Home » NFL draft 2024: Tom Brady & Brock Purdy – inside two of the NFL’s biggest draft steals

NFL draft 2024: Tom Brady & Brock Purdy – inside two of the NFL’s biggest draft steals

Pioli and Staley have seen top-10 draft picks flop and undrafted players enjoy 10-year careers.

“The draft sets expectations for players but they are human beings,” says Pioli. “There’s lots of factors that come into their development.

“Most of what we liked about Tommy [Brady] was his developmental skills and make-up. People call them intangibles – things like intelligence, work ethic, focus.

“We thought that in time, in our programme, he would develop. But there has to be this confluence of timing, circumstance, situation, and then opportunity. It was right for Tommy – and it’s right for Brock Purdy now.”

The draft can be a lottery, but Staley says anyone selecting players this weekend should prioritise those who “understand routine and how to be consistent”, such as former team-mate George Kittle, now one of the NFL’s best tight ends.

“When he was a rookie he was not the George Kittle everybody knows now, but he absolutely loved the game,” adds Staley, who ended his 13-year career in 2020.

“He surrounded himself with veteran players, constantly asking about our preparation, how we saw the game, what he could do every day to improve himself.

“Guys like Brock have the same traits so it’s no surprise, when you’ve been in a locker room, to see a guy like him succeed when given an opportunity because he’s prepared himself for it.”