Tom Brady: Greatest draft day steal

May, 1, 2014
5/01/14
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In a ranking that is hard to dispute, quarterback Tom Brady lands in the No. 1 spot when it comes to draft-day steals in the history of the NFL. This from Jim Reineking, NFL Media editor for NFL.com.

"Brady -- the 199th overall pick out of Michigan (in 2000) -- is just the second player representing the draft's modern era (since 1970) on this list (Joe Montana, 1979). Given his eventual unprecedented success, Brady's drop to the sixth round is mind-boggling," Reineking writes in a photo essay. "It is an omnipresent reminder of how inexact the draft process can still be, despite the significant advances made since the inaugural draft of 1936. Brady's ever-growing Pro Football Hall of Fame resume includes two MVP awards and three Super Bowl wins."

Brady's draft slide came up Tuesday in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' pre-draft news conference, with first-year Bucs general manager Jason Licht (formerly with the Patriots' personnel staff; 2001-2005; 2009-2011) reflecting on the Patriots' big hit.

"We had some people there that were big fans of [Brady] the whole time," Licht said. "It's not that we said we wanted to draft a tall, lanky quarterback that ran a 5.3 [time in the] 40. Those weren't the traits we were looking for. But we were looking for the mental makeup. But I know Coach [Bill] Belichick did a lot of homework on him, along with our staff, on his mental makeup. Watching the tape, he was the guy that would go in and lead them back to victory. That's why he is what he is."

One thought to ponder as the 2014 NFL draft is now seven days away: Which quarterback best checks off the "mental makeup" box in this year's class?

Alabama's AJ McCarron and his 36-4 record and two national championships came to mind as one consideration.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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