Tom Brady: What happened to the six QBs drafted before Patriots legend?

The 2000 NFL Draft will be remembered as arguably the most momentous in league history.

All the excitement that comes with the first round had long since dissipated by the time the New England Patriots selected in the sixth round with pick 199.

They used that choice on a skinny quarterback from the University of Michigan by the name of Tom Brady.

Brady was the seventh quarterback off the board, a fact few gave much thought to at the time. Twenty years and six Super Bowl titles for Brady and the Patriots later, and the question of just how six quarterbacks went before him is one of the great NFL mysteries.

Who were those six quarterbacks? And how did they fare in the pros? We took a look back at their careers.

Chad Pennington – Round 1, Pick 18 (New York Jets)

Pennington had the distinction of being the first quarterback off the board but did not have the career the Jets were hoping when they selected him out of Marshall.

He did have his highs. Pennington led the NFL in passer rating in 2002 as the Jets pipped the Patriots to the AFC East title. He was Comeback Player of the Year in 2006 after leading the Jets to the playoffs following a 2005 campaign derailed by shoulder injuries.

The same award came his way in 2008 when Pennington, having been released by the Jets in the wake of a dismal 2007, guided the Miami Dolphins to AFC East glory with an injured Brady on the sidelines for the Patriots. 

Injuries thwarted his hopes of further success in Miami and he eventually retired in 2012.

Giovanni Carmazzi – Round 3, Pick 65 (San Francisco 49ers)

Instead of going with Brady, the Bay Area boy who idolised the 49ers and Joe Montana, San Francisco selected Carmazzi, who had excelled at college football minnow Hofstra.

It proved a significant misstep, Carmazzi lost to Brady and the Patriots in the exhibition Hall of Fame game prior to the 2000 NFL season and never played a regular-season snap.

Tim Rattay, selected in the same draft in the seventh round, fared better than Carmazzi and stuck around on the Niners’ roster. Carmazzi left the 49ers in 2001 and went on to have stints with NFL Europe’s Rhein Fire and the BC Lions and Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.

Chris Redman – Round 3, Pick 75 (Baltimore Ravens)

Though his career was significantly less distinguished than that of Brady, Redman does have a Super Bowl ring.

He appeared in two games and attempted three passes as the Ravens won Super Bowl XXXV in his rookie year.

Redman went 3-3 in six games as a starter for the Ravens in 2002, leaving Baltimore in 2003 and serving briefly as a team-mate of Brady when he joined the Patriots in 2004, although he failed to make the 53-man roster.

A brief stint with the Tennessee Titans followed in 2005 before, having signed with the Austin Wranglers of the Arena League, the Atlanta Falcons came calling in 2007. Redman spent five seasons as backup with the Falcons before he was released in 2012.

Tee Martin – Round 5, Pick 163 (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Martin won a National Championship in college with Tennessee, but never came close to reaching similar heights in the pros.

He failed to make the Steelers’ 53-man roster as a rookie and featured in only one game in 2001.

Like Carmazzi, Martin also made the move to NFL Europe with the Rhein Fire and led them to a World Bowl appearance in the 2002 season.

Spells with the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders, for whom he appeared in two games, followed, with Martin’s pro career coming to an end with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.

Martin went into coaching in 2006 and is now an assistant head coach with Tennessee.

Marc Bulger – Round 6, Pick 168 (New Orleans Saints)

Bulger was released by the Saints after training camp and failed to stick with their division rivals the Atlanta Falcons. However, he was picked up by the St. Louis Rams late in the 2000 season in what proved an astute move.

He helped the Rams go from 0-5 to 7-9 in 2002 with starter Kurt Warner on the sidelines. Bulger then took over for a concussed Warner after Week 1 of 2003 and, following a 12-4 season that ended in defeat in the NFC Divisional Round, never gave the starting job back. 

Bulger twice went to the Pro Bowl and went 41-54 for his career, which ended in 2010 after a one-year spell with the Ravens. A fine career for a sixth-round pick, but a long way from what Brady achieved.

Spergon Wynn – Round 6, Pick 183 (Cleveland Browns)

Given the Browns’ well-documented quarterback woes that they hope are now over with Baker Mayfield, it is tantalising to think what might have been had they picked Brady, particularly as they had the first overall selection that year too.

Instead, Cleveland went with Wynn, who played in seven games as a rookie, his sole start a 48-0 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A trade to the Minnesota Vikings followed a spell in NFL Europe with the Amsterdam Admirals. He went 0-2 in two games with Minnesota before bouncing around the CFL in spells with the BC Lions, Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts.