Tom Brady was the 199th overall pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, which has been repeated millions of times over the course of the past 21 years. Brady, who we all know was a former sixth-round pick, devalued the importance of selecting a franchise quarterback in the first round. 

Chances are a team will find a more talented quarterback in the first round -- and a much better shot at finding a franchise signal-caller. Thanks to Brady, teams can find that franchise quarterback in the later rounds (even though the chances are slim). Brady isn't the only sixth-round quarterback that has found success in the NFL -- or made a Pro Bowl. Matt Hasselbeck, Marc Bulger, and Tyrod Taylor have carved out nice careers in the league despite their draft status. 

These four players have skewed the quarterback win-loss record to new heights, as sixth-round picks in the salary cap era (which started in 1994) have a better win percentage than first-round quarterbacks during that span. 

Draft Round

W-L record (win percentage)


2,748-2.597-13 (.513)


439-361-1 (.548)

First-round draft picks have a much larger sample size giving their draft status and teams forcing them to play right away -- because of their contracts and draft status. Let's not pretend there hasn't been good quarterbacks selected in Round 1 that had long careers -- Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Matt Ryan, Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith and Cam Newton -- so there was a golden opportunity to have a much higher win percentage despite starting 4,557 more games. 

Sixth-round picks just aren't going to get the opportunity to start 5,358 games over the span of 27 years, yet alone even make a roster in Year 1. Brady and the few that had successful careers just took advantage of the situation. 

Brady's success has a lot to do with this stat, but he's not the only one. Here are the most successful sixth-round quarterbacks in the salary cap era -- we're going by games started -- with their won-loss record. We're only qualifying quarterbacks that were drafted in 1994 or later (so Steve Bono, Stan Humphries, and Jeff Blake are out). 

Starting QB (year drafted)

W-L record (games started)

Tom Brady (2000)

230-69 (299 starts)

Matt Hasselbeck (1999)

85-75 (160 starts)

Marc Bulger (2002)

41-54 (95 starts)

Derek Anderson (2006)

20-29 (49 starts)

Tyrod Taylor (2011)

24-21-1 (46 starts)

Jim Miller (1994)

15-12 (27 starts)

Bruce Gradkowski (2006)

6-14 (20 starts)

Gardner Minshew (2019)

7-13 (20 starts)

Perhaps these numbers go back in the first-round draft picks' favor whenever Brady decides to retire and Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson keep playing for another decade. Mahomes has won 82.6% of his starts and Jackson sits at 81.1% -- an incredible percentage for two quarterbacks that have made more than 30 starts. 

The tide will eventually shift, but let's give it up for the late-round quarterbacks who managed to have a successful career. Again, it's more than just Brady -- even though his 76.9% career win percentage is the difference-maker.