Every New England Patriots‘ fan alive at the turn of the century can remember the 2000 NFL Draft. Tom Brady was picked deep in the 6th round, basically an afterthought to most teams. A scrawny kid from Michigan who made a few wonderful comeback wins, Brady wasn’t a flashy gunslinger that caught scouts’ eyes. Also, he wasn’t a definite starter for the Wolverines, as he was forced to battle with Drew Henson for the starting job in the 1998 and 1999 NCAA seasons.
How could any team put faith in Brady as a professional player if he didn’t outwardly appear dominant in college?
This thought circled through the minds of many general managers at the time. For Bill Belichick and the Patriots staff, though, Brady had something special, a desire to win. Robert Kraft detailed Scott Pioli and Belichick’s optimistic view of Brady back in the day.
“I gotta go back and give Bill and Scott Pioli, who were running our personnel department at the time here, a little bit of credit here because we had Drew Bledsoe on our team and we had just given him a large contract,” Kraft said. “It was Bill’s first draft and we had a lot of needs. Brady was rated pretty highly on the board and in the fifth round — we took Brady in the sixth — Bill walked over to the board and picked up Brady’s card, looked at Scott, and said ‘what’s Brady still doing here? There’s too much value to be sitting here. This kid’s a winner.’
This statement isn’t directly related to 2014 NFL Draft action, but it’s just amazing that Belichick was able to peg a young Brady as a spectacular player right off the bat.
We should definitely trust Belichick’s insight on future prospects.