You’ve probably heard that no one should evaluate a drafted player until at least three years have passed.
The Indianapolis Colts feel the same way.
“You can’t judge a draft or judge a player’s performance until at least three years. In some cases, the player might have been set back by injury, so you might have an incomplete picture even there. I would point you to (DT) Fili Moala for an example. Most people would have considered his rookie year non-descript. That’s because defensive linemen and offensive linemen, along with quarterback, are the toughest positions to come in and play right away. The change in technique, the change in difficulty of the position, the change in the length of the season, the ferocity of the hitting, all of that makes it very difficult for those players to come in and play,” Colts vice chairman Bill Polian said during his recent pre-draft press conference.
Injuries are really something that can set a young player’s progress back.
“(G/C) Mike Pollak, as an example, lost virtually his entire rookie year and his entire off-season following his rookie year, which is the most important off-season of a player’s career, to injury. He’s an example of a guy that has been set back by injury. Now, injuries happen and that’s part of the equation, you can’t deny it. We have to have patience. We recognize that others don’t have to and therefore don’t. That’s okay, but in order to make sure we do the right job, we have to have patience. But you also have to make some very serious and objective judgments at the end of that time. In (OT) Tony Ugoh’s case, unfortunately because of injury and the inability to come back off that injury and play at a high level, we unfortunately had to let him go. There’s no two-ways about the fact that it didn’t work out, but that’s part of the process. You are not going to hit on everyone. Mike Pollak has been a really good contributor. We don’t have any complaints about that. He hasn’t reached the level of (S) Melvin Bullitt for example or (WR) Austin Collie or someone of that nature, but he has been a very good contributor at a position that doesn’t get a lot of notoriety, so no complaints along those lines. But you can’t sugarcoat a miss either. You have to recognize it and if it’s a mistake, rectify it.”