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Doug Farrar
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Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Brady Beats Bunch

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What defines a great draft pick? Is it hitting it big with a high choice who's expected to do well? Probably not. More likely, it's the kind of player who comes in under the radar and surprises everyone -- a true value-for-performance pick. And I don't think there's ever been a better pickup in that regard than Tom Brady.

It's not even that the Patriots knew. How could they? How could they know that a guy who had to battle Drew Henson for a starting gig at Michigan and looked like a CPA in his Combine drills would turn out to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of the modern era -- the linchpin of three Super Bowl championship teams, the single-season touchdown king, and the man behind a winning percentage most teams could only dream of? But that's exactly what happened. He was taken 199th overall in the 2000 NFL draft (a compensatory pick!), took over for an injured Drew Bledsoe a year later, and the rest was history.

Bill Belichick has said in the years since that fateful pick that the Patriots had no idea what they were getting -- had they known, Brady would have been selected much sooner than he was. But when you take a comp pick awarded at the Owner's Meetings and spin it into this generation's Joe Montana... found gold or not, that's the best draft pick I've ever seen.

By Doug Farrar  |  March 24, 2009; 8:29 AM ET  | Category:  Doug Farrar , New England Patriots Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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This was more than a stroke of luck. Bill Belichick may not have known he was going to get the greatest quarterback who ever played the game, but he sure did see something everyone else missed...

Posted by: jerkhoff | March 24, 2009 1:40 PM

I wouldn't give Belichick too much credit. It was down to either Brady or Ratay. They took a flyer and it paid off. Looks like it might have worked for Cassel as well.

Posted by: YUTZ | March 24, 2009 2:42 PM

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