As Tom Brady made his way through his college and early NFL career, he was never expected to be half the quarterback he’s turned out to be. As a freshman at Michigan in 1996, he entered the team at seventh place on the QB depth chart. Even after gritting his teeth and battling his way to a starting job during his final two college years, very successful ones, he was still drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft, 199th overall.
Generally, being picked that late is an invitation to ride the bench for a few years, only playing a few games here and there whenever the top guy gets hurt and needs a sub-par replacement. To make sure he got that chance, Brady went from fourth to second on the Pats depth chart in his rookie season, then executed brilliantly when he got his chance after starting QB Drew Bledsoe went down early in Brady’s second NFL season. Of course, he led that Pats team to a Super Bowl victory and he’s been pretty unstoppable ever since, leading the team to four more Super Bowl appearances, two more titles and personally winning two NFL MVP Awards.
Despite the recent focus on his lack of a championship since 2004, losing twice at the hands of Eli Manning and the Giants in 2007 and ’11, Brady is still a certain Hall of Famer who has managed to perfect his game throughout his career, and statistically, he put up one of his best seasons at the age of 34 this past year.