Tom Brady Sends Strong Message to Late Round Draft Picks

Tom Brady

Getty Tom Brady shared his thoughts on the opportunity as a late-round draft pick.

Tom Brady jumped on his soap box on Saturday, April 29, when PGA golfer Justin Thomas trolled him about the NFL Draft’s sixth round.

Thomas wrote “patiently waiting for [the] NFL Draft to get to round six to check Twitter … think there will be any Tom Brady mentions?” The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, who got drafted in the sixth round at pick 199 in 2000, has a heart for fellow late-round picks.

“A good place to find guys with a chip on their shoulder,” Brady responded.

Brady carried the chip on his shoulder to a tune of seven Super Bowl victories, 10 conference championships, three MVPs, and loads of passing records. He also has eclipsed starting quarterback longevity at age 44.

The number 199 sticks with him so much so that he named his film company for it, 199 Productions. Players who landed at 199 since Brady live “in the shadow of” his legacy according to Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop and Jenny Vrentas.

This season, Brady could be playing with several late round draft picks in Tampa Bay. The Bucs selected Sam Houston cornerback Zyon McCollum in the fifth round, Minnesota tight end Ko Kieft in the sixth round, and LSU outside linebacker Andre Anthony in the seventh round.

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How Late Round Picks Could Impact the Bucs

Besides appeasing a disgruntled fan base over the fourth-round punter pick of Georgia’s Jake Camarda, the Bucs added depth to the secondary with McCollum. At Sam Houston, McCollum tallied 13 career interceptions.

“The Bucs have their top three corners back from last year, so McCollum can probably use this year as a learning year to focus on special teams and adjusting to the NFL,” The Athletic’s Greg Auman wrote. “He is a developmental player but has the skills to help as a gunner on coverage units, potentially growing into a larger role in 2023.”

Kieft adds depth to the Bucs tight end room and could help alleviate the potential of Rob Gronkowski not returning. At Minnesota, Kieft played a blocking role for the Golden Gophers and didn’t tally eye-popping pass-catching stats. Auman noted, Kieft “isn’t a lock to make the Bucs’ 53-man roster” as Gronkowski’s return remains in doubt.

“Kieft can help his chances by finding work as a blocker in the return game and on coverage units, something former first-round pick O.J. Howard wasn’t asked to do with the Bucs,” Auman wrote.

Anthony won’t come in as a shoe-in for the roster. He will provide competition in training camp against a veteran such as Cam Gill, Auman noted. The Bucs have depth at outside linebacker with Shaquil Barrett, Joe Tyron-Shoyinka, Anthony Nelson, Gill, and Anthony.

Brady Not the Only Quarterback in 199 Club

Two other quarterbacks went at pick 199 since Brady’s historic selection in 2000, but neither enjoyed the same success.

Joe Webb, an athletic 6-foot-4 quarterback picked in 2010, showed flashes of talent with the Minnesota Vikings  in 2011 but went thud in the playoffs. He completed a dismal 36.7% of his passes in a 2012 loss at Green Bay. His career continued as a backup with four other teams through the 2020 season.

Luke Falk, a 6-4 quarterback drafted in 2018, didn’t make it through training camp with the Tennessee Titans that year. He landed with the Miami Dolphins and got waived the following year, but he found a spot with the New York Jets and saw the field in 2019.

Falk actually went up against Brady, who played with the New England Patriots at the time. Falk went 12-22 for 98 yards and a pick in place of injured quarterbacks in a 30-14 loss to the Patriots.

Falk said Brady encouraged him afterward to “keep pushing” according to Sports Illustrated. The opportunity didn’t last as the Jets waived him later that season. He also gave the CFL a try in 2021 but got released.

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