Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady sees his NFL career as taking on a life of its own — sort of.
“Big day. My NFL career can legally buy a beer,” Brady tweet on Friday, the anniversary of the New England Patriots drafting him in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft at pick 199. Brady has plenty to toast too since the Patriots took the Michigan quarterback per Front Office Sports — “10 Super Bowl appearances, seven Super Bowl championships, and $263.54 million in career earnings.”
Brady’s achievements only astound from there. He’s won five Super Bowl MVPs, three regular season MVPs, 79,204 passing yards, 581 touchdowns, and 230 wins. He owns a plethora of regular season and postseason quarterback records from touchdown passes to being the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl.
With all of the achievements, Brady never forgets how his NFL career started — teams passing on him for nearly six rounds. He tweeted in February that it “still gets me fired up“, and he shared an NFL Films video clip about being picked 199.
“Because I’m thinking, you know, what the hell do these people know? That sounds like Joe Montana right there,” Brady said in the video. “When people tell you, ‘hey, you can’t do this, you can’t do this, and you keep overcoming that, you build this confidence in yourself and this belief in yourself that even when nobody else believes in you that I’m still going to do it because I don’t give an (expletive) what you say because I know what I can do, and I’ve done it.”
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper’s assessment of Brady didn’t help his draft stock. Kiper noted “his lack of mobility” and that “he doesn’t have the total package of skills”, which included concerns about how he would do “when forced to take more chances down the field.” Kiper’s positives on Brady included being a “smart, experienced big-game signal-caller, getting very high grades in the efficiency department this past season.”
Brady threw for 2,217 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions in his final year at Michigan in 1999, leading the fifth-ranked Wolverines (10-2) to a 35-34 Orange Bowl win over Alabama — well before the Nick Saban dynasty. Brady finished with 30 career touchdowns and 4,773 yards in two seasons as the starter.
Kiper quickly went to mobility as the concern after the Patriots drafted Brady, citing his 40-yard time of 5.25 seconds. The analyst said that could spell trouble against edge pass rushers.
Brady has been sacked second-most any quarterback in NFL history at 521 per Pro Football Reference, but he’s also played longer than the next three on the all-time list: John Elway, Ben Roethlisberger, and Dave Krieg. Brett Favre took the most sacks, 525, playing from 1991 to 2010. Notably, Brady’s predecessor, Drew Bledsoe, ranks ninth on the all-time list 467.
Six Before Brady
Six quarterbacks went in the draft before Brady in 2000: Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, and Spergon Wynn. None of them ever led a team to a Super Bowl win.
Tampa notably did not pick a quarterback in that draft with Shaun King under center in 2000. The Bucs landed Brady 20 years later in free agency and have gone one-for-one with him for Super Bowl-winning seasons.