When the New England Patriots drafted Tom Brady with the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, they had no idea they were getting arguably the greatest quarterback of all time.
In fact, no one did.
While it can be fun to look back and browse through all the players selected before Brady, the fact remains that he never was supposed to be a five-time Super Bowl champion. And that’s extremely obvious when you read the headlines local newspapers wrote the day after that draft.
“Brady pick hard to figure,” The Boston Herald’s headline said, per WFXT-TV in Boston.
“What’s with that?” the text in the Herald article says. “Why another quarterback? The Patriots already have their franchise starter in Drew Bledsoe, a proven veteran backup in John Friesz, and a young developmental player in Michael Bishop.”
The Telegram & Gazette, based in Worcester, Mass., called the pick “somewhat curious.” After rookie orientation camp began, the Herald wrote that Bishop and Brady “would be trade possibilities” and that the latter would end up on another team rather than the practice squad.
All of those assessments, of course, were hilariously wrong.
Still, the New England media doesn’t deserve much flak, if any, for being so off about Brady. Even Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was casual about Brady’s presence.
“We’ll put him out there, let him compete and see what happens,” Belichick said, per WFXT-TV.
Former Miami coach Don Shula put it best, though, in the years after the Dolphins selected five-time Pro Bowl receiver Mark Clayton in the eighth round of the 1983 draft.
“He was there,” Shula said. “When you take somebody that late in the draft, obviously you don’t have great convictions about him. Otherwise you would have taken him a lot earlier.”
Thumbnail photo via Stew Milne/USA TODAY Sports Images
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