Sometimes, you get lucky.
Much as the Patriots liked Tom Brady going into the 2000 draft, the guys around back then would be the first to tell you that if they had any idea the quarterback would become what he has, there's no way they would've taken him 199th overall. They'd have scooped him up much earlier than that.
His story, of course, is one that's always important to remember around this time.
Just how big a steal was he? Well, my old colleague Vinny Iyer did a story for the Sporting News site reviewing the 2000 draft at that class' 10-year mark. And here are the other players that fit the "steal" category: Dante Hall, Mark Tauscher, Brian Waters and, yes, Adalius Thomas.
Waters has been a very, very good player for Kansas City, but the gap between Brady and the other three should show that even when you hit late, those successes are usually a bit more measured that what the Patriots got out of their compensatory sixth-round pick that year.
Speaking of all this, the good folks at NFL.com are running a poll on the best draft picks ever. Brady's part of it. No kidding.