Chargers select QB Eli Manning with first pick in draft

Updated: April 24, 2004, 1:22 PM ET

NEW YORK -- After being showered with boos, Eli Manning got his wish.

The San Diego Chargers went against the wishes of the Manning family when they selected the Mississippi quarterback with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft, but traded him shortly thereafter to the New York Giants for quarterback Philip Rivers, the fourth overall pick, and three extra draft picks.

The Chargers received a third-rounder in this draft along with first- and fifth-round selections in 2005.

Manning's agent Tom Condon had informed Chargers general manager A.J. Smith that the Manning family preferred they not take Eli with the first overall pick.

But San Diego went ahead and selected Eli anyway, making him the sixth quarterback in the last seven years to be selected No. 1 overall.

Eli Manning frowned when the selection was announced by NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue and did not wear the Chargers hat on stage, although he did hold the team jersey for the cameras. Archie Manning, Eli's father and former NFL quarterback, was also on stage with Eli and posed for pictures.

The crowd at the Theater at Madison Square Garden showered Manning with boos. After the trade was announced by Tagliabue, the crowd again erupted with boos.

Six years ago, the Chargers had the second overall pick and settled for Ryan Leaf after the Indianapolis Colts selected Peyton Manning, Eli's older brother. Unfortunately, Leaf turned into one of the league's biggest busts and Peyton Manning is a perennial Pro Bowl quarterback.

Three years ago, the Chargers had the No. 1 overall pick and passed on the chance to select Michael Vick, the most exciting quarterback in the NFL. Instead, the Chargers swapped first-round picks with Atlanta, who had the fifth overall selection, and added two more picks and receiver Tim Dwight. They used the No. 5 pick on LaDainian Tomlinson, who has emerged as one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL.

At quarterback, the Chargers have Drew Brees, who is only 4-16 in his last 20 starts and was benched for five games last year.

Eli Manning set or tied 47 single-game season or career school records - more than half of which belonged to Archie. Last year, Eli led the Rebels to their first 10-win season in 22 years.

Like Peyton, the 6-4 1/2, 221-pound Eli has textbook throwing mechanics with a natural delivery and quick release. He won the Maxwell Award, given to the nation's top college player, and the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award for the nation's top senior quarterback.

Eli Manning started every game the last three years at Mississippi, passing for 9,949 yards and 81 touchdowns with 34 interceptions.

The 6-4, 229-pound Rivers was a four-year starter and set Atlantic Coast Conference records with 4,491 passing yards and 34 touchdowns in 2003.

However, some scouts are concerned with his unorthodox sidearm delivery. But he has good size, reads defenses extremely well and gets through his progressions quickly.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index