Bill Polian met with the media on Thursday for the Colts annual pre-draft media conference. And while the Colts have an obvious need to address their running back situation due to the departure of Edgerrin James to the Cardinals, that doesn't necessarily mean that Indianapolis will use it's top pick at number thirty to address that need.
"You should always take the best player. You should not allow a need to get in the way of taking the best
player," Polian said. "This is a thin draft, so need becomes even a more dangerous factor because
if you reach for a need, or what is perceived to be a need, you end up maybe reaching for a player that's lesser than what you might otherwise get. And
then, as the quality drops off later on in the first day and then the second day, you end up not being able to recoup that loss where you reached."
That said, Polian indicated that at least with the first selection, the Colts should be able to address one of their top needs in the first round.
"I think in the first round, yes. After that, it gets a lot less
certain," he said.
But based on his comments, it appears that the Colts president believes that the team will likely have a new running back added by the end of the day on Saturday.
"I think on the first day we can get a player that will help us at that position. It's one of the deeper positions (in this draft). We have a number of players identified who we feel could play for us there. Some even outside the first round," he said.
According to Polian, the Colts will be picking a running back in this draft,
providing the right one for their system is available at the right time.
"Depending on the system that you use, there are some that are better fits than others," he said. "In our system, you have to have certain qualities, speed being one of them, to flourish."
No matter who the Colts select, there is little doubt that he'll have to fill some pretty big shoes left behind by a guy who used to wear jersey number 32.
"It's harder for us to replace a good player like Edgerrin," Polian said. "You can find people where you'd have to modify the system to a certain degree. But to run it exactly like we ran it with Edgerrin, particularly with Edgerrin in his prime and with Dominic, you have to find a back that's similar."
But even if the Colts do pick a running back on Saturday, Polian knows that the transition is rarely seamless in terms of being able to contribute as a starter right out of the blocks.
"(Rookies) have a hard time finding their way to the chow line much less coming here
and playing like All-Pros the first year," he said. "I don't want to make anybody in any
draft the answer. But I think we'll find a player at the running back position that will contribute and, along with Dominic
and James Mungro, give us the kind of running game we feel we need."