It’s hard to believe now that Brady was chosen so late in the draft, when you consider his body of work:
Three time Super Bowl champion (2001, 2003, 2004).
Two time Super Bowl MVP (2001, 2003).
Two time NFL MVP (2007, 2010).
Eight time pro bowler (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).
125 regular season wins and 17 post-season wins (2001-2012).
Helped the Patriots go undefeated (16-0) and broke the single-season record for touchdown passes in the same season with 50 (2007).
But before all the accolades, records, playoff appearances, and Super Bowl trips Brady was at the bottom of the barrel on Bill Belichick’ roster. Let’s recap how Brady began and review who went before him in that 2000 NFL Draft:
Brady began the 2000 NFL season ranked fourth on the depth chart and would only play in one game completing a lone pass for six yards.
But in 2001 Brady rose to second on the depth chart behind then starter Drew Bledsoe. Bledsoe would suffer internal bleeding in an injury from a week two contest against the New York Jets.
Brady took over the reigns and from there would lead New England to the post-season winning 11 of the 14 games in which he started.
The Pats would defeat the Oakland Raiders in the infamous “tuck rule” game, by way of an Adam Vinatieri field goal. Brady threw for 314 yards in the blistering cold and snow to bring New England back from a 10-point deficit.
Then New England would go on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game and would be led once more by Brady on Super Bowl Sunday to defeat the St. Louis Rams.
Brady led the game winning drive and spiked the ball with seven seconds left on the clock to set up another clutch kick for Adam Vinatieri. Brady won SBMVP honors with 145 yards passing and one touchdown. At the time, Brady was the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. The rest is simply history.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the players who were chosen ahead of Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft:
Patriots Picks in 2000:
2nd round pick number 46 OT Adrian Klemm
3rd round pick number 76 RB J.R. Redmond
4th round pick number 127 OT Greg Robinson-Randall
5th round pick number 141 TE Dave Stachelski
5th round pick number 161 DT Jeff Marriot
6th round pick number 187 CB Antwan Harris
Can you recall how those guys panned out for the Pats? If so, you may want to apply for Mel Kiper’ job at ESPN whenever he retires.
QB’s taken higher than Brady:
1st round pick number 18 Chad Pennington
3rd round pick number 65 Giovanni Carmazzi
3rd round pick number 75 Chris Redman
5th round pick number 163 Tee Martin
6th round pick number 168 Marc Bulger
6th round pick number 183 Spergon Wynn
Of the six quarterbacks above only Pennington and Bulger went on to have semi-successful NFL careers. Pennington of course was plagued by re-occurring shoulder injuries, and Bulger failed to lead the rams anywhere in almost a decade.
Redman only played in 30 regular seasons games in an eight year NFL career. Then there’s Wynn (10 career games in 2000-2001) and Martin, whose careers were very, very short lived (three games from 2001-2003). As for Carmazzi, he never played a game in the NFL.
Notable Players taken ahead of Brady
1st round pick number two LB LaVar Arrington
1st round pick number five RB Jamal Lewis
1st round pick number seven RB Thomas Jones
1st round pick number nine LB Brian Urlacher
1st round pick number 12 DE Shaun Ellis
1st round pick number 13 DE John Abraham
1st round pick number 14 TE Bubba Franks
1st round pick number 15 CB Deltha O’Neal
1st round pick number 16 LB Julian Peterson
1st round pick number 17 K Sebastian Janikowski
1st round pick number 19 RB Sean Alexander
1st round pick number 30 LB Keith Bulluck
2nd round pick number 44 T Chad Clifton
3rd round pick number 76 WR Laveraneus Coles
5th round pick number 142 P Shane Lechler
5th round pick number 149 DE Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila
5th round pick number 153 WR Dante Hall
6th round pick number 169 K Neil Rackers
6th round pick number 186 LB Adalius Thomas
Among all of those notable NFL players, only Brian Urlacher and Jamal Lewis have came within Tom Brady’ range of success. Brady has been regarded by many experts as one of the greatest draft picks of all-time, and when you look at his career numbers it’s not hard to see why.
Brady by the Numbers:
Passing Yards: 44,806 (9th all-time).
Passing Touchdowns: 334 (5th all-time).
Passer Rating: 96.6 (3rd all-time).
Passes Completed: 3,798 (8th all-time).
Completion Percentage: 63.7% (9th all-time).
(fun fact: Chad Pennington, 2000-2010, ranks 1st all-time in Career Completion Percentage at 66.0%)
Passing Yards: 5,949 (1st all-time).
Passing Touchdowns: 42 (3rd all-time).
Passer Rating: 87.4 (12th all-time).
Passes Completed: 553 (1st all-time).
Completion Percentage: 62.3% (24th all-time)
When you couple those numbers with his championships, Brady is one of the best NFL draft success stories of all-time.
Final Thoughts: Brady’ contract extension of three years will keep him in Foxborough for what will likely be the remainder of his career. Meaning Tom gets to finish what he started all those years ago, when he was just a back-up quarterback above suspicion. Brady’ time in New England has certainly been nothing short of terrific.