“But nobody in the room had anything to say about Tom Brady” - Retired scout recalls how Giants messed up draft day

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Washington Football Team
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Washington Football Team
Ian Van Roy

The New York Giants, like the rest of the NFL, had about half a dozen shots at Tom Brady back in 2000. He wasn't even thought about by most teams, but the New York Giants had a scout that was pounding the table for Brady. Raymond Walsh, now 79 years old, was involved in meetings that could have ended with the decision to get Tom Brady, according to the New York Post.

“I thought he had something,” Walsh recalls. “I thought he could help us. But nobody in the room had anything to say about Brady.”

Instead, the Giants passed, like every other team in the NFL, except the Patriots. Walsh spoke with amazement about how he had watched Brady play at Michigan. He thought the kid had something special.

“He kept making play after play, and he was so accurate,” Walsh recalls. “He knew what he wanted to do, and he was very careful to throw to the right guy. It would’ve been nice to go to practice to find out if he could throw the out-cut, because if that stays in the air too long, that goes the other way. But when I wrote my report, I included Brady with the prospects.”

Of course, everyone knows what happened over the next 20 years, as Brady proceeded to dominate the league. Every Sunday, Walsh would watch with "exoneration" as he mulled how he was one of the few who saw anything in Brady pre-explosion.

What if the Giants had drafted Tom Brady?

What if the New York Giants had listened to Walsh and taken a shot on Tom Brady in any of the first five rounds? In a worst-case scenario, they could have cut him during the preseason. In a best-case scenario, the Giants could have tripled their Lombardi count in the 21st century.

If you are a Patriots fan and don't feel for Drew Bledsoe, you aren't a real fan. Yes, his injury led to Tom Brady becoming the starter, but Drew was the guy, and the #Patriots don;t make it to the Super Bowl in 2001 without him

Instead of Eli Manning, the Giants would have landed Tom Brady four years earlier. Instead of two Super Bowl victories, they could have had six or seven. Of course, drafting Tom Brady didn't bring Belichick as a package deal. The Giants would have had to hope that head coach Jim Fassel was good enough.

If he wasn't, and Brady elevated him, he could have stuck around years after the Giants brought Tom Coughlin aboard. With Brady and Fassel humming, the Giants may have decided against Coughlin, and instead of Coughlin and Manning, it would have been Brady and Fassel.

Odell Beckham Jr, now realizing how good he had a career with Eli Manning.

If the Giants had drafted Brady, they could have had a very different history over the last roughly 40 years. They would have essentially gone from success in the 1980s with Bill Parcells and Phil Simms to a watchable 90s decade with ups and downs. Immediately after, they would have landed Tom Brady. In other words, the Giants would have a much better reputation in today's league.


Currently, the Giants have a fraction of the respect around the league compared to what they had in 2000. Of course, one cannot discount the Super Bowl wins with Eli Manning over Tom Brady, but those were flashes in the pan. Overall, aside from 2007 and 2011, the Giants were a fringe playoff team from 2001 until 2012. Since then, they've only had one playoff appearance.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants

Put simply, if the Giants were asked today if they wanted Tom Brady or Eli Manning, they would have traded if they had known what Brady was going to do and what Manning was going to do. Had the Giants listened to Raymond Walsh's wishes, the Giants would be a much different organization today, and Walsh would be a household name in the organization.

Edited by Windy Goodloe
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