Ummmmmmmmmmm, this Tom Brady Award is going to its namesake, Tom Brady. He was far and away the biggest and best surprise athlete of the decade.
With the 199th overall pick, the Patriots selected Tom Brady, Quarterback from Michigan. And the rest was history.
It really was a perfect storm to bring Brady to New England. QB wasn't a priority, and certainly other positions needed to be addressed. So any QB taken would have to be a 4th round pick or later. The NFL didn't see what Brady had. Nobody did. But the Patriots were in a good position to use a late pick on a guy who was labelled by everyone to be a back-up-at-best.
People talk about Brady's "intangibles." The whole "wanting it more," thing. That's all crap. Brady's greatness is tangible. Intelligence is tangible, it's just difficult to measure with a stopwatch or a statistic.
We've learned the last few years that trying to discern good QBs from bad QBS is impossible until they're actually in the fire of the NFL. Talent, arm strength, and speed are minuscule compared to poise and decision-making. Neither poise or decision-making are obvious in college football or combines.
Belichick and Pioli didn't draft Brady to be a god under center. They saw a potential back-up, and used a 6th round pick on him. Brady was the one who did the work, had confidence in himself, got an opportunity, and took full advantage of it.