Ex-Giants scout implored team to draft Tom Brady in 2000

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The New York Giants made seven picks in the 2000 NFL draft, meaning they passed over quarterback Tom Brady six times (Brady went No. 199, the Giants’ final pick was No. 217).

Hindsight is always 20/20, so it’s easy to say that then-general manager Ernie Accorsi & Co. made a tremendous mistake. As did 31 other teams.

It’s a lazy argument without substance but as it turns out, there was at least one person in the Giants’ draft room screaming to select Brady.

As the Giants crept up on their sixth-round selection (No. 177 overall), they were strongly considering a Michigan prospect. It just wasn’t the right prospect, much to the dismay of long-time scout Raymond “Whitey” Walsh Jr.

The Giants ended up selecting Michigan linebacker Dhani Jones, passing over Brady in the process — just as they had done in the fourth and fifth round. Each time, Walsh Jr. was in the ear of anyone around him: You’re making a mistake if you don’t pick Brady!

“I thought he had something,” Walsh Jr. told the New York Post. “I thought he could help us. . . But nobody in the room had anything to say about Brady.”

The Giants had Kerry Collins, who was beginning a resurgence, under center at the time and they weren’t necessarily thinking long-term with late-round prospects. Ironically, just a year later there would be a shift in philosophy as the team selected Florida quarterback Jesse Palmer in the fourth round.

Dhani Jones’ career with the Giants would last just three seasons, while Palmer’s time in the NFL would fizzle after two years.

Brady, on the other hand, would go on to become the greatest of all-time.

“Every time I watch Brady I think the same thing,” Walsh Jr. said. “I feel exonerated.”

Walsh Jr. had it right and the Giants had it wrong. If there’s any solace to be found, it’s that the veteran scout helped bring in players like Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw and the entire offensive line that protected Eli Manning in Super Bowl XLII.

Thanks in large part of Walsh’s scouting, the Giants were able to bring down the goliath Brady twice. But how would history have played out had they just listened to him in the first place?

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