The One At 1: 2004 -- Eli Manning

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, and his coach Tom Coughlin look at the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they celebrate after the Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14 in the Super Bowl XLII football game on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Ariz.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, and his coach Tom Coughlin look at the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they celebrate after the Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14 in the Super Bowl XLII football game on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Ariz.

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: Eli Manning/2004

TEAM: San Diego Chargers

THE SITUATION: Manning was selected by the Chargers with the top pick, but threatened to sit out the season if he remained with the team. San Diego dealt him to the Giants for fourth overall choice Philip Rivers and three draft picks, including a 2005 first-rounder that turned into Shawne Merriman. Manning got his wish, and the Chargers picked up a nice haul in return.

THE CAREER: It’s been an interesting career for Manning. His career quarterback rating of 84.1 does not live up to the standard of a No. 1 pick, but he has helped the Giants win a pair of Super Bowls. Manning has made four Pro Bowls in his career and is projected to be the Giants’ starter for a 16th consecutive season in 2019.

THE OTHER OPTIONS IN TOP FIVE: Rivers has not had the same postseason success, but individually has put up better numbers. The trade was a blockbuster and both sides ended up happy. Cardinals star wideout Larry Fitzgerald went third overall in the draft, one spot behind Raiders tackle Robert Gallery. Late Redskins star Sean Taylor went No. 5 overall.

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