Giants scout Whitey Walsh strongly urged the team to select QB Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, but then-GM Ernie Accorsi didn't act.
"He was very forceful," Accorsi recently told ESPN. "Fought hard. No one listened. ... It's my fault that I didn't act on his urging to draft Brady. Truly, the Brady story is one of the great mysteries of all time. It's not like he was playing at Augustana. He threw four touchdown passes in the Orange Bowl against Alabama. ... We were all asleep."
After the Giants passed on Brady with the 177th overall pick -- instead taking Dhani Jones -- the Patriots selected Brady with the 199th pick.
The rest is history, and the Giants did end up with Eli Manning four years later.
Walsh, who is now retired, recounted to ESPN how when he was assigned to watch Michigan play, there wasn't an 'X' next to Brady's name -- meaning he wasn't a player he was assigned to watch.
Walsh was impressed by Brady during his first visit but even more impressed the second time.
"I put him on the list," Walsh said, "and figured, it can't hurt. Let's give him a grade and at least we can talk about him. Turns out nobody else [with the Giants] had his name down. I gave Brady a middle-to-late-round grade, and when I was in the draft room I guess I got drowned out. Whoever heard of Tom Brady?"
Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Don't tell me this. Don't tell me the Giants passed up on the GOAT (yes, he's the GOAT. Don't fight me).
Yes, Brady was mediocre at best coming out of Michigan in 2000. I mean, look at the guy's NFL Combine highlights. He doesn't look like a guy that would lead a flag football team to five championships let alone an NFL franchise.
But if a scout is raving over Brady's play, why didn't the Giants jump on taking him in the sixth round? Well, they had a 28-year-old Kerry Collins who would lead the Giants to a 12-4 record throwing for 22 touchdowns and 3610 that year. So the necessity of a quarterback wasn't in the Giants' mind in the draft.
Instead, they focused on defense and took a linebacker in Jones. Jones would miss only one game in his career with the Giants, but it was short-lived as he left the team in 2004 to play for the Eagles.
So, you're probably wondering who the Giants backup quarterback was to Collins. The culprit is someone who continues to try and thwart the Giants' success: Cowboys' head coach Jason Garrett. Garrett's final season in the NFL as a player was in 2000, where the 34-year-old appeared in only two games.