“Tom Brady would have been a guy, and we were very high on him. Our guys really loved him, but we weren’t in the quarterback market, obviously. Those would be the guys I remember us giving solid, first-round, can-lead-you-to-a-championship grades.”
This is obvious BS. Yes, the Colts had Peyton Manning just entering his prime at that time, but that wouldn't have stopped them from picking Brady if they wanted him that badly. Brady went in the sixth round, which means the Colts had tons of chances to grab him.
The Colts could have done with Brady what the Patriots may or may not be doing with Jimmy Garoppolo right now - try to trade him for multiple draft picks if they thought he had a high ceiling. But there probably wouldn't have been any way to know what Brady's ceiling would be at that time because Manning was there.
This is on the levels of Celtics GM Danny Ainge saying he had Draymond Green second on his draft board in 2012 but took Jared Sullinger and Fab Melo back-to-back instead. Stupid people will believe it, but anyone with a brain knows this is incompetence at the highest level.
Maybe looking back, Polian would've rather have had Brady over Manning. But what do I know? It's not like Brady isn't the better quarterback or anything...