Top of the draft has the most unknowns since the Chargers took Eli in 2004

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It’s draft day, and we don’t know who’s going first overall. That just doesn’t happen in the NFL anymore.

The Cleveland Browns have been buttoned up about their operation, to the point where Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold and Josh Allen all sit atop various mock drafts.

To find a draft when there was this much intrigue on draft day about what would happen with the early picks, you have to go all the way back to 2004, when the Chargers selected Eli Manning. That year, Manning was generally viewed as the top prospect, but he had vowed not to play for the Chargers, and there were questions about whether the Chargers would trade the pick, draft someone else or drat Manning and try to convince him to play for them.

As it turned out, the Chargers drafted Manning and then traded him an hour later to the Giants, who drafted Philip Rivers and traded him to the Chargers, along with their third-round pick and first-round pick and fifth-round pick the next year.

We don’t expect anything like that to happen with the first overall pick this year, but we don’t know what will happen. And that’s going to make draft day more fun.

29 responses to “Top of the draft has the most unknowns since the Chargers took Eli in 2004

  1. Would be beyond funny if Eli asked the Chargers to do that one day signing when he retires. Maybe if the Chargers won a SB with Rivers, the Chargers could play along and say ‘yes’.

    Chargers got the better end of the deal even though fate and or whatever got Eli 2 SB MVPS.

  2. I am going out on a limb and predict that the first overall pick will be a quarterback. There is a chance that the first 3 picks are quarterbacks. Even backup quarterbacks are getting $15-18 million per year, and that sort of economic reality is encouraging teams to gamble on quarterbacks. The recent success of Carson Wentz does not hurt either.

  3. Eli cheated the game. You go to the team that drafts you — that earned the right to you. It’s part of the competitive balance. Is it any coincidence the Giants had one bad year and ended up signing the #1 prospect — brother and son of other proven NFL quarterbacks? True greats turned around historically bad franchises. Tom Brady turned around the Patriots from the 199th position and Joe Montana turned around the 49ers from somewhere deep into the 3rd round. It’s fitting that Manning is 0-4 against San Diego (and the Giants 0-5) since Manning refused to play for them.

  4. “Chargers got the better end of the deal even though fate and or whatever got Eli 2 SB MVPS.”

    All the Giants got were those two lousy Superbowls.

  5. Looks like I irritated a few Giants’ fans. See you on BBI so I can laugh at all the baby in fighting. Typical taking it personal when it’s an obvious joke. I’m the biggest Eli supporter on the planet.

  6. Wonder if Eli would have played for the Bolts and Rivers for the Giants Rivers would have by now 2 rings and Eli none? Or the Chargers would have now two more SB’s under their belt. Or Tommy boy would have 2 more rings?

  7. I’m fine with Josh Allen as a high first round pick, provided any team but mine takes him. Low completion percentage and turnovers is not teh way to win in todays NFL.

  8. Rivers turned out to be the better QB….obviously. Eli used to have that big game magic though…and we obviously dont know if Rivers would have had that. So, I cant say that Im not happy with the way things worked out. Eli is about done now, but he wasnt too shabby in those two SB runs against some pretty good teams…..Rivers may very well have bombed in those opportunities.

  9. For all intents and purposes, Philip Rivers is a bust, having had no genuine postseason success, despite being a Top 20 quarterback for most of his career.

    Geno (Smith), I am pleased that you are still in the league. Stay focused and keep striving for success and those watching will eventually acknowledge your talents as a passer in this league.

  10. Pouting Eli. Whining spoiled brat. There is a reason why I respect Payton and can’t stand his little brother!

  11. Clearly Rivers has had better stats (completion %, yds/game, TDs, less INTs) in just about every important QB category. Giants had phenomenal stretch of good/great defenses and it does make you wonder if the Giants could’ve been a dynasty with a better QB like Rivers as well as keeping the 1st, 3rd & 5th rd draft picks.

  12. If I am a Browns fan (I am not) I really like the idea of taking Barkley at #1. Clearly either Darnold, Allen or Mayfield (and don’t forget Rosen) will be there at #4. This seems like a no brainer to me. What am I missing?

  13. I guess reflecting back on the 2004 draft I’d have to admit that Archie had a great point. The Chargers are semi pro franchise playing in a pro league. I’m not a fan of the self proclaimed first family of football but he was right about that call.

  14. Eli Manning
    216 games, 59.8 comp%, 51,682 pass yards, 339TD, 228int, 83.5 rating

    Philip Rivers
    196 games, 64.2comp%, 50,348 passing yards, 342TDs, 166 int, 94.8 rating

  15. This draft more than most feels like there are so many questions at the top not because there is no other talent available but because multiple teams just can’t stop from reaching on a QB. Mayfield had the best college career and seems to have the fewest question marks so you can see him going high, Darnold makes some great throws so MAYBE some teams are willing to bet he gets the turnovers under control, but Rosen and especially Allen look like projects that should normally be 2nd or 3rd round picks. It’s simply crazy that somebody is looking at Josh Allen thinking he’s a sure enough deal to spend a top 5 pick on.

  16. I guess reflecting back on the 2004 draft I’d have to admit that Archie had a great point. The Chargers are semi pro franchise playing in a pro league.
    =====

    Real franchise… but run by a spoiled trust fund baby that should be stripped of his team.

    It continues to blow me away that some of the richest and most successful businessmen in the world would keep Dean Spanos as a partner.

  17. The Mannings were right. Spanos is a bottom feeder. Their only SB appearance was in 1994 under Bobby Ross. Spanos and Beathard summarily fired Ross who was admired by SD fans and players. Spanos keeps making mistakes with the latest “relocation” to LA. It’s a failure as the Rams own LA and the Chargers are only an afterthought in the quirky LA market. Spanos shows he’s quite ‘tentative’ and having second thoughts about the move. He’s renting everything: the Carson soccer stadium, the Costa Mesa practice field, the Costa Mesa Charger headquarters and Kroenke stadium. They have only a trickle of fans in Carson. The “relocation” is becoming an embarrassment to Goodell, the League and Chargers.

  18. endtimesparty says:
    April 26, 2018 at 7:55 am

    Eli cheated the game. You go to the team that drafts you — that earned the right to you. It’s part of the competitive balance. Is it any coincidence the Giants had one bad year and ended up signing the #1 prospect — brother and son of other proven NFL quarterbacks? True greats turned around historically bad franchises. Tom Brady turned around the Patriots from the 199th position and Joe Montana turned around the 49ers from somewhere deep into the 3rd round. It’s fitting that Manning is 0-4 against San Diego (and the Giants 0-5) since Manning refused to play for them.

    ——————————————-
    It wasn’t the Chargers organization that Eli (and his father Archie) didn’t want. It was the utter incompetence of the Spanos family they didn’t want to work with or play for… and who could blame them? Look at how they handled the stadium issue: “Give us a billion in taxpayer funds to build a stadium or we’re moving to LA”. The team can’t even sell out a 30k soccer stadium due to how the situation played out. They are in the top tier of incompetent NFL owners, hanging with the likes of Dan Snyder and Jimmy Haslam. Eli was smart to force his way to NY and the Maras.

  19. Too many hundreds of millions on the line not to power play to a better franchise. Can’t blame Eli. Quit being crummy owners and maybe these QBs won’t fight being drafted there. The “it’s just business” is a two way street.

    By the way, rivers had 2 HOFers for most of his career. We haven’t had a RB since barber. Chew on that

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