It wasn’t supposed to be this way. The scouting report held no punches describing him with scathing criticism. Descriptions such as a poor build, skinny, lacking great physical stature and strength, lacking a strong-arm and the ability to drive the ball down the field, can’t throw a tight spiral, a system type player who struggled to ab lib, and knocked down easily. In the 2000 NFL Draft there was a quarterback taken with the 199th overall pick in the sixth round. Scouts thought that he might be a backup, maybe a starter with work down the road but he probably wouldn’t make it through training camp like most late round picks. 13 years later that seemingly insufficient Wolverine is a future Hall of Famer with three Super Bowl rings, and arguably one of, if not the greatest quarterback to lace up the cleats in the NFL. But how? How did this beanpole who struggled to beat out Drew Henson for the starting job at Michigan become a great quarterback? The even bigger question, how did all of those scouts miss him? Six quarterbacks went before Brady: Chad Pennington, Marc Bulger, Tee Martin Giovani Carmazzi, Chris Redman, and Spergon Wynn. In an age with all of the scouting, the combine, the mental tests, and film how did teams miss Brady? Tom Brady is the perfect example of how teams can get lost in the measurables of the modern-day combine. In the sea of variables from 40 times to vertical jumps we forget to check if they can play football and do they have the heart of a champion. While Brady might not have lit up the scoreboard or won a Heisman trophy, Brady was clutch bringing the
Wolverins back in games under the toughest circumstances. Despite this, Brady didn’t have the so-called intangibles that scout’s were looking for. Pennington had a decent career with the Jets but shoulder injuries derailed his promising career. Marc Bulger had great success early in his career with the Rams, but like Pennington injuries have reduced him to a backup role in Baltimore. Chris Redman is a backup for the Falcons after being released by the Ravens when he couldn’t handle the pressure. Tee Martin and Spergon Wynn? Who the heck are they? Exactly. Their careers were epic disasters in their own rights. Heck even Drew Henson, Brady’s competition at Michigan, who was supposed to be the star failed after stints in Dallas and Detroit when it was clear that he couldn’t handle the pressures of the NFL. Brady meanwhile has become the poster boy for the league and has proven that stars can come from anywhere in the draft. With the Draft fast approaching coaches and fan bases that are starving for relevance should look at Brady for hope. While I don’t see any quarterbacks in the sixth round having the same success, it should give team’s the hope that they can find their future
stars late in the draft. Just like the Redskins last year picking Alfred Morris in the sixth round ,who led all rookie running backs in rushing. Brady should give all of the players who enter the draft hope that no matter where they are picked and the knocks scouts have against them that if they work hard they can be successful. While this Jet fan has been haunted by Brady for the past decade, I do have great respect for him and all of the obstacles that he had to overcome. I also wonder what would have happened if Mo Lewis hadn’t knocked Drew Bledsoe out of that game back in 2001. But that’s all in the past as and while Brady prepares to lead the Patriots back to the promise land, others franchises are looking for the next Brady steal late in the draft. It just proves that old saying, you can’t judge a book by it’s cover. Don’t forget to comment and subscribe.