Only six players in NFL history have passed for 50,000 yards. By the end of the 2017 season, there are likely to be nine members of the 50,000-yard club. And all three new additions come from the same first round in the draft.
Eli Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers are all within one solid season of 50,000 yards and should become the seventh, eighth and ninth players to reach the 50,000-yard mark in 2017. The six players already ovder the 50,000-yard mark are Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Dan Marino and John Elway.
Manning currently has 48,218 yards, which means he’s likely around six games away from 50,000. Roethlisberger is at 46,814, meaning he’s probably about 11 games away. And Rivers is at 45,833, which at his 2016 pace would take him 16 games to reach 50,000.
The three quarterbacks have always been linked by the 2004 NFL draft, in which Manning was selected first overall by the Chargers, then traded for Rivers, who was drafted fourth overall by the Giants. Roethlisberger was taken 11th overall by the Steelers.
For three quarterbacks in the same draft class to all play for only one team and all play so well that they reach 50,000 career yards is an extremely unusual occurrence, as the draft is usually a crap shoot. Just ask the Bills, who also spent a first-round pick on a quarterback that year but got only 6,211 yards out of J.P. Losman.