That was the case in 2001, when he went from the 22nd pick of the first round to the 30th position to select wide receiver Reggie Wayne. And in 2004, Polian moved down from late in the first round to early in the second when he took safety Bob Sanders.
There is an outside chance, however, that he could move up in the middle selections of the first round if he feels that it's necessary to get the right player. It's safe to say, though, that trying to figure out which direction Polian will move is anybody's guess.
A veteran of the draft process since 1978 when he was a scout with the Kansas City Chiefs, Polian has been known to hold his cards very close to his chest. While that trait us fairly common around the league, he has become a master at it.
As for what positions the Colts are looking to improve in the draft, Polian won't say. He intimated earlier this offseason that defensive tackle would probably be where Indianapolis would be looking first. A week later, however, he said that receiver was a priority. And that was before the team released veteran receiver Marvin Harrison.
And when push finally comes to shove, don't be too surprised if Polian goes a different direction.
"You measure the talent available to you and you try to measure their talent as best you can, and all of the other concerns you come to the tab le with," he said recently. "Then, you try to take the best player. I just think you try to take the best player, basically.
"We don't draft specific need almost anywhere. If the need line and talent line cross, then fine, but we try always to take the best player."
He uses the selection of Wayne as his prime example of his philosophy.
"When it came time to pick, we didn't have a consensus on a defensive player," Polian said. "There was Reggie sticking out like a sore thumb, as the best player. We said, 'Take him.' It worked out fine."
And then move on from there.
"Because of the nature of (the media), you guys focus on the first round," he continued. "We're probably past that faster than you can blink an eye and focused on all of the rest of (the draft)."
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