Which QBs Were Drafted Before Tom Brady? Revisiting the 2000 NFL Draft

Tom Brady is perhaps the most famous draft-day steal of all. But what do you know about the quarterbacks who heard their names called before him?

Tom Brady was famously something of a draft-day steal. The New England Patriots selected Brady out of Michigan with the 199th overall pick in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. For perspective, the most accomplished players selected in that slot in the following quarter-century include Jordan Fuller and Theo Riddick.

Brady’s laundry list of accolades is too plentiful to unpack in this space. He’s a 15-time Pro Bowl selection, a six-time All-Pro, and a three-time league MVP. He ranks first all-time with 89,214 passing yards and 649 touchdown passes. Oh yeah, he’s also a seven-time Super Bowl champion and inarguably the greatest postseason quarterback to ever live.

Which Quarterbacks Were Drafted Before Tom Brady?

Nowadays, it seems unfathomable to think that any passers were selected before Brady. But pro scouting, as is proven again year after year, is inherently mistake-ridden.

The six quarterbacks taken off the board before Brady were largely a mixed bag. Some had respectable careers. Others flamed out after a cup of coffee in the pros.

The group even earned a collective nickname (and a documentary episode) for their draft positioning: The Brady Six.

Today we’ll take a look back at each of the half-dozen signal-callers who share this dubious claim to fame.

1) Chad Pennington

The New York Jets made Chad Pennington the first QB off the board with the 18th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. The Marshall product had a respectable pro career when he was healthy. That was something of the caveat with Pennington, however.

Pennington was a 16-game starter just twice in his career, whereas he was limited to three games or less in a season three times.

Pennington did manage a few notable accomplishments during his pro career. He twice won Comeback Player of the Year honors. He also led the league in completion percentage twice.

Perhaps most impressively, Pennington led the Jets to the postseason on three separate occasions. He also led the Miami Dolphins to the postseason once before injuries forced him into calling it a career. In all, Pennington threw for 17,823 yards, 102 touchdowns, and 64 interceptions.

2) Giovanni Carmazzi

Most football fans who’ve reached legal voting age will likely be at least loosely familiar with Pennington. The second quarterback off the board, however, is another story.

The San Francisco 49ers selected Hofstra’s Giovanni Carmazzi with the No. 65 overall pick in Round 3. It was perhaps the first and only highlight of his NFL career.

Carmazzi never threw a pass in the NFL. He bounced around in NFL Europe and the CFL after being cut by San Francisco, but his stats aren’t readily accessible. According to his Hofstra alumni page, Carmazzi is now a yoga practitioner and a farmer.

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3) Chris Redman

The Baltimore Ravens selected Chris Redman out of Louisville with the 75th overall pick. It was 10 spots after Carmazzi and 124 before Brady.

Redman would never emerge as anybody’s idea of a franchise QB, but the journeyman carved out a decade-long pro career as a respectable backup. He had two stints in which he saw extensive action.

Redman started six games for Baltimore in 2002 and managed a 3-3 record. In the back half of his career, he caught on with the Atlanta Falcons as a backup, starting six games between 2007-09.

Redman played well in that stretch, throwing for 1,860 yards, 14 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Those were the last starts of his pro career.

4) Tee Martin

Tee Martin is certainly a memorable name for fans of the Tennessee Volunteers. His play helped the team earn a national championship in 1998, the first time the Vols had claimed that particular prize in some 47 years.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans were no doubt hopeful that Martin would bring his championship acumen to the next level when the team selected him in Round 6 (163 overall).

No such luck. Martin did a lot of bouncing and very little playing during his pro football career. He threw 16 passes in the NFL and completed six (seven if you count the interception on his stat sheet).

Martin’s found more luck in the pros since turning in his helmet for a headset, however. He’s currently the quarterbacks coach for the Ravens and reigning MVP, Lamar Jackson.

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5) Marc Bulger

In most other drafts, Marc Bulger would likely be remembered as the steal of his class.

Himself a sixth-round pick out of West Virginia, Bulger had to step into colossal shoes when he was tasked with replacing the injured (and previously struggling) Kurt Warner for the then-St. Louis Rams. The latter, after all, had been piloting the “Greatest Show on Turf” for the better part of a half-decade.

Bulger managed to keep the offense humming. He helped guide the Rams to a 12-4 record in 2003, his first full season as a starter. He threw for 3,845 yards and 22 touchdowns that year. It was one of three times Bulger would eclipse 3,800 yards and 20+ touchdowns.

Much like Pennington, injuries hampered him throughout his career. Nonetheless, Bulger still had a solid six-year stretch where he was a reliable starter in the pros. Not bad for a Day 3 pick.

6) Spergon Wynn

The last quarterback to be selected ahead of Brady was perhaps the most anonymous of all. Spergon Wynn was taken 183rd overall by the Cleveland Browns out of Southwest Texas State.

Wynn threw 152 passes in an NFL career split between the Browns and Minnesota Vikings, completing a shade over 46% of his passes and throwing one touchdown to seven interceptions.

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Wynn’s career passer rating when his NFL days came to a close was 39.5. It’s worth noting that were a quarterback to throw an incomplete pass on every throw he attempted in a game, he would finish with a rating of 39.6.

It seems fair to suggest Cleveland would like a do-over on that selection.

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