The Baltimore Ravens Desperately Wanted to Draft Tom Brady in 2000 but Chose a Mediocre Bust Instead. “If you know anything about the NFL, and there are plenty of people who do these days, it’s that the draft is one big party for everyone involved — teams get their picks announced with great fanfare in front of adoring fans. But on May 21st, 1960 when John F. Kennedy was president and JFK won his first election over Richard Nixon by just 118 votes out of nearly 14 million cast,”

The “ravens nfl” is a team that has been around for over 20 years. They have had some ups and downs, but they are finally looking like the team of old. Their most recent draft pick was in 2000. The Baltimore Ravens were desperate to draft Tom Brady, but instead chose a mediocre bust called Chris Redman.

The year 2000 is remembered as the year when the best quarterback of all time was chosen. The New England Patriots selected Tom Brady with the 199th overall choice in what has to be the most important sixth-round pick in NFL history. 

That indicates that every club had many opportunities to get Brady but chose not to do so. While it’s difficult to blame every club for passing on him, the ones who did choose quarterbacks have been scrutinized much more. The Baltimore Ravens were one of those teams. Brady was drafted by one member of the organization. To say the least, the quarterback they ultimately chose didn’t just fall short of Brady’s expectations… he was a complete dud. 

Here’s the backstory on the coach who saw something special in Brady and the quarterback the Ravens ultimately chose instead chevalier. 

Matt Cavanaugh saw something special about Tom Brady.

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens

Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis and Tom Brady | Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

According to ESPN, Tom Brady caught the attention of the Baltimore Ravens’ then-offensive coordinator, Matt Cavanaugh, before the NFL Draft in 2000. Cavanaugh has extensive experience as an NFL coach. He’s worked as an offensive coordinator or coach at Pittsburgh, Arizona, Chicago, Baltimore, New York (with the Jets), and most recently in Washington, according to Pro Football Reference. 

Cavanaugh had seen a film of Brady and admired his talent. “He looked like he belonged,” Cavanaugh observed, eerily presciently. “He felt at ease in his pocket.” He had excellent delivery mechanics… On the field, he seemed to be a team leader and a decision-maker, and his ability to motivate the players around him to play hard leaped off the tape.” 

While Cavanaugh said that he “wasn’t clever enough” to give Brady a first-round rating, he did consider him a possible second- or third-round pick. That may not seem impressive given his stellar career, but it placed Cavanaugh ahead of most NFL talent evaluators. Brady was snatched up in the sixth round. 

Why did the Baltimore Ravens choose a different quarterback?

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At the time, the Baltimore Ravens were short on competent quarterbacks. Tony Banks and Trent Dilfer were the two competent quarterbacks on the squad. Banks had previously exhibited flashes of brilliance, but they were not a long-term answer. When the club won the Super Bowl in 2001, Dilfer was the quarterback, but the team’s generational defense was more responsible for the victory. 

Matt Cavanaugh argued for Tom Brady in the Ravens’ locker room, but he didn’t win. Other Ravens staff successfully advocated for the club to choose Louisville quarterback Chris Redman in the third round. Before Brady, six quarterbacks were selected. 

Brady, of course, went on to win seven Super Bowls in his Hall-of-Fame career (and counting). The Ravens have had a lot of success as a team, but it’s fair to suggest they should have picked Brady instead. Cavanaugh was absolutely correct.

Chris Redman’s career path

Chris Redman’s inability to become the team’s franchise quarterback was one of the major reasons the Baltimore Ravens chastised themselves for not listening to Matt Cavanaugh. Redman spent eight years in the NFL, four with Baltimore and four with Atlanta, according to Pro Football Reference. He started six games for Baltimore in 2002, tossing seven touchdown passes. In addition, as a career backup, he never started more than four games in a season.

When compared to most quarterbacks, Redman has had a decent career. There’s no shame in his having spent almost a decade in the NFL at the league’s most demanding position. When compared to Tom Brady, though, he falls well short of that level.

It must be difficult for the Ravens to know that they might have gotten Brady (as it is for every club), but Cavanaugh can take comfort in the knowing that he correctly projected Brady’s ability at the next level. 

RELATED: Tom Brady’s Production Company Name References the 31 NFL Teams Who Didn’t Draft Him in 2000

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