A Giant Mistake: Ernie Accorsi Takes Blame For Not Drafting Tom Brady
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 14: 2016 Giants Ring of Honor Inductee Ernie Accorsi speaks during the halftime ceremony of the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 14, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Back in 2000, the New York Giants could have drafted Tom Brady. Former GM Ernie Accorsi takes the blame for missing that chance.

If former New York Giants scout Whitey Walsh had his way, the New York Giants would have drafted Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft. Who knows how different things would have gone had the team listened to him.

“He [Walsh] didn’t just bring it up,” Accorsi told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor. “He was very forceful. 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.”

That’s not exactly what Giants fans want to hear, even after beating the Denver Broncos Sunday night.

Walsh recounted a scouting trip he took to the University of Michigan during Brady’s senior year. While the future Hall of Fame QB wasn’t on his list of players to watch, he was on the scout’s radar nonetheless.

“I always thought you should look at any senior who is starting; maybe they have something,” Walsh told O’Connor. “You watch four, five, six plays, and if they don’t show anything you leave them off the list. I watched Brady, and he was actually pretty good. He was very careful with his passes, very accurate, no interceptions. I wondered if his arm would be strong enough. If you saw him — and he was listed that day at 6-foot-5, 195 pounds — he didn’t look good. He looked kind of emaciated, with no muscle definition.”

The Giants ended up drafting linebacker Dhani Jones, who was Brady’s teammate at Michigan, while the Patriots selected Brady 22 picks later. Brady has won five Super Bowls since, but the Giants did beat the Patriots twice in the Super Bowl, once in 2007 and again in 2011.

How different would the NFL history books look—and how many Super Bowl rings would the Giants have—had Accorsi listened to Walsh? Sadly, we’ll never know.

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