When a player is the 199th pick in the draft and he has a reputation for being slow, he isn't expected to lead his team to three Super Bowl victories before he turns 28. Expectations come and go, but it's the accomplishments that weave together the tapestry of history.
When the Patriots analyze a potential new acquisition, they do it unlike any other team in the league. They've studied the reports and scrutinized the film, but what they really want to do is open up the player's ribcage and find out what his heart is made of.
A player might've had a tremendous performance at the combine, but will that player strip the ball out of Lee Evans' hands in the AFC championship? No packet of papers and tapes will tell you what Sterling Moore can do. New England's approach to finding new blood is rarely sexy, but it's often effective.
When the Patriots show up to the draft, the question they'll ask of each prospect will be very simple: Does this kid want to watch the Super Bowl on a flatscreen or does this kid want to play in the game?
That question is how the 199th pick in the 2000 draft became the best quarterback of all time.
To this day, Tom Brady continues to be the model of everything the Patriots look for. They seek out guys with a healthy chip on their shoulder and some fire under them. They collect players who have been doubted, questioned and counted-out.
It's an odd approach to building a football team, but it works. Nobody wants to see that tradition continue more than Brady. The 2012 draft will be another opportunity for the Patriots to stay on that path.
Here are six players that Tom Brady would love to see the Patriots draft.