With the 65th overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, the 49ers selected a quarterback — Hofstra’s Giovanni Carmazzi. With any mid-round quarterback, the selection is a total hit or miss, this specific selection being a total miss for the 49ers’ front office.
In two seasons with San Francisco, Carmazzi never saw action in a regular season game, and was out of the league after two seasons. In a recent interview, the 49ers’ third-round pick in 2000 described himself as a yoga-practicing farmer. San Francisco loved Carmazzi’s athleticism, despite his lack of repertoire at Hofstra.
In the same draft, a few rounds later, the Greatest Quarterback of All Time — GOAT for short — was taken by the New England Patriots in the sixth round. An un-athletic, underwhelming Michigan quarterback found himself as Bill Belichick’s first quarterback drafted in New England.
18 seasons in the NFL later, Tom Brady has cemented himself as the greatest to ever play the position, winning six Super Bowl rings, four Super Bowl MVPs, three regular season MVPs and numerous other records. At 41 years old, Brady hasn’t seemed to slow down and continues to lead the Patriots to championships year after year.
What would have happened if the 49ers’ brain trust decided to take Brady instead of Carmazzi? Would San Francisco have had the same run of success that New England has experienced? Would Brady still be widely recognized as the GOAT or would he have followed Carmazzi’s path to become a yoga-practicing farmer?
With offensive-minded Steve Mariucci at the helm, along with quarterback Jeff Garcia under center, Brady would have had a difficult time finding repetitions. With the Patriots, as soon as quarterback Drew Bledsoe went down with an injury, Brady stepped in and didn’t look back.
Garcia led the 49ers to a 12-4 record in 2001, but couldn’t get them past the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Wild Card game. San Francisco experienced similar success in 2002, but fired Mariucci at the end of the season.
If Brady was a member of the 49ers, he likely wouldn’t have seen meaningful snaps throughout this stretch, as Garcia was the face of the franchise and starting signal caller for the 49ers.
From 2002 to 2011, the 49ers hired a myriad of coaches, switched general managers, quarterbacks and everything one could imagine in order to have a winning season, but failed to do so. Would Brady have found success in this chaotic environment?
The one thing the Patriots can hang their hat on over the last 18 years is stability between the front office, head coach and quarterback — the three most important positions in an NFL franchise. That has given Brady the comfort, time and opportunity to develop in the successful quarterback that he is..
It certainly helped that Brady had one of the greatest coaches ever for the entirety of his career in New England. While the talent and work ethic is obvious, the circumstances certainly lined up for Brady to become the GOAT.
What do you guys think would have happened if San Francisco drafted Brady?