FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots’ best late-round draft choice is the team's best overall draft choice as well. Perhaps you've heard the story about quarterback Tom Brady, the 199th overall selection of the 2000 NFL draft?
When the Patriots selected Brady out of Michigan, this is what coach Bill Belichick said that day:
"The value board at that point really clearly put him as the top value. Brady is a guy that has obviously played at a high level of competition in front of a lot of people and he’s been in a lot of pressure situations. We felt that this year his decision-making was improved from his junior year after he took over for Brian Griese. He cut his interceptions down. He’s a good, tough, competitive, smart quarterback that is a good value and how he does and what he’ll be able to do, we’ll just put him out there with everybody else and let him compete and see what happens."
The Patriots saw enough of Brady in offseason camps and training camp to keep four quarterbacks on the roster that first year -- Drew Bledsoe, John Friesz, Michael Bishop and Brady. By the next year, Brady was rising up to No. 2 on the depth chart, and everyone knows what happened after that.
Decades later, NFL Films put together a documentary called the "Brady 6,” detailing the six quarterbacks selected ahead of Brady that year:
Chad Pennington, 18th to the New York Jets
Giovanni Carmazzi, 65th to the San Francisco 49ers
Chris Redman, 75th to the Baltimore Ravens
Tee Martin, 163rd to the Pittsburgh Steelers
Marc Bulger, 168th to the New Orleans Saints
Spergon Wynn, 183rd to the Cleveland Browns
Troy Brown, WR, Marshall: An eighth-round draft choice out of Marshall in 1993, he became the team's all-time leading receiver.
Jim Nance, FB, Syracuse: The team's 19th pick in 1965 out of Syracuse, he wound up in the team's Hall of Fame.
Julian Edelman, WR, Kent State: A quarterback in college, he transitioned to receiver and punt returner after joining the Patriots as a seventh-round pick in 2009 (No. 232 overall), ultimately becoming Brady's No. 1 target.