On April 17th, the day after the draft concluded, the Globe provided a full summary of each player. Here’s how they described the 199th pick:
6, 199 – Tom Brady, QB, Michigan
A pocket passer who will compete for a practice squad spot with the Patriots . . . Drafted as a catcher by the Montreal Expos in 1995 out of Serra (San Mateo, Calif.) HS . . . Completed 62.8 percent of his passes with 20 TDs and six interceptions. Only Elvis Grbac had more TD tosses in a season for the Wolverines . . . Throws a great slant . . . At almost 6-4, 214 pounds, has some mobility . . . Platooned with sophomore Drew Henson . . . Was projected to go in the third round, but dropped quickly.
Another article that day described how Mel Kiper loved two of the Patriots late-round selections:
FOXBOROUGH – Draft guru Mel Kiper thinks the Patriots did a great job with their picks this year, particularly yesterday. He believes fourth-round selection Greg Robinson-Randall, a 320-pound offensive tackle from Michigan State, can be a top-flight player to go with Saturday’s pick of another offensive lineman, Adrian Klemm of the University of Hawaii, in the second round.
“Considering that they didn’t have a first-round pick, they accomplished a lot of things and took players who could really emerge as quality NFL players, including Robinson-Randall and Jeff Marriott [defensive tackle, Missouri, fifth round],” said Kiper.
Oops. That article eventually mention Brady, but made sure to provide comfort to the second- and third-stringers on the quarterback depth chart in Foxboro in doing so:
With a quarterback in mind, the Patriots passed on the athletic Joe Hamilton of Georgia Tech to go for Tom Brady of Michigan with their next pick. Brady, projected as a third-rounder, said he wasn’t upset at slipping. “I don’t think disappointment is the word,” he said. “Whether it’s the second or sixth round, I think everyone starts on the same level.”
On May 4, 2000, the Globe’s Nick Cafarado wrote an article about the Wonderlic and a certain quarterback with a high score:
FOXBOROUGH – For Bill Belichick, the Wonderlic test results don’t solve any problems.
The Wonderlic is a standardized psychological examination administered at the NFL draft combine in Indianapolis every February. But Belichick has never been able to pinpoint a pattern, or draw any correlations between the test score and the football player. He says he’s had high scorers who can’t understand what to do on the field and he’s had poor scorers who are very smart when it comes to football.
“Sometimes it’s a barometer, but there’s no absolute,” said Belichick.
Belichick probably got a more accurate reading of his 10 draft picks at last week’s minicamp.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who came out of the University of Michigan, scored highest among Patriots picks with a 33 out of 50 points. Brady, a sixth-round pick, showed a strong arm in the minicamp, but will likely end up on the practice squad.
To put his score in perspective, Stanford quarterback Todd Husak (39) did the best at this year’s combine and Iowa State running back Darren Davis (4) did the worst.
The most glowing report I read about Brady came from the Colorado Springs Gazette: “Harbaugh, Grbac, Griese, Brady – another competent if unexciting Wolverine quarterback.” For a more biased source, we can go to Brady’s college coach Lloyd Carr, who said the following immediately after Brady led Michigan to a comeback victory in the Orange Bowl against Alabama:
He’s everything you want in a quarterback…First of all, he’s tough-minded and tough physically. He’s very, very smart and makes good decisions…He’s a lot like Brian Griese. He’ll play in the NFL. There’s a lot of guys out there who doubted Griese, and they’ve lived to see how wrong they could be. And anybody who doubts that Brady can play in the N.F.L., they’ll find themselves in the same situation. The kid just can see things. And the guys around him, they love him. If you knew him, you’d love him, too.