Peyton Manning and the other top quarterbacks to be taken in the first round of the NFL draft

Jay Asser 14:42 02/05/2018
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Peyton Manning was drafted first overall in 1998.

As a quarterback, being selected in the first round of the NFL draft isn’t the be-all, end-all. Just ask Tom Brady, among others.

But there is some prestige, as well as expectation, that comes with being a QB taken within the first 32 picks, as the five players who went in the first round of last week’s draft will learn.

Here are the top five quarterbacks drafted in the first round in NFL history, beginning with the greatest number one overall pick ever.

Peyton Manning

You could see a successful career for Manning coming from a mile away when he was highly-rated in college at Tennessee and the number one overall draft pick in 1998. And yet, he somehow surpassed the hype and went on to become one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.


Aaron Rodgers

Unlike many of his peers, the Green Bay Packers quarterback took an unorthodox route to stardom. After spending one year in junior college, Rodgers transferred to California, where he shined to become a top prospect. However, he still fell to No24 in the 2005 draft, but it all worked out in the end.


John Elway

Even though Stanford had a losing record during his time in college, Elway was a can’t-miss prospect for a reason, which he showed when he got to the NFL by being drafted first overall by Baltimore in 1983. After forcing his way to Denver, Elway led the franchise to two Super Bowl wins and earned Super Bowl MVP.


Dan Marino

Even though he’s one of the most talented quarterbacks in NFL history, Marino wasn’t even one of the first QBs taken in his draft as five others went before him in 1983. The Miami Dolphins finally selected him at No27 and Marino would go on to be a legend, even without winning a Super Bowl.


Otto Graham

The Cleveland Browns have been a laughingstock for a while now, but there was a time when they were dominant, thanks to Graham. He was drafted fourth overall by the Detroit Lions in 1944, but didn’t join them due to being with the Navy. When he reached Cleveland, he won three championships.

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