3. LaVar Arrington
Originally Drafted: 2nd overall
Few in team history have been such shooting stars. But that’s exctly what LaVar Arrington was – a shooting star through and through. The Redskins selected the future Pro Bowl linebacker who policed the NFC East for several good seasons and was a team leader who the fans respected mightily. Unfortunately, injuries cut short Arrington’s career, but he was rock solid for the team’s defense while wearing burgundy. It’s shame really, he could have had himself another epic 3 or 4 seasons to top off an already epic career. In full, Arrington made 331 tackles in his 7 year career. Add in 23.5 sacks, and three interceptions and you have yourself the third greatest player from the stacked 2000 NFL draft. Though this man was an incredible linebacker… he couldn’t quite top this next LB on this list. This next man is a legend.
2. Brian Urlacher
Originally Drafted: 9th overall
I can’t help but talk about legendary linebacker Mike Singletary when talking Brian Urlacher, they were both so good and so similar – it’s fun to compare the two as a measure of greatness to both of them. During 13 years as a Chicago Bear, the iconic Brian Urlacher recorded 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions and 15 fumble recoveries. Compare that to Mike Singletary’s 19 sacks, seven interceptions and 12 fumble recoveries, and it’s clear that Urlacher will be joining Singletary in the Hall of Fame as soon as he is eligible. Combine those impressive stats with that his 2000 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year title, 2005 NFL Defensive Player of the Year title and eight trips to the Pro Bowl and you have a very close battle between Mike Singletary and Brian Urlacher as the second greatest Bears linebacker in it’s wildly successful history. Of course, neither of them touch Dick Butkus, but other than Lawrence Taylor – who does? Either way, Brian Urlacher makes the number two spot on this 2000 NFL redraft, and I think it’s the right choice.
1. Tom Brady
Originally Drafted: 199th overall
First stepping into the limelight following a gruesome hit to Drew Bledsoe, the sixth-round draft pick Tom Brady has carried the rag tag New England Patriots offensive rosters to the promised land alongside Coach Bill Belichick. In 2007, New England signed Wes Welker, Randy Moss, and Donte Stallworth to reload at wide receiver for yet another Super Bowl run. Brady went ballistic, beating the opposition into the ground towards a 16-0 regular season mark, and finishing with a 69 percent completion for 4,806 yards and a then-record 50 touchdowns.
Still, this Dream Team season was derailed at Super Bowl XLII per the ferocious pass rush dialed up by Steve Spagnuolo and his New York Giants defense. Tom Brady was harassed into quick throws all night, and critical outsiders highlighted his spoiled tendencies to break down and blast teammates for mistakes, as opposed to offering solid guidance and tough-love. Ironically, a repeat of these scenes materialized again in Super Bowl XLVI, which Brady and the Patriots again also lost to the Giants.
Finally, after a full decade of no Super Bowl victories, Brady was able to top the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX which gave him his 4th ring. He might not be undefeated in the big game, but no one can possibly deny the sustainable success this man has been able to achieve in the National Football League for more than a decade and a half. He is an undeniable football legend, the definite greatest New England Patriot of all-time – to some, the best QB in the history of this league and the clear cut choice for number one on this 2000 top 3 redraft.