I think by now we all know the greatest story ever told, Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. from San Mateo, California finally heard his name called on April 16th. It was pick 199 in the 2000 NFL Draft and he had finally been selected. The 7th Quarterback picked, he would spend his career re-writing the book on an NFL Quarterback and most say the rest is history.
My question to you as the reader then is this; Brady’s legacy began that night and he has created many different legacies since, but what of the pick? When he was selected, no one knew how significant that selection would be. Many theories appeared following this, and I now have my own, the pick, 199 in the 6th Round is that of legends and superstars.
I purposely did not research the list until I began writing, as I wanted to discover greatness as I wrote this, so without further ado, the analysis begins. Brady is the greatest ever because he was selected 199th overall in the 6th round, and I will prove it by studying every player ever taken at the pick.
The 2001 NFL Draft – Adam Haayer, Offensive Tackle, Tennessee Titans
First up is Adam Haayer, an impossible act to follow, he managed 20 total games for 4 teams, leaving the league 5 years later. He started 5 games of the 20 he played and recovered 1 fumble
The 2002 NFL Draft – Adrian Peterson, Running Back, Chicago Bears
The third Offensive player in three years, the Bears selected Adrian Peterson (not that one). He managed 7 years with the Bears, rushing for over 1000 yards for his career and catching 78 passes. He managed to contribute 8 touchdowns too, for a 6th round, not the worst return.
The 2003 NFL Draft – Willie Ponder, Wide Receiver, New York Giants
Next up is Willie Ponder, and well, he caught 8 passes his entire career, for 38 yards in the NFL and that is where it ended.
The 2004 NFL Draft – Clarence Moore, Wide Receiver, Baltimore Ravens
Following Brady’s selection in 2000, it seems that Offense was the name of the game, however no one really stuck the same. Moore managed 353 yards and 5 touchdowns in his short 2-year stint in the NFL.
The 2005 NFL Draft – Khari Long, Defensive End, Kansas City Chiefs
As if on cue, we get our first Defensive player, however he does not fair much better than he predecessors. A perennial practice squad player, never playing an actual down in the NFL.
The 2006 NFL Draft – Charlie Johnson, Offensive Tackle, Indianapolis Colts
Back to the Offense here and we have our first Superbowl champion. Johnson would Superbowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts and made quite a career for himself. Playing in 134 games and starting 115 of them. He had a solid career all over the Offensive Line, and he could be seen as the first real success, even though it was mostly as a rotation, since Brady.
The 2007 NFL Draft – Drew Mormino, Centre, Miami Dolphins
Normal scheduled programming resumed with Mormino who failed to play in his time with the Dolphins, lasting only his Rookie season, before a 2009 season with the Chargers practice squad.
The 2008 NFL Draft – Robert Henderson, Defensive End, New York Giants
Never leaving an NFL practice squad, although he attempted this 4 times, Henderson it seems was just not cut out for the big leagues.
The 2009 NFL Draft – Stryker Sulak, Defensive End, Oakland Raiders
Not even able to make the practice squad of the team that drafted him, Sulak spent 2009 with the Packers on their practice, leaving the NFL soon after.
The 2010 NFL Draft – Joe Webb, Quarterback, Minnesota Vikings
A career backup, Webb has managed to carve out quite the NFL career for himself. Having been on 6 teams throughout his career including a current stint with the New York Giants. Having played Quarterback and Kick Returner, Webb has found his niche and he has worked within that. His statistics of 888 total passing yards with a 3-6 Touchdown to Interception ratio however explain why he works exclusively as a backup.
The 2011 NFL Draft – Jerrell Powe, Defensive Tackle, Kansas City Chiefs
Making a total of 18 tackles, including 1 sack in his short stint in the NFL, Powe did not quite make the grade. He played for 2 teams, spending time with three, however he was always buried down the depth chart as cover.
The 2012 NFL Draft – Jason Slowey, Offensive Tackle, San Francisco 49ers
Slowey was an Offensive Tackle in college, who translated to a Centre in the NFL. Despite this, it did not further his career. Spending his Rookie season with the 49ers and the Raiders, before leaving the NFL altogether.
The 2013 NFL Draft – Theo Riddick, Running Back, Detroit Lions
Brought into the league into a Detroit team looking for some creativity, Riddick was seen as an asset for his versatility. He was primarily a Running Back, who could line up in the slot and had decent hands too. As a Running Back during his 7-year stint with 3 teams in the NFL, he managed only 1037 rushing yards with 5 touchdowns. This is somewhat disappointing for a Running Back; however his value was elsewhere. With 2280 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns, Riddick found his value.
The 2014 NFL Draft – Garrett Scott, Offensive Tackle, Seattle Seahawks
Next up we have Garrett Scott, who only ever made the Seahawks practice squad before calling time on his NFL career.
The 2015 NFL Draft – Leterrius Walton, Defensive Tackle, Pittsburgh Steelers
Similarly to most players who come from the 6th round, Walton had to make a living as a backup. Whilst he did record 22 tackles and 2 sacks over 4 seasons, he was depth for his entire career.
The 2016 NFL Draft – Cody Core, Wide Receiver, Cincinnati Bengals
Another Offensive skill player without much to show for his career so far, Core has to date managed 388 yards and 1 touchdown.
The 2017 NFL Draft – Chase Roullier, Centre, Washington Football Team
Here he is ladies and gentlemen, finally the successors to the great Tom Brady. All joking aside of course, we finally find what is seen as a hit at this pick. Roullier started 13 games as a Rookie and has since played in 59 games with 53 starts. He is now the starter for Washington and has that position locked down.
The 2018 NFL Draft – Luke Falk, Quarterback, Tennessee Titans
Entering the league with the Titans, Falk fell onto their practice squad, ending up on two other teams before leaving the NFL for pastures new. In his career he threw 3 interceptions on 73 passing attempts.
The 2019 NFL Draft – Gerri Green, Defensive End, Indianapolis Colts
Practice squads are the name of the game for Green, who has been on 5 of them since entering the league 2 years ago. Never managing to make the team proper, Green may still have a chance to make something of his career. At the moment though, he is just collecting jerseys.
The 2020 NFL Draft – Jordan Fuller, Free Safety, Los Angeles Rams
Well, talk about going full circle, and we have Jordan Fuller. In his Rookie season he won the starting Free Safety job for the Rams. He managed 60 tackles and made 3 interceptions. The first two of which came against fellow 199th pick Tom Brady! He has already shown some serious promise, so we await the future with Fuller.
The 2021 NFL Draft is nearly upon us, and so the 199th pick will again be analysed, likely over analysed for its history. Problem is no player can ever stack up to number 12, because no player in the NFL can. What this has shown me though is that that Draft picks and their value as such is over inflated due to media and fan perception.
In terms of the 199th pick, this will always have a legacy and on the 20th anniversary of the pick in the 2021 draft, I plan to follow the player who is taken there to see what legacy he can create. We have had practice squad players, contributors, starters, and potential pro bowlers, but no one quite has the legacy of the greatest player to ever play the game.
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