell to the 4th round for for questionable character that had been seen since he was in high school.

    Please and thank you…

  54. For his next trick, Bill Polian will look into his crystal ball and tell us who killed Kennedy.

  55. I’m sure those other teams weren’t thinking murder charges either, but with Hernandez’ checkered past and drug violations. they probably thought suspensions could have been in his future. Not sure why everyone ragging on those teams for being cautious.

    As for the Rae Carruth comment, I’m wondering if the HRT was given back then.

  56. You people that are screaming “how are you suppose to know that he would be a serial killer”… No,one is,saying that….but the signs were there….Behavioral signs that throw up a red flag, no mot,one that he will kill someone,but someone who is troubled and disturbed.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.