A lot has been made this week about the six quarterbacks drafted ahead of Tom Brady in the 2000 NFL draft before he was finally taken with the 199th pick. Just who were those guys and where are they now?
NFL Team: New York Jets
Selection: 18th (1st round)
Skinny: You can’t blame the Jets for this pick. Pennington was all-world at Marshall, leading the Thundering Herd to a perfect 13-0 record as a senior in 1999 after starring with Randy Moss for one season in ’97. He was also a great student and Rhodes Scholar finalist earning him the nickname “The Golden Boy” before it was bestowed upon Brady.
He wasn’t bad in the pros either. Pennington never went to a Pro Bowl but did lead the Jets to three playoff appearances. With his arm strength shot due to shoulder surgery, Pennington spent a couple years in Miami but now appears like he has played his final NFL game after tearing his ACL a couple weeks ago in a pick-up basketball game.
NFL Team: San Francisco 49ers
Selection: 65th (3rd round)
Skinny: Needless to say, this was a dreadful pick. Carmazzi was brought in to follow in the foot steps of Joe Montana and Steve Young with scouts drooling over his size (6-2, 220), speed (4.63 40) and smarts (nominated for Rhodes Scholar) despite not even playing Division I-A ball.
Carmazzi only spent one year in the league, getting axed in San Francisco after hurting his shoulder. A couple months later, a Bay Area kid by the name of Tom Brady led the Patriots to a Super Bowl title. Think that stings for 49er fans? Carmazzi now works in venture capital and private equity in Sacramento. [UPDATE:] Oh, and he owns five goats.
NFL Team: Baltimore Ravens
Selection: 75th (3rd round)
Skinny: Redman had the size (6-3) and accolades coming to Baltimore, finishing third on the NCAA’s all-time passing list.
Winning a Super Bowl ring as a back-up in his rookie season with the Ravens, it was all downhill from there. Redman was never effective and hardly played, then got dumped in 2003 after the Ravens brought in another draft bust, Kyle Boller. Then Redman went completely off the map, spending time in the Arena League and even taking up Brady’s nightmare job as an insurance salesman until his old coach Bobby Petrino gave him another shot with the Falcons in 2007. Redman is still on their roster.
NFL Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Selection: 163rd (5th round)
Skinny: It was hard to knock this pick at the time as, like Brady, Martin was a winner. He had led Tennessee to the national title in 1998 – something Peyton Manning never did – and completed an NCAA record 24 straight passes as a senior.
It’s hard to know what Martin would have been like if he’d gotten a chance to play since he only spent two years in the NFL and threw a whopping total of 16 passes. After heading to the CFL, Martin called it quits in 2005 and went into coaching. He is now the wide receiver coach at SEC rival Kentucky.
School: West Virginia
NFL Team: New Orleans Saints
Selection: 168th (6th round)
Skinny: It’s hard to complain about this pick and the only reason Bulger was around this long in the draft was a disastrous senior season that caused him to plummet on draft boards.
When he finally got his chance in St. Louis, Bulger became a two-time Pro Bowler that has thrown for over 22,000 yards in the league. After spending last year as a back-up with the Ravens, you can bet someone will bring him in as a back-up next season even at the age of 34.
School: S.W. Texas State
NFL Team: Cleveland Browns
Selection: 183rd (6th round)
Skinny: Of all the NFL franchises haunted by not picking Tom Brady, Cleveland fans have it the worst. With Tim Couch bombing as the franchise quarterback, general manager Dwight Clark – who knew a thing or two about great quarterbacks – lost his mind and selected Wynn from tiny S.W. Texas State, a Minnesota transfer whose arm Clark compared to John Elway.
After one season in Cleveland, Wynn was off to NFL Europe. After two more seasons in Minnesota, Wynn’s NFL career was finished with one touchdown and seven interceptions. He spent some time in the CFL where this happened and was done with football by ’06. Nowadays you can find Wynn in Houston where he works for an electricity company and is getting his MBA from the University of Houston.