Tom Brady was famously selected with pick No. 199 in the 2000 NFL draft, but he wasn’t the only signal-caller chosen so late that year. Five quarterbacks—Todd Husak, Ja’Juan Seider, Tim Rattay, Jarious Jackson and Joe Hamilton—all heard their names called in the 55 picks after Brady’s.
Since only about 2% of college players make it to the NFL, all five are still in a class of their own. Whether they threw one pass or 714, they all heard their names called on draft day, walked into an NFL locker room and suited up on Sundays—something most players only dream about.
But being drafted that year is about the only thing these quarterbacks have in common with Brady. Husak, Seider, Rattay, Jackson and Hamilton have all moved on to the next phase of their lives, whether it be coaching, real estate or something else. Here are their stories:
Pick No. 202: Todd Husak, QB, Stanford
Husak, who worked out with the Redskins before the draft, had been told that he could hear his named called as early as the third round. But when just three quarterbacks were drafted in the first three rounds, Husak lowered his expectations, ultimately going to Washington in the sixth round.
“It’s a cliché, but it was a dream come true to get that call,” Husak says.
During Husak’s four years in Palo Alto, he became the fourth quarterback in Stanford history (at the time) to throw for over 3,000 yards during the 1998 season, and he led the Cardinal to their first Rose Bowl appearance in 37 years the following season. But in the NFL, Husak threw just one pass for the Redskins and bounced around during the next four years, spending time with the Broncos and the Jets, and even the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europa, before deciding to retire after getting cut by the Browns in 2004.
The former quarterback tested the coaching waters, serving as a graduate assistant for the Cardinal while getting his Master’s degree at Stanford, but ultimately decided coaching wasn’t for him. Husak took a job with CBRE, a real estate company based in California, but he hasn’t stayed away from football entirely—he serves as the color commentator for Stanford football radio broadcasts.
Husak met Brady during the draft process, and they even faced each other during the preseason. “He shows what happens when preparation meets opportunity. There’s a reason he was drafted [in the] sixth,” Husak says, “he has almost willed himself to be the greatest ever. The foundation was there, but he has worked hard.
“[When] people ask about my NFL career, that’s probably the first thing I say: ‘Well I was a couple picks behind Tom Brady,’” Husak says. “It gives you [an idea], how close things can be, who knows what would have happened if we had switched positions.”
Pick No. 205: Ja’Juan Seider, QB, Florida A&M
Seider put up spectacular numbers in his senior season at Florida A&M, passing for 2,622 yards and 27 TDs while rushing for another 740 yards and 14 TDs. But after being drafted by the Chargers, Seider knew he wasn’t long for the NFL. And he was completely fine with it.
“Every kid grows up waiting for their name to come across the TV screen,” Seider says. “Everybody wants to play a long time ... [but] I knew I wanted to coach.”
Both of Seider’s parents were high school coaches, so moving to coaching was an easy decision for him. He kicked off his career as the running backs coach at Glades Central H.S. (Fla.), where his dad was the head football coach, and spent a few more years in the high school coaching ranks before returning to West Virginia as a graduate assistant in 2008. After two years with the Mountaineers, he coached two seasons at Marshall before returning to West Virginia once again to coach their running backs.
And then earlier this month, Florida coach Jim McElwain hired Seider to coach the running backs at Florida.
But what could have been? Seider certainly wonders what could have happened if the Patriots called his name, especially as New England contacted his agent before the draft.
“You always think that,” Seider says, “Almost wished it was reverse, but you wish anybody the best, I don’t judge nobody off myself. I’m happy for [Brady].”
Pick No. 212: Tim Rattay, QB, Louisiana Tech
Of all the quarterbacks drafted after Tom Brady in the 2000 draft, Rattay had the longest NFL career, playing for eight seasons and passing for almost 5,000 yards. But one would not have guessed that would be the case based on his start in college.
Having started just one season at quarterback in high school, the 6' 0", 200-pound Rattay didn’t get any Division I offers, so he kicked off his college career at Scottsdale Community College. But after one season, Rattay earned an offer to Louisiana Tech, where he became one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NCAA history. Rattay threw for 12,746 yards in three seasons at Louisiana Tech, the second-most in NCAA history at the time.
And after working out for the Patriots and the 49ers leading up to the draft, San Francisco took him with the No. 212 pick.
“There was some thought,” Rattay says, “That maybe [the Patriots] would pick me. [But] in my opinion, I think Tom Brady would have been Tom Brady wherever he went.”
Rattay spent six seasons with the 49ers, sitting and learning behind Jeff Garcia for the first three, before starting 16 games over the next three seasons in San Francisco. After single seasons spent in Tampa Bay and Arizona, where he appeared in 10 total games, Rattay made the move to the UFL, joining the Las Vegas Locos for two seasons.
But when Rattay tore his Achilles in 2012, he decided it was best to retire, and he followed his father’s footsteps into coaching. “I knew as soon as I was done playing I was going to get into coaching,” Rattay says.
Rattay spent two more seasons with the Locos as their receivers’ coach, giving the wideouts a quarterback’s perspective, before the UFL folded in 2012. When Skip Holtz was hired at Louisiana Tech, he brought Rattay in as a receivers coach, transitioning to quarterbacks before this past season.
Pick No. 214: Jarious Jackson, QB, Notre Dame
In his first collegiate start as a junior in 1998, Jarious Jackson and the Fighting Irish stunned Brady and the Wolverines 36–20 in South Bend, with Jackson throwing for 96 yards and two touchdowns, adding another 62 yards on the ground.
But when both QBs entered the NFL draft a year and a half later, their careers diverged.
“Come April, draft time, I pretty much knew I wasn’t going to be a first-day guy,” Jackson says. However, he didn’t expect to fall all the way to the seventh round, when the Broncos drafted him with the No. 214 pick.
Jackson spent four seasons as the Broncos’ backup before heading over to the CFL, where he spent seven seasons with the BC Lions and one with the Toronto Argonauts before moving onto coaching. He’s currently the QB coach and passing game coordinator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
“I felt like I knew I was ready for the next step. I haven’t always been the starter,” Jackson says, “I’ve played the backup role, the starter role. Throughout the whole process of the two, I’ve always felt myself at ease in the locker room, teaching the system.”
Like most, Jackson wishes he could have been in the NFL longer, but he’s grateful for his career and coaching experience in Canada.
“Football is my life, I’m passionate about it, I grew up around football,” Jackson says, “so being able to give back the knowledge to players…I felt like it was a great opportunity stepping into the coaching arena.”
Pick No. 234: Joe Hamilton, QB, Georgia Tech
Standing at 5' 11", Hamilton knew that he didn’t have the size of the typical NFL quarterback, making him a longshot to be drafted. But the 1999 Heisman runner-up, who threw for 8,882 yards and 65 touchdowns and rushed for 1,758 yards and 18 touchdowns with the Yellow Jackets, never lost confidence. And the Buccaneers made Hamilton’s dreams come true, drafting him 35 picks after Brady.
“It felt really, really good…to be acknowledged as someone out of the seven rounds, that could bring something to the team,” Hamilton says, “I was elated, ecstatic and thankful to be able to live out my dreams.”
Hamilton lasted three seasons in Tampa Bay, earning a Super Bowl ring during their 2002 championship season. However, Hamilton initially gave the ring to his dad, because he spent the season on the injured reserve and didn’t feel like he was fully part of the team (his dad has since returned it). And with no teams calling after the 2004 season, Hamilton moved onto coaching.
After dabbling in coaching and player personnel, Hamilton realized he still had the itch to get back on the field, so last Feburary, Hamilton joined QB Country, a year-round training and development center for quarterbacks in Mobile, Ala. He works with players of all ages, helping to train and mentor them.
“I just want to grow in this business, help QBs get ready for pros,” Hamilton says, “help this young generation with leadership and things like that. Help out in that regard.”
Could Hamilton have lived out a career like Brady’s? “You’d like to think so, but we were different quarterbacks,” Hamilton says. “I would like to think I could compete and do my best ... but [Brady’s] one of a kind.
“It just gives me a whole story to tell, never give up, never doubt your talents. ... All you need is one shot. Put in hard work and let the chips fall where they may.”