The One At 1: 1998 -- Peyton Manning

Quarterback Peyton Manning poses at the 1998 NFL draft in New York.  Manning was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts as the second pick overall. (Al Messerschmidt via AP)
Quarterback Peyton Manning poses at the 1998 NFL draft in New York. Manning was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts as the second pick overall. (Al Messerschmidt via AP)

The Cardinals hold the No. 1 overall pick for April’s NFL draft for the first time since 1958. As the day for the Cards to make their selection draws closer, azcardinals.com will take a look at the last 30 No. 1 overall selections and each player’s impact on the team and league.

NAME/YEAR: Peyton Manning/1998

TEAM: Indianapolis Colts

THE SITUATION: The Colts had the luxury of choosing from two high-grade quarterback prospects in the draft. One was Manning, who had a fantastic career at Tennessee. The other was Ryan Leaf, who led Washington State to a Pac-10 title in 1997. Indianapolis eventually settled on Manning, but no one knew then how markedly different their careers would end up.

THE CAREER: Despite a rocky first season, Manning quickly ascended to stardom and finished his illustrious career as one of the best to ever play the position. He made 14 Pro Bowls, won a pair of Super Bowls and made two more. Manning played for the Colts from 1998 through 2010. He missed the 2011 season with a neck injury and was subsequently released because Indianapolis had their eye on another No. 1 overall pick – Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck – to replace him. Manning went on to more success in four seasons with the Broncos and retired after the 2015 season.

THE OTHER OPTIONS IN TOP FIVE: The Cardinals traded down from the No. 2 pick to No. 3 because they already had Jake Plummer at quarterback. They also received a second-round pick, a future first and Pro Bowl return specialist Eric Metcalf from the Chargers. San Diego took Leaf at No. 2 but he ended up one of the biggest busts in NFL history. The Cardinals chose defensive end Andre Wadsworth at No. 3 but injuries affected his career. Hall of Fame cornerback Charles Woodson went No. 4 overall to the Raiders. The Bears drafted running back Curtis Enis at No. 5.

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