In conjunction with the NFL Draft’s 75 birthday, the league let fans pick the 75 most valuable picks of all time via online voting.
Tonight the order of the top 10 was revealed, and here’s where things become a little head-scratching.
We knew Tom Brady was in the top 10, but when the countdown started, he came in only at eighth.
Who was ahead of him? Glad you asked. Voted as more valuable draft picks than Brady were Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Peyton Manning, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana.
Now, there’s no disputing that all of those players are/were great. But Manning was the first overall pick in 1998. Sanders was third in 1989. Rice was 16th in 1985. Players chosen that high are supposed to be great, no?
The draft is a crapshoot, of course, but there is certainly a relationship between how high a player is taken and how much is expected of him.
Brady was the 199th pick. The list of guys who were taken before him and flamed out of the league is well-known. All Brady has done is compile one of the most impressive resumes in NFL quarterbacking history.
And he did it as the 199th pick. With little expected of him. To me, that’s valuable.