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21 years ago today the Patriots made the greatest draft pick in NFL history

Related: Hating Tom Brady must be exhausting

April 16 is a celebratory day in New England for two reasons. It is the birthday of Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, who is turning 69 today, as well as the anniversary of the team selecting quarterback Tom Brady in the sixth round of the draft.

Belichick’s birth and his team starting Brady’s NFL career happened 48 years apart, and both had a lasting impact on the Patriots organization for obvious reasons. Together, the two led the team to six Super Bowl wins and established the only dynasty of the league’s salary cap era.

Picking Brady was therefore quite the birthday present for Belichick.

As for Brady, he left for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year and promptly added a seventh ring to his already unrivaled collection. He will be back with the team in 2021 to add to his résumé and continue a career that has not just gone on far longer than the average in the NFL, but also has reached highs no other player has ever been able to climb.

The foundation for all of that was laid in New England and under Belichick’s supervision, with the pair dominating the league for two decades after Brady’s selection and subsequent rise to the starting position in 2001.