In every NFL Draft, there always seems to be hidden gems. Players that were looked over and not picked until later rounds. There’s seven of ’em, so you’re bound to find a few in rounds five, six, or seven in a draft.
Those first and second, even getting into the third rounders are where teams may already be set on having a player be a day one starter or at least a solid contributor in his rookie year or even the few years following.
Every player when they make it to the league worked hard to get there and you got to give them props in fulfilling their dreams. And when those later round draft picks end up having successful careers, that’s incredible. When you’re overlooked, you sometimes have a chip on your shoulder. Okay, you didn’t draft me in an earlier round, I’ll show you what’s up.
Teams maybe didn’t have the athletes high on their board but end up selecting them in a later round or picking up as undrafted free agents down the road. When those players become everyday starters or contributors on teams, that’s something special. You got to root for underdogs. These are incredible stories and you already know who one of them is.
That dude who’s got seven Super Bowls to his name.
If you thought he was drafted first or at least in the top ten like you saw so many quarterbacks go early in this year’s draft, think again. If you’re like, naw, can’t be, well maybe the still went in the first round, think again.
So, you’re telling me one of the greatest players to ever throw a football didn’t get drafted in the first round? Correct.
Okay, the second round. Has to be. Nope!
Third, fourth, fifth?!
No, nada, nope.
If you know Brady’s story, you already know he was drafted in…the sixth round!
It’s one of many reasons this is a remarkable story.
Drafted in the 2000 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots with the 199th pick, Brady’s name was finally called in the sixth round.
That’s right, teams passed up on Brady as 198 players were selected before him.
Out of the University of Michigan, the Wolverine has taken advantage of the opportunities he’s been given and has turned in to a 14-time Pro Bowler, three-time All-Pro and three-time MVP, and of course a seven-time Super Bowl champion.
Six of those Super Bowls came with the Patriots and that most recent one, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Since 2001 when Brady started his first game at quarterback, he’s never had a losing season. All he’s done is win in the league. But it didn’t come without its fair share of adversity, bumps and bruises, with that all starting with the fact that he got drafted in the sixth round.
What a great reminder that your time isn’t over no matter what people think or say about you. You may get passed up or looked over but you can conquer adversity and go chase your dreams.
“I found my combine shirt from 17 years ago and it got me thinking,” Brady said in an Instagram post over four years ago (that NBC Sports Boston mentioned last year). “This is what they said about me then….. Poor build, Skinny, Lacks great physical stature and strength, Lacks mobility and ability to avoid the rush, Lacks a really strong arm, Can’t drive the ball downfield, Does not throw a really tight spiral, System-type player who can get exposed if forced to ad lib, Gets knocked down easily”.
Look at Brady now.
“As @edelman11 always reminds me … ‘You can prove em right or you can prove em wrong!’ Good luck to all of you this weekend!!” Brady said in that post.
CBS NFL’s Jeff Kerr recently noted that “sixth-round QBs have (a) higher win percentage than first-rounders in (the) salary cap era…First-round draft picks have a much larger sample size giving their draft status and teams forcing them to play right away…Brady’s success has a lot to do with this stat, but he’s not the only one.”
Kerr also mentioned quarterbacks like Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, Derek Anderson, and Tyrod Taylor who also have found success in the NFL after getting drafted in the sixth round.
You just never know.
Charlie Lapastora is a sports/news multimedia journalist who’s reported, written, produced, anchored, shot video/edited on different NBC, ABC, and FOX shows in multiple TV markets, along with digital & new media companies. Charlie has traveled the country telling national sports, news, feature, and original stories on a cable news network, airing on top 10 TV markets, satellite radio, and digital platforms. He is passionate about his faith, family—being a husband to whom he calls the G.O.A.T. of women—about reppin’ his home state of Michigan and Detroit teams (yes, including the Lions), good coffee, and loves how sports brings people together. He’s traveled the world leading and coaching sports camps and has also worked at the Detroit Pistons and LA Clippers’ NBA teams.
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