1. First Round, 15th overall: Deltha O'Neal, Cornerback, California
Deltha O'Neal, by all accounts at that time, was a great pick. He was an All-Pro in 2001 and really helped the Broncos in the return game. He wasn't a great corner, but he could hold his own. O'Neal's career as a Bronco ended on draft day 2004, when he was packaged along with two other picks for the Cincinnati Bengals' first round pick.
He signed with the Houston Texans in camp in 2009, but that turned out to be it for his NFL career.
2. Second Round, 40th overall: Ian Gold, Linebacker, Michigan
Gold played four years with the Broncos before becoming a free agent in 2004, where he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a short stint with the Bucs, Gold re-signed with Denver from 2005-2007 and was a big part of the 2005-06 defenses that were among the best in the NFL.
He was a Pro Bowl selection in 2001, and finished his career with 491 tackles, 17 sacks, and four interceptions.
Since retiring, Gold has started both IP2G.com and WhatAreKidsSaying.com., and is now traveling the country spreading the gospel of Christ.
3. Second Round, 45th overall: Kenoy Kennedy, Safety, Arkansas
Kenoy Kennedy is best known for his hit on Chris Chambers that basically changed the face of the NFL, and how players can no longer lead with their helmet to hit defenseless offensive players. He played five seasons with the Broncos from 2000 to 2004.
Kennedy was actually a pretty good pick by the Broncos, and he finished his career in Detroit. He was productive in both cities, finishing his career with 536 tackles, six sacks, seven forced fumbles, and 10 interceptions.
4. Third Round, 70th overall: Chris Cole, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
Chris Cole was a speedy receiver who wasn't actually very good at playing receiver, but he was a heck of a punt returner. That was on display in 2001 when he was third in the league with a 23.5 yard punt return average.
He was with the Broncos from 2000-2003, and spent time trying to make the rosters of Oakland and Jacksonville before winding up in Canada and the Arena Football League. He then returned to Texas A&M to pursue a degree in sociology.
5. Fourth Round, 101st overall: Jerry Johnson, Defensive Tackle, Florida State
Johnson didn't play his rookie season and played nine games in 2001, recording five tackles, but that's really the only information I can find on him past his days at Florida State. He was a smaller defensive tackle who was one of the anchors for Florida State's late-90's teams.
6. Fourth Round, 112th overall: Cooper Carlisle, Offensive Guard, Florida
Carlisle has actually had a pretty good NFL career. Among the picks made prior to him, he is the only player still actually in the NFL. He played for the Broncos from 2000-2006, and was part of some of those dominant offensive lines that paved the way for various different thousand yard backs, including Mike Anderson, Tatum Bell, Olandis Gary, Rueben Droughns, etc.
He has played for the Oakland Raiders since 2007 and remains part of the roster today. He's a very solid, veteran starter who gets the job done and lives in California with his family in the offseason.
7. Fifth Round, 154th overall: Muneer Moore, Wide Receiver, Richmond
According to Moore's LinkedIn profile, he is currently a Senior Player Services Manager at the NFL Players Association. Not a bad title for a guy who didn't actually see the field in the NFL after being a fifth round pick of the Denver Broncos.
Moore resides in Washington, D.C., and also spent a short stint with the New York Jets before being a coach at Richmond.
8. Sixth Round, 189th overall: Mike Anderson, Running Back, Utah
Mike Anderson doesn't get enough credit for all he really overcame to be as good as he was in the NFL for as long as he was.
The offensive rookie of the year was 27 years old in his rookie season, and ran for 1,487 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging five yards per carry. He had some injury plagued seasons in between his next thousand yard campaign, but darn it it came again in 2005 after he missed the entire 2004 season.
In 2005, he ran for 1,014 yards and 12 touchdowns, helping the Broncos get to the AFC Championship with one of the most dominating ground games in team history. He finished his career as a fullback with the Baltimore Ravens after the 2005 season, getting released in 2008 and ending his NFL career.
So what gives? Why talk about these guys? Well, these were the eight guys the Denver Broncos selected prior to Tom Brady's selection with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. These were eight of the 198 who were picked instead of the former Michigan quarterback.
Six other quarterbacks were selected before Tom Brady: Chad Pennington, Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman, Tee Martin, Marc Bulger, and Spergeon Wynn.
Tom's teammates from Michigan selected before him: Ian Gold, Aaron Shea, Josh Williams, and Dhani Jones.
The Broncos weren't the only team who missed out, and who knows what cards fate would have dealt if Tom Brady were the top pick in the draft like he should have been. It's just interesting me to take a look back and see what fuels the league's best quarterback every single day he wakes up and goes to work.
Nearly 12 years later, Tom Brady is still slinging it better than any quarterback in the league, making more of an impact and giving more value than any draft pick in NFL history.
The 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. Passed up on by all 31 NFL teams. At least the Houston Texans were able to save face.