[Indianopolis Colt's executive Bill] Polian made one of the great all time decisions in 1998 when he drafted Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf. It's a no brainer now but it was an agonizing choice back then. Leaf was bigger and more overtly athletic, but to Polian, Manning seemed to have more emotional maturity and ability to deal with adversity. It was exactly the right assessment; Leaf turned out to have buried temperament problems and caused the San Diego Chargers nothing but grief.It wasn't the first time Polian was correct: he also brought Jim Kelly to the Buffalo Bills from the USFL. If Polian has a secret, it's that he tries not to overrate the physical in favor of the mental and emotional aspects of the game. Just because a guy has an arm doesn't make him a quarterback. Rather than pure strength, he puts a premium on accuracy and poise, and a particular kind of processing intelligence that he calls "fast eyes," the ability to assess complex situations quickly.
"Intelligence is awfully important," Polian says. "It's a complex game and they have to be able to comprehend and process lots of information. It's not rocket science but it's pretty close, it's like financial engineering, or the things that pilots do."
It would seem as if the NFL, with all its resources, could develop some kind of video game test of "fast eyes" that would be more relevant than the standard Wonderlic IQ test.