The Oakland Raiders picked six players in the 2000 NFL Draft. None of them were named Tom Brady.
Of course, the Raiders weren’t alone in overlooking Brady, who was selected in the sixth round (199th overall) out of Michigan by the New England Patriots. But the Raiders’ Draft Day mishap is especially noteworthy because they opted to select both a kicker and a punter rather than Brady, who defeated Oakland in the famous “Tuck Rule Game” less than two years later and since has become arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
Jon Gruden, who was Oakland’s head coach at the time Brady was drafted, acknowledged this little piece of history during Saturday’s broadcast of the Raiders’ wild-card game against the Houston Texans, which featured both the kicker (Sebastian Janikowski) and the punter (Shane Lechler) that he picked ahead of TB12.
Janikowski (first round, 17th overall) remains the Raiders’ kicker and has had a tremendous career. Lechler (fifth round, 142nd overall) is in his fourth season with Houston after 13 excellent years in Oakland.
It’s hard to complain too much about either selection, as Janikowski and Lechler have been among the best at their respective positions over the last 17 years. But the idea of not drafting Brady must really sting for the Raiders, like every other organization outside of New England, especially since Gruden also claimed during Saturday’s broadcast that he would have nabbed Brady if Oakland had a sixth-round pick that year.
The Raiders settled for Mondriel Fulcher, a tight end out of Miami, and Clifton Black, a defensive back out Southwest Texas State, in the seventh round in 2000 with Brady off the board.
Gruden never coached another game for Oakland after Brady and the Patriots defeated the Raiders in the “Tuck Rule Game” en route to a Super Bowl XXXVI victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images