History would suggest Tom Brady was the biggest sleeper in NFL Draft history. Bill Polian would like to revise that history, apparently.
The former Indianapolis Colts general manager recently was asked to name the best quarterback he’s scouted in the draft not named Peyton Manning. His answer for recent years — Jimmy Garoppolo — should intrigue New England Patriots fans, as he had high praise for the backup QB.
Polian then turned to the bigger names, noting that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady “obviously… was pretty darn good” when he entered the draft in 2000.
Wait, the same Brady who went 199th overall in that draft, and whom Polian’s Colts passed over five separate times?
But that wasn’t the first time Polian claimed to love Brady out of college. USA TODAY’s For the Win dug up a 2015 interview with Sports Illustrated in which Polian recalled Indy giving Brady a first-round grade, and passing on him only because it took Peyton Manning two years prior.
“Tom Brady would have been a guy, and we were very high on him,” Polian said, via For the Win. “Our guys really loved him, but we weren’t in the quarterback market, obviously. Those would be the guys I remember us giving solid, first-round, can-lead-you-to-a-championship grades.”
Right. Polian was all set with Manning and backup Kelly Holcomb, which is why he used his 138th overall pick on Matt Johnson, a BYU long snapper who didn’t make the 53-man roster, instead of Brady.
We understand why Polian wouldn’t target a quarterback with Manning in the fold. But suggesting in 2017 that he happened to see greatness in a fifth-round pick seems like pretty heavy revisionist history.
Thumbnail photo via Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY Sports Images