Draft Day Minus 2: Tom Brady is the 2nd Best Draft Pick Ever, with a Bullet

Tom Brady is the reason today’s Patriots are not the 1970s Steelers.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady calls a play during the second half of their NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville, Tennessee September 9, 2012. REUTERS/Harrison McClary (UNITED STATES – Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL)

On a temporary technicality, Tom Brady currently ranks as the second best draft pick ever. If he retired immediately and never played another game, he would move into first place once his inevitable enshrinement in Canton is official. After he plays six more games for the Patriots in 2019, he will move into first place even before he gets enshrined. Without question, Tom Brady is the greatest draft pick ever.

Recently I saw a few references to other Patriot players expressing cynicism that Brady did it all by himself. The complaint essentially states that the lazy media refuse to give sufficient credit to other players, offensive lineman, defensive backs, etc., who also contributed to the six championships Brady played on. On one hand, no, Brady didn’t do it all by himself, but on the other hand, yes he did.

I began a countdown to Draft Day on March 1, and the list includes fifty-seven names. Five of those names belong to the great Steelers teams of the 1970s. In addition to Bradshaw, Blount, Stallworth, Webster, and Greene, several other Steeler draft choices also played on all four of their championships, guys like Franco Harris, L.C. Greenwood, Jack Ham, and others. Simply stated, Pittsburgh made a slew of great draft choices and rode those great choices to four Super Bowl victories. That’s also the way the ‘70s Raiders, ‘70s Cowboys, ‘80s 49ers, ‘90s Cowboys, and a few others won multiple championships. The Raiders of the late seventies and early eighties placed four players on the list of best draft choices, and the Redskins of the eighties and early nineties placed three.

Most dynastic organizations built around a series of great draft picks and clung to those draft picks with all their might. The lone exception is the Patriots of the last twenty years. Bill Belichick and the Patriots essentially became Tom Brady and the orphans. New England kept trading for other teams’ players or signing guys the other teams cut. Rob Ninkovich, Shea McClellan, Roosevelt Colvin, Chris Hogan, Josh Gordon, Cordarelle Patterson, Nick Van Noy, Martellus Bennett, and so on. The Patriots also let guys go, like Lawyer Milloy, Malcolm Butler, Danny Amendola, Nate Solder, and, this year, starting offensive tackle Trent Brown. The idea of letting Super-Bowl-winning, starting offensive tackles walk is preposterous, but New England does things like that. Through six championships, their one roster constant has been Tom Brady.

There is no equivalent to the importance of Tom Brady in NFL history. The closest ones to him were probably Otto Graham in the 1950s and Bart Starr in the 1960s, but both of those men were surrounded by the usual suspects. Paul Brown and Vince Lombardi held on to their players much more than Bill Belichick hangs on to players on his roster.

In conclusion, all I can say is Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady, Tom Brady Tom Brady, Tom Brady. There is no one else like him.

 

 

Rank N/YY Team Last Name First Name P College PTS AY DY AG DG SB1 SB2 SB3 SB4 SB5 SB6 SB7 SB8 SB9 HOF ADCS
2 19900 New England Brady Tom QB Michigan 10 19 19 269 269 19 19 19 1 1 19 19 1 19 0 703
3 5692 Detroit Hanson Jason KK Washington State 3 21 21 327 327 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 699
4 1685 San Francisco Rice Jerry WR Mississippi Valley State 1 20 16 303 238 20 20 20 1 0 0 0 0 0 50 689
5 983 Houston Matthews Bruce OT USC 1 19 19 296 296 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 682
6 8682 New Orleans Andersen Morton KK Michigan State 5 25 13 382 196 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 672
7 12574 Pittsburgh Webster Mike OC Wisconsin 7 17 15 245 220 17 17 17 17 0 0 0 0 0 50 622
8 8676 Los Angeles Slater Jackie OG Jackson State 5 20 20 259 259 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 614
9 1700 Oakland Janikowski Sebastian KK Florida State 1 18 17 284 268 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 589
10 185 Buffalo Smith Bruce DE Virginia Tech 1 19 15 279 217 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 50 585
11 688 Los Angeles Brown Tim WR Notre Dame 1 17 16 255 240 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 580
12 2696 Baltimore Lewis Ray LB Miami (FL) 2 17 17 228 228 17 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 576
13 2783 Miami Marino Dan QB Pittsburgh 2 17 17 242 242 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 571
14 1880 Washington Monk Art WR Syracuse 1 16 14 224 205 16 1 16 16 0 0 0 0 0 50 559
15 1790 Dallas Smith Emmitt RB Florida 1 15 13 226 201 15 15 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 551
16 1278 Cleveland Matthews Clay LB USC 1 19 16 278 232 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 546
18 1767 Oakland Upshaw Gene OT Texas A & I 1 15 15 217 217 1 15 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 546
17 590 San Diego Seau Junior LB USC 1 19 13 261 200 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 546
19 8685 Buffalo Reed Andre WR Kutztown State 5 16 15 234 221 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 50 545
20 4093 New York Strahan Michael DE Texas Southern 2 15 15 216 216 1 15 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 545
21 4169 Atlanta Van Note Jeff OC Kentucky 14 18 18 246 246 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 542
22 2895 Tampa Bay Brooks Derrick LB Florida State 2 14 14 224 224 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 542
23 198 Indianapolis Manning Peyton QB Tennessee 1 17 14 265 208 17 1 1 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 541
24 1397 Kansas City Gonzalez Tony TE California 1 17 12 270 190 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 540
25 7093 Denver Elam Jason PT Hawaii 4 16 14 252 220 16 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 538
26 1378 Atlanta Kenn Mike OT Michigan 1 17 17 251 251 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 537
26 5370 Pittsburgh Blount Mel DB Southern (LA) 3 14 14 200 200 14 14 14 14 0 0 0 0 0 50 537
28 2373 Oakland Guy Ray PT Southern Mississippi 2 14 14 207 207 14 14 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 536
29 6697 Tampa Bay Barber Ronde DB Virginia 4 16 16 241 241 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 534
30 18998 Chicago Mannelly Patrick OT Duke 10 16 16 245 245 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 533
31 14200 Oakland Lechler Shane PT Texas A&M 8 18 13 286 206 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 532
32 7968 Oakland Shell Art OT Maryland-Eastern Shore 4 15 15 207 207 15 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 528
33 28979 Washington Coleman Monte LB Central Arkansas 15 16 16 215 215 16 1 16 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 526
34 5181 New Orleans Jackson Rickey LB Pittsburgh 3 15 13 227 195 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 518
35 275 Dallas White Randy DT Maryland 1 14 14 209 209 1 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 513
36 6903 Dallas Witten Jason TE Tennessee 4 15 15 239 239 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 512
37 1003 Baltimore Suggs Terrell DE Arizona State 1 16 16 229 229 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 507
38 7668 Houston Bethea Elvin OT North Carolina A&T 4 16 16 210 210 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 506
39 8379 San Francisco Montana Joe QB Notre Dame 5 15 13 192 167 15 15 15 15 0 0 0 0 0 50 502
40 304 Arizona Fitzgerald Larry WR Pittsburgh 1 15 15 234 234 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 500
41 174 Dallas Jones Ed DE Tennessee State 1 15 15 224 224 1 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 496
41 9298 Pittsburgh Ward Hines WR Georgia 5 14 14 217 217 14 14 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 496
43 1104 Pittsburgh Roethlisberger Ben QB Miami (OH) 1 15 15 216 216 15 15 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 494
44 469 Pittsburgh Greene Joe DT North Texas 1 13 13 181 181 13 13 13 13 0 0 0 0 0 50 491
45 168 Minnesota Yary Ron OT USC 1 15 14 207 199 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 50 490
46 10072 Oakland Dalby Dave OC UCLA 5 14 14 205 205 14 14 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 485
47 2071 Los Angeles Youngblood Jack DE Florida 1 14 14 202 202 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 484
48 4694 Dallas Allen Larry OG Sonoma State 3 14 13 203 187 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 483
48 16680 Detroit Murray Eddie KK Tulane 9 19 12 250 174 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 483
50 3280 Baltimore Donaldson Ray OC Georgia 2 17 12 244 184 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 476
51 30267 New York J Rasmussen Randy OG Nebraska-Kearney 16 15 15 207 207 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 475
53 2378 Cleveland Newsome Ozzie TE Alabama 2 13 13 198 198 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 474
52 685 Detroit Brown Lomas OT Florida 1 18 10 263 164 18 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 474
54 170 Pittsburgh Bradshaw Terry QB Louisiana Tech 1 14 14 168 168 14 14 14 14 0 0 0 0 0 50 471
55 475 Chicago Payton Walter RB Jackson State 1 13 13 190 190 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 50 470
56 5001 Detroit Raiola Dominic OC Nebraska 3 14 14 219 219 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 469
56 8274 Pittsburgh Stallworth John WR Alabama A&M 5 14 14 165 165 14 14 14 14 0 0 0 0 0 50 469

 

Key:

Rank:     Where the player ranks among all draft picks taken in the Super Bowl era.

N/Y:       The draft pick number and year. Tom Brady was the 199th pick taken in 2000 (19900).

Team:

Player:

Pos:       Position

School:

PTS:       All picks chosen between 1 and 20 gain the team one point if the player makes the team.  Every twenty picks add one more point. New England earned 10 points because they took Brady 199th.

DY:         All years played for the team that drafted the player.

AG:        All games played in the NFL.

DG:        All games played for the team that drafted the player.

SB1:       Every time a player wins a Super Bowl ring, the team gets one point for every year of that player’s NFL service.  The Patriots scored 117 points because Brady played in 9 Super Bowls, won 6 and lost 3. Since Tom Brady played in nine Super Bowls, his chart goes from SB1 to SB9.

HOF:      The team earns 50 points if their pick makes the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

ADCS:    The total points a team earned for choosing a given player. If the draft pick never plays in the NFL, the team scores a zero. 1 other player earned as high or higher scores than Tom Brady, but that will change once Brady makes it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame or plays one more season and six more games with New England.

 

*The actual draft score belongs to the team that drafted the player. Even though Eli Manning won two Super Bowls with the Giants, he was actually drafted by the Chargers, so the Chargers get the credit for drafting him. If Manning achieved his career in a Chargers’ uniform, San Diego/Los Angeles would have gotten a higher score for drafting him.

The Answer to today’s trivia question. Who are the 13 receivers who caught more than 10 touchdown passes from Tom Brady?

  1. Rob Gronkowski (76)
  2. Randy Moss (39)
  3. Wes Welker (34)
  4. Deion Branch (24)
  5. Julian Edelman (24)
  6. Aaron Hernandez (18)
  7. Daniel Graham (17)
  8. Benjamin Watson (17)
  9. David Patten (16)
  10. James White (16)
  11. Troy Brown (15)
  12. Christian Fauria (13)
  13. David Givens (12)

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