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These are the best first-round draft picks since the A FL-NFL merger in 1970. Like Elway in Denver, Manning will always be remembered as an Indianapolis Colt, a fact that made his recent move to the Broncos such a headline-grabber. Manning already owns 11 Pro Bowl trips, eight All-Pro nominations, four NFL MVPs, as well as a Super Bowl trophy and MVP honor. Manning’s incredible ability to read defenses and make adjustments at the line led to the Colts giving him more control of the offense than just about any quarterback has ever had.  It can be argued that the NFL may have seen greater players than Manning, and possibly even greater quarterbacks. No player taken No. 1 overall since 1970, however, has been better than Manning. Runner-ups: John Elway (1983, Colts) and Bruce Smith (1985, Bills) Honorable Mention: Mario Williams (2006, Texans); Eli Manning (2004, Chargers); Michael Vick (2001, Falcons); Orlando Pace (1997, Rams); Drew Bledsoe (1993, Patriots); Troy Aikman (1989, Cowboys); Bo Jackson (1986, Buccaneers); Earl Campbell (1978, Oilers); Lee Roy Selmon (1976, Buccaneers); Terry Bradshaw (1970, Steelers)

Text: Chris Burke, SI.com
Photo: Al Tielemans(3), John Biever, Bill Frakes, Simon Bruty, David E. Klutho/SI; Rob Tringali/SportsChrome

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