Twenty years ago, the New England Patriots took Michigan quarterback Tom Brady with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL draft. I was there -- and I liked the pick. But I never could have imagined how his career has gone since. (No one could, right?)
Three MVP awards, 219 regular-season wins, six Super Bowl rings -- Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time and the greatest draft pick of all time. This is the same guy who finished his college career with 30 touchdown passes and 17 interceptions over 25 starts?
So, 20 years later, what follows is my original scouting report for Brady that ran in my 2000 Draft Report. As you can see, I gave Brady a fifth-round grade, but I think my notes were fair. And he proved everyone wrong over the past two decades:
Tom Brady, QB, Michigan (6-4¼, 211 pounds)
Overall: Fifth-round grade | Position rank: No. 10 quarterback
Smart, experienced big-game signal-caller, getting very high grades in the efficiency department this past season. Brady cut his interception total from '98 in half, tossing 20 TD passes compared to just six interceptions. He threw for 2,586 yards, completing an impressive 62.8% of his aerials. For his efforts, Brady was named team MVP. After working as Brian Griese's backup in '97, Brady went on to start 25 straight games with the Wolverines.
He's a straight dropback passer who stands tall in the pocket, doesn't show nervous feet, and does a nice job working through his progressions. He's not going to try to force the action, rarely trying to perform beyond his capability. He threw a TD pass in all 16 games he started against Big Ten opposition, while tossing 15 straight completions during the second half of action this past season against Michigan State. He's accurate, throws a very catchable ball, and also knows when to take a little off the pass.
This past season, Brady completed over 60% of his passes in eight games. The only time he was really off the mark was against Penn State, when he completed just 17 of 36 passes, tossing two TD strikes compared to three interceptions. At the pro level, his lack of mobility could surface as a problem, and it will be interesting to see how he fares when forced to take more chances down the field.
Sure, he doesn't have the total package of skills, but you have to be impressed with his level of performance this past season against Notre Dame (17-of-24), Wisconsin (17-of-27), Michigan State (30-of-41), Ohio State (17-of-27), and Alabama (34-of-46 for 369 yards and 4 TDs).
Combine note: Ran a 5.24 40-yard dash and had a 24½-inch vertical jump.