You know the story by now. Tom Brady runs a 5.28 40-yard dash at the combine, gets picked 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, then goes on to win six Super Bowls as a New England Patriots icon.
But what exactly did NFL scouts say about Brady before the ex-Michigan QB went pro? An excellent piece from Bob McGinn of The Athletic shared transcripts of McGinn's interviews with several scouts prior to the 2000 draft.
Here are a couple of the standout quotes that emphasize just how much of an underdog Brady was to begin his career.
“I don’t like him,” an NFC national scout said of Brady a few weeks before the draft. “Smart guy. That’s it.”
“He had that great bowl game but I think he’s just very common,” said the Midwest scout for an NFC team. “He’s a bony, very thin kind of guy. God, you can see his ribs on his build. His arm is just adequate.
It wasn't all negative, though. There were a few scouts who recognized Brady's potential and nailed their assessment of him on the head. Of course, there's no way they could've foreseen the success he's had over the course of his 20-year career.
“Outstanding leader,” the personnel man wrote. “Priest-like personality. Calm, wise and thoughtful. He’s accepting of what comes his way. Doesn’t appear to be dynamic. Has a calming demeanor. Well-liked, class kid. Has work ethic. Respected by his teammates. Two supportive parents who attend every game.”
“Interesting, interesting guy,” said Hughes. “He looks like one of them poles you hang coats on. He’s got big knobs on his shoulders. But this guy is a very good deep passer. He’s highly competitive. He can’t run worth a lick but he has enough where he can step out of the way of people.”
There's much more where that came from. You can read McGinn's full piece here.
Brady's underdog story is well-documented, but it's always fascinating to see exactly how much he's evolved since changing the Patriots franchise forever back in April 2000.
Nineteen years later in his age-42 season, Brady's on a mission to earn ring No. 7, and he continues to show no signs of slowing down.
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