Former New York Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi says that a long-time trusted scout begged him to draft current New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during the 2000 NFL Draft, but he didn’t listen, according ESPN’s Ian O’Conner.
The scout’s name was Whitey Walsh, who visited Michigan for two of his collegiate games:
“I put him on the list, and figured, it can’t hurt. Let’s give him a grade and at least we can talk about him,” said Walsh. “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?”
Ironically, it wasn’t until the sixth round when Walsh brought up Brady’s name, but the Giants opted to draft linebacker Dhani Jones with the 177th pick instead.
22 picks later, the New England Patriots selected, who is now arguably considered the greatest quarterback of all-time, Thomas Edward Brady.
Accorsi admitted that the scout did everything he could to make Brady a New York Giant:
“He didn’t just bring it up,” Accorsi said of Walsh. “He was very forceful. Fought hard. No one listened. … It’s my fault that I didn’t act on his urging to draft Brady.”
What makes this even more ironic is the Giants are the only team to have beaten Brady and the Patriots in the Super Bowl and they did twice with a quarterback Ernie Accorsi drafted four years later, Eli Manning.
“Truly, the Brady story is one of the great mysteries of all time,” said Accorsi. “It’s not like he was playing at Augustana. He threw four touchdown passes in the Orange Bowl against Alabama. … We were all asleep.”
One can only imagine what could’ve been if Accorsi did in-deed listen to his scout.