Jake Riccardi is thankful rather than bitter about being snubbed at multiple drafts, even if it has taken him just two AFL games to earn an authoritative comparison to Wayne Carey.
Riccardi was overlooked in two national drafts and last year's mid-season draft before being snapped up by GWS with pick No.51 in the 2019 draft.
The 20-year-old has already gone a long way to making a mockery of several clubs' recruiters, earning round 14's Rising Star nomination for a four-goal effort in the Giants' win over Fremantle.
Hall of Famer Jonathan Brown was among many pundits stunned by the forward's ability, suggesting on Fox Footy that "this bloke looks like Wayne Carey in his second game. Or Matthew Pavlich or Nick Riewoldt - roll them all together".
Brown was perplexed as to how Riccardi, who caught the Giants' eye while developing under the guidance of former Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams at VFL club Werribee, was repeatedly snubbed in recent years.
Riccardi noted it was a "bit surreal" to hear that three-time premiership star Brown had lavished him with such high praise.
But the young forward believes there was a very good reason that recruiters were reluctant to roll the dice on him before the 2019 draft.
"I spoke to a few clubs but I knew myself that my form and what I showed - it wasn't a whole heap," he said.
"I thought if I were to be picked it'd be as a late rookie and it was a very, very small chance. So I wasn't too flat.
"I'm actually glad it happened like that; missing out for two years meant I worked hard on a few things ... I came into the system when I was almost near-ready to go, ready to play."
Riccardi grew up idolising Lance Franklin, but spent most of his junior career playing as a midfielder.
The marking machine, who has helped revitalise the Giants' campaign, described Brown's assessment as "a great compliment from an unreal player".
"I really appreciate that. It's very nice of him," Riccardi said.