Drafted a round after Drew Bledsoe in 1993, Vincent Ultimate Brisby wasn't his draftmate's favorite pass-catcher (that would be a certain tight end we'll discuss later) but he was certainly one of his most reliable and dynamic receivers, especially during the 1994 and 1995 seasons at the dawn of the Patriot renaissance. Brisby put up more than 900 yards each of those seasons, before suffering a hamstring injury that limited him severely in 1996 (Coach Parcells famously joked that he recovered from open-heart surgery faster than Brisby had from a hamstring injury). Brisby wasn't much of a contributor on that AFC Champion team, but he did catch a couple of balls in the Super Bowl loss to the Packers in 1997.
Brisby caught 217 balls for just over 3,000 yards and 14 scores for those mid-1990s Patriots before a desultory final season with the Jets in 2000. He just missed the Brady and Belichick train - he was teammates with Vinatieri and Law and Bruschi and McGinest. People forget how much fun those Bledsoe-Parcells Patriots were, after so much sucking. Like so many on those teams, Brisby wasn't awesome. But he wasn't terrible, either. And what a step up that was. Plus, the Hall-of-Fame Berman nickname.
I think sometimes what Tom Brady wouldn't have given for a couple of guys like Vincent Brisby or Michael Timpson or Shawn Jefferson this year.