Plenty has been said about how the New England Patriots unearthed a gold mine when they selected franchise quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round of the 2000 draft. Four Super Bowl rings, three Super Bowl MVPs and a supermodel wife — there isn’t much more for the future Hall of Famer to accomplish.
Looking back at that fateful draft and the 198 players picked ahead of Brady, there are some amazing nuggets of information that may even leave Brady’s head spinning. Here are 12, just to match Brady’s jersey number. All data is queried from the excellent Draft Finder tool at Pro Football Reference.
1. Out of the 198 players drafted ahead of Brady, just two are still active. Interestingly, they were both drafted by the Raiders and they are kicking specialists — Sebastien Janikowski and Shane Lechler. Jon Gruden sure knows how to draft special teamers.
2. Three placekickers were selected ahead of Brady — Janikowski (1st), Neil Rackers (6th), Paul Edinger (6th)
3. Six quarterbacks were selected ahead of Brady with Chad Pennington of the rival Jets being the first.
4. The Cleveland Browns selected Southwest Texas State quarterback Spergon Wynn 16 picks ahead of Brady. Wynn lasted one year in Cleveland, completing just 40.7 percent of his passes in seven appearances. He was traded the next year.
5. Even worse, the 49ers grabbed Hofstra quarterback Giovanni Carmazzi in the third round, and he never played a down.
6. 16 other players drafted ahead of Brady never played a down.
7. The six quarterbacks selected ahead of Brady combined to throw for 44,470 yards and 266 touchdown passes. Brady currently has 58,028 yards and 428 touchdowns.
The six quarterbacks drafted ahead of Tom Brady
No. 18: Chad Pennington
No. 65: Giovanni Carmazzi
No. 75: Chris Redman
No. 163: Tee Martin
No. 168: Marc Bulger
No. 183: Spergon Wynn
No. 199: Tom Brady
8. The same six quarterbacks also combined for 179 interceptions in 229 games compared to 150 for Brady in 225 games.
9. Brady even had more touchdown runs than the rest of the group combined: 17 to 15.
10. Brady’s 876 rushing yards is the ninth-most of the entire draft class, which included 19 running backs. His 17 rushing touchdowns are eighth-most.
11. Brady wasn’t even the first player taken from the University of Michigan — linebacker Ian Gold (2nd round-DEN), tight end Aaron Shea (4th-CLE), defensive tackle Josh Williams (4th-IND) and linebacker Dhani Jones (6th-NYG).
12. 29 players from the Big Ten were selected ahead of Brady, including the first two picks overall out of Penn State — Courtney Brown and LaVar Arrington.