The most important NFL draft decision the New England Patriots ever have made — without question — is selecting quarterback Tom Brady with the 199th pick in 2000.
But where does that rank among the actual best moments in Patriots draft history?
The selection of Brady actually was rather unceremonious, as it occurred during Round 6 of the 2000 NFL Draft and lacked the pomp and circumstance of a first-round selection. In fact, the Brady pick wasn’t even mentioned in ESPN’s recent ranking of the “most memorable” draft moments in Patriots history.
In a somewhat surprising move, ESPN chose the drafting of QB Drew Bledsoe in 1993 as New England’s best draft moment. Here’s why, per Patriots reporter Mike Reiss:
“While there was speculation that the Patriots would draft Drew Bledsoe first overall in 1993 — choosing him over Rick Mirer — the club never informed Bledsoe of its intentions. So as he waited in the draft room with the likes of Garrison Hearst and Willie Roaf, Bledsoe was in suspense as much as anyone when then-commissioner Paul Tagliabue approached the podium to announce that New England was on the clock.
“As Bledsoe donned a red button-down shirt (no suit and tie) and held up a blue Patriots jersey with the No. 1 on it, the New England region had hope that its doormat status in the NFL was about to change. It sure did. Because of that, the selection of Bledsoe edges out Rob Gronkowski’s full-family onstage celebration in 2010 and Kevin Faulk announcing a pick in 2016 in a Tom Brady jersey to show his support for his former QB as Brady went through Deflategate.”
Let the debating begin.
Brady’s ascension to G.O.A.T. status has caused many to forget just how good Bledsoe was during his time in New England. But a quick look at Bledsoe’s career highlights will remind you that the Washington native was responsible for some of the best moments in Patriots history.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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