The 2004 NFL Draft Class for quarterbacks have been one of the most successful classes of all time — at least the first three QBs chosen: Eli Manning, Philip Rivers, and Ben Roethlisberger. All three have been to Pro Bowls and two of the three have won Super Bowls. Another quarterback was chosen in the first round as well; J.P. Losman, someone who has not faired nearly as well as the three chosen before him.
Let’s take a quick look at these four quarterbacks. (You can watch Roethlisberger and the Steelers play on Monday Night Football and use the OtherScreen iPhone app to answer trivia and prediction questions about the game.)
Eli Manning: Selected first overall by the San Diego Chargers and quickly traded to the New York Giants for Philip Rivers. Eli has been been to, and won, one Super Bowl and has been selected to the Pro Bowl once as well. He has the most career starts of the 2004 draft class — due to being the Giants starter most of his rookie season (unlike Rivers, who sat for two seasons) and avoiding injuries and suspensions (unlike Roethlisberger.) He also has the most touchdowns of all the 2004 quarterbacks, but ranks third in Win Percentage and last in Completion Percentage.
Philip Rivers: Selected fourth overall by the New York Giants and traded to the San Diego Chargers for Eli Manning. He did not start any games during his first two seasons as he was the backup to Drew Brees. He has not been to the Super Bowl, but has been selected to three Pro Bowls. He leads the 2004 Draft Class in Completion Percentage.
Ben Roethlisberger: Selected 11th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He started 13 games in his first season and won all 13 regular season games he started before losing to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. He won the 2004 NFL Rookie of the Year Award, has won two Super Bowls, played in three Super Bowls, and has been selected to the Pro Bowl once. He has missed games due to a nearly fatal motorcycle accident in the 2006 offseason as well as a suspension in the 2010 season for sexual assault allegations. He leads all 2004 Draft Class QBs in Win Percentage and is second in all other categories represented by the charts below.
J.P. Losman: Selected 22nd by the Buffalo Bills. He has played for the Bills, the Oakland Raiders, the Seattle Seahawks, the UFL’s Las Vegas Locomotives, and the Miami Dolphins. Losman broke his leg during the Bills’ 2004 training camp. He was eventually replaced by quarterback Trent Edwards and was shuffled around the league for several years. He ranks last in all categories represented by the charts below except for Completion Percentage — which he edges out Eli Manning by 0.7%.
Other than Losman, the 2004 NFL Draft Class for QBs has been a very successful one. Philip Rivers could arguably be the most talented of all the quarterbacks, but playing for the Chargers has not helped his chances at getting a Super Bowl ring. Roethlisberger has two rings as the quarterback of one of the best NFL defenses ever and Manning has David Tyree to forever thank for his one championship.
Most NFL fans would be happy to have any of these three quarterbacks leading their favorite team’s offense.
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