Every team besides the New England Patriots surely regrets passing on Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL Draft.
For the New York Jets, the misstep stings a little bit more.
Not only have Brady and the Patriots dominated the AFC East — a division they share with the Jets — for the better part of two decades. But the Jets also owned four first-round picks in 2000, one of which they used to select one of the six quarterbacks chosen ahead of Brady.
Brady, of course, was drafted by the Patriots in the sixth round with the 199th overall pick. The Jets drafted quarterback Chad Pennington in the first round with the 18th overall pick.
Former Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum appeared on ESPN’s “NFL Live” over the weekend to discuss the NFL draft scouting process and how Brady went overlooked 19 years ago. He shared an interesting story about being in the Jets’ war room and actually regretting at the time not taking quarterback Giovanni Carmazzi, whom the San Francisco 49ers drafted in the third round with the 65th pick.
“Actually I was in the draft room, I’ll never forget it. We had four first-round picks in 2000 and we took Chad Pennington with the third of the four picks,” Tannenbaum said. “And in the third round that year, this is remarkable — Bill Walsh drafts Giovanni Carmazzi of Hostra University, which was right across from the Jets facility and we’re like, ‘Oh my God, we blew it.’ Bill Walsh, this quarterback whisperer, takes Carmazzi, who’s across the street, in the third round. And we’re like, ‘Oh man. We just blew it.’ And then in the sixth round, some guy named Tom Brady went with the 199th pick.”
Jeff Darlington was quick to point out that Pennington wasn’t necessarily a bad pick, as the QB had a solid eight-year run with the Jets. But obviously, he’s no Brady, a six-time Super Bowl champion and arguably the greatest player in NFL history.
As for Carmazzi, well, the Jets didn’t miss out on anything. He never played in a single regular-season NFL game despite landing with Walsh in the Bay Area.