The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will likely draft Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota with the No. 1 overall pick. So how does this type of thing usually work out? We continue our countdown of the 18 quarterbacks who were drafted with the top selection over the past 40 years.
Peyton Manning, 1998, Indianapolis Colts
This is the draft people point to when they want to demonstrate the fine line between getting right or wrong. Heading into the draft, it appeared as if Manning was in a dead heat with Ryan Leaf to be the No. 1 overall pick.
Manning had more polish, but Leaf had the stronger arm and that left scouts across the league divided. The Colts held the No. 1 pick and general manager Bill Polian had the final say. He chose Manning, which was the best move of his career.
The San Diego Chargers had traded up to No. 2 and their thinking was they couldn’t lose, no matter who the Colts selected. That turned out to be dramatically wrong. Leaf turned out to be one of the biggest busts ever with a career that lasted only four seasons.
Manning’s career couldn’t have turned out any more differently. A spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is waiting for Manning, but he’s not ready to stop playing just yet. That’s a good thing because Manning still is going strong.
The Colts suffered through a 3-13 season during Manning’s rookie year, but he had the team in the playoffs by his second year. The no-huddle offense, which Manning quickly mastered and made famous, came in 2001. Indianapolis’ defense wasn’t nearly as good as its offense and that cost coach Jim Mora his job at the end of the 2001 season.
Tony Dungy replaced Mora and that’s when Manning’s success started reaching new heights. Manning won the first of five Most Valuable Player awards in the 2003 season and, in 2004, Manning set a new record for touchdown passes in a season with 49.
The only knock on Manning and the Colts was that they couldn’t win the big one. But that changed when they won the Super Bowl in the 2006 season. Manning continued to pile up huge numbers and made a second Super Bowl appearance (a loss to New Orleans in the 2009 season).
But Manning’s career stalled in 2011 when he had neck surgery. Manning ended up missing that entire season and his time with the Colts came to an end. Holding the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Colts decided to take Andrew Luck and let Manning move on.
He signed with the Denver Broncos and quickly erased any doubt about his neck. Manning won his fifth Most Valuable Player award in the 2013 season and led the Broncos to the Super Bowl (a loss to the Seattle Seahawks).
Heading into the 2015 season, Manning has thrown for 69,691 yards and 530 touchdowns. He widely is considered one of the best -- if not the best -- quarterbacks ever.
Final analysis: Hall of Fame pick.