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Brady, Gronk join NFL legends in offering heartfelt encouragement to NFL rookie class

BOSTON -- A total of 259 players were selected in this year's NFL Draft, with each and every player taking a unique path to realizing a lifelong dream.

Once those players become professionals, their days as fans generally end. But they're not there quite yet, and a promotional effort from Fanatics cashed in on the fandom that still lives inside these young future stars.

In a video released Thursday, Fanatics surprised rookies with personal video messages sent from NFL legends like Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Ray Lewis, LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Peterson, Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Davante Adams and George Kittle. Former Patriots greats Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski also make appearances.

Specifically, Brady recorded video messages for Colts quarterback Anthony Richardson and Titans quarterback Will Levis.

"Anthony, what's up?" Brady's message to Richardson began. "A lot of great friends tell me you're a better person than you are a quarterback -- which says a lot, because I've seen some of those throws you make."

Brady also signed a jersey for Richardson, saying "Anthony, your best is yet to come!"

Brady -- who famously was selected with the 199th pick in the 2000 draft -- spoke to Levis, who had to wait until the second round to hear his name called this year.

"Waiting around on draft day, it sucks. I know the feeling. It's not easy," Brady said. "But I promise you one thing. It's gonna make everything that happens from this point on that much sweeter."

On Instagram, Brady wrote that he wished Fanatics had done the same thing for his rookie season, but he quickly joked, "Granted I probably wouldn't have been invited to the shoot."

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