In fact, six quarterbacks went off the board before Bill Belichick ended the University of Michigan signal-caller’s misery.
Let’s take a closer look at the future Hall of Famer’s college career before examining how he managed to fall so far in the draft two decades ago.
Tom Brady battled to keep his starting job at Michigan
Although Tom Brady has become one of the most popular athletes in the world, he grew up in the shadow of his sisters, who starred in their own respective sports endeavors.
That underdog mentality served him well once he went off to college. Because at Michigan, Brady had to fend off a number of other “talented” quarterbacks just to remain on the field.
Stunningly, the future six-time Super Bowl champion barely played until his final two years on campus.
In 1998, Brady finally got his opportunity to lead the Wolverines. While his numbers didn’t blow anyone away, he finished his first season as a starter with 2,427 passing yards, 14 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in 12 games. More importantly, Michigan went 10-3, including an impressive 45-31 victory against Arkansas in the Citrus Bowl.
As a senior, Brady kept Drew Henson at bay and once again led the Wolverines to double-digit wins. The California native put up similar numbers and managed to cut his interception total to just six.
To cap off his college career, a much younger version of TB12 took down Alabama in the Orange Bowl. Yet, his penchant for making plays in the clutch didn’t help him become an early-round draft pick.
Six quarterbacks went off the board before Brady
Following a respectable career at Michigan, Tom Brady proceeded to deliver an absolute dud of a performance at the scouting combine. His historically awful marks in the 40-yard dash and vertical jump did little to inspire confidence about his ability to play at the next level.
So when the 2000 NFL draft finally arrived, Brady certainly wasn’t viewed as anything remotely close to a first-round talent. In fact, only one quarterback from his draft class went off the board in the first round.
After the New York Jets selected Chad Pennington with the 18th overall pick, Giovanni Carmazzi became the second QB off the board when the San Francisco 49ers took him 65th overall. Chris Redman went 10 picks later to the Baltimore Ravens.
In the fifth round, the Pittsburgh Steelers used the 163rd overall pick on Tee Martin. He played one game for the AFC North franchise.
Ironically, the sixth round produced the two most productive quarterbacks of the entire 2000 NFL draft.
Marc Bulger went 168th overall to the New Orleans Saints. However, he spent his entire career with the St. Louis Rams, where he earned two Pro Bowl selections across eight seasons.
Fifteen picks later, the Cleveland Browns laughably took Spergon Wynn instead of Brady. He started seven games as a rookie and never played another NFL down after the 2001 season.
The New England Patriots ended his slide in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL draft
Somehow, six quarterbacks got selected before Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL draft.
But after waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the gangly kid out of Michigan finally got the phone call he desperately wanted.
In his first draft as head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick spent the 199th overall pick on Brady.
What looked like an innocuous late-round flyer turned out to be the best decision in franchise history.
After spending his rookie year buried down the depth chart, Brady took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe in 2001 and led the Patriots to their first Super Bowl title.
Of course, New England became a dynasty after hoisting the Lombardi Trophy two more times in a three-year period.
A 10-year championship drought finally gave way when Malcolm Butler’s improbable interception saved the Patriots from suffering a third-straight Super Bowl loss. Two years later, Brady staged the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history against the Atlanta Falcons.
And in 2018, he and Rob Gronkowski connected on a vintage throw-and-catch to set up the only touchdown of Super Bowl 53.
Although Brady left the Patriots after winning six Super Bowl rings, he certainly provided incredible value for a player who entered the NFL as the 199th overall pick.