If we were to go back and re-do the 2000 draft based on the experience that we know now, Tom Brady would be the first overall draft pick. Instead, he was taken at pick number 199; a compensatory pick for the New England Patriots. They would never look back, with Brady tearing it up on his way to five Super Bowls, four Super Bowl MVP’s, thirteen Pro-Bowl appearances, and a host of other accolades that turned the last seventeen years into a dynasty.
In saying that, there were six other quarterbacks taken in front of the arguably the greatest of all time in the 2000 draft. It was the last time that two quarterbacks were taken from the big two West Virginia schools in the same year, with Marshall’s only other drafted quarterback coming in 2003 (Byron Leftwich). There is a ton of potential this year in the quarterback ranks, so we decided to re-visit the draft of the GOAT and see what happened to those passers taken ahead of Tom Brady.
Round 1, Pick 18 (NY Jets) – Chad Pennington (Marshall)
Chad Pennington was the first ever quarterback to be selected in the draft from West Virginia’s number two school, and he had a serviceable career in the league. He would go on to play for the New York Jets and the Miami Dolphins in a career spanning eleven years, earning $51 million during his tenure.
His best year was most definitely in 2002, where he played in fifteen games for 22 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions for a 104.2 QB rating. His playoff record wasn’t amazing, going 2-4. However, that’s more playoffs played in than the majority of the quarterbacks drafted in 2000.
Pennington also managed to win the Comeback Player of the Year twice in his career before calling it a day in February of 2012. He would end up passing for just over 100 touchdowns in 81 starts, rushing for another 7 and having a passer rating of a touch over 90.0.
Round 3, Pick 65 (SF 49ers) – Giovanni Carmazzi (Hofstra)
The second quarterback to be taken out of the draft is seen as one of the biggest quarterback busts in the history of the draft. Carmazzi had some impressive stats coming out of college, but he failed miserably in San Francisco.
The Hofstra quarterback would not see the field in his two years in the Bay, plying his trade on the practice squad for two years. The most notable thing to come out of his time with San Francisco is that he was beaten to the quarterback spot by a seventh-round pick in Tim Rattay.
Carmazzi would be the only quarterback out of the 2000 draft to not see the field for a single snap. Oh, and guess who they could have had as a potential home-town hero? Yep, Tom Brady.
Round 3, Pick 75 (Baltimore Ravens) – Chris Redman (Louisville)
The Louisville product would have a decent tenure in terms of time spent in the league, with Chris Redman lasting eight seasons between Baltimore and Atlanta. Never seen as someone who could cut open the defense game after game, Redman would be a decent backup that could be called upon to put in a solid performance.
Out of the quarterbacks picked in front of Brady, Chris Redman would be the only one to win a Super Bowl ring. He would win it in his rookie year with the Baltimore Ravens, serving as the backup in their victory over the New York Giants. His career stats would seem more like an above average single season, with 21 touchdowns and 14 picks.
Round 5, Pick 163 (Pittsburgh Steelers) – Tee Martin (Tennessee)
A Tennessee Volunteer with a national title under his belt, the transition to the NFL was not exactly smooth sailing for Tee Martin. His time at Pittsburgh was short, spending two years in the Steel City and seeing a singular snap for 8 rushing yards.
A move across the country to Oakland wouldn’t prove to be the move that Martin needed, as he saw a combined 21 snaps in the 2003 season. He would complete six of those attempts, with one interception and no touchdowns. He would also end up fumbling three times and retiring at the end of the season.
Round 6, Pick 168 (NO Saints) – Marc Bulger (West Virginia)
The second quarterback to come out of the West Virginian schools in the draft is probably the only other quarterback outside of Brady and Pennington to have a successful career. Bulger would spend ten seasons in the league, with his last being as a backup to Joe Flacco in Baltimore before retirement.
Bouncing around a few of the practice squads in his first year, Bulger would end up finding a place at St. Louis, and it worked out perfectly for him. He would manage a passer rating of 84.4 at the end of his career, with over 100 touchdowns and three playoff starts (1-2). He would also go on to play in two Pro Bowls, ending up as the MVP in 2004.
Round 6, Pick 183 (Cleveland Browns) – Spergon Wynn (Texas State)
It seems that the times have not changed, with Cleveland picking flops from the turn on the century. Spergon Wynn spent one year at Cleveland before moving onto the Minnesota Vikings, and that ended poorly to say the least.
With 1 touchdown, 7 interceptions, and a career rating under a 40.0, he would move onto the CFL to finish his football career north of the border, but it shall forever be in the records that a guy who had a passing record of 1-7 was picked before Tom Brady.
Round 6, Pick 199 (NE Patriots) – Tom Brady (Michigan)
No introduction is needed here. Brady barely scraped into the top 200 thanks to a poor showing at the combine and what we could call sub-par athleticism. He would play in one game in his rookie season, and as for the rest, the numbers do not lie.
Since his first start in the 2001 season, Tom Brady has never finished a season with his completion record below 60%. In six of his past eleven seasons, he has had a passer rating of over 100. He has played in the most playoff games by any player in the history of the NFL (37). The accolades go on, as will Brady in 2018.