Sometimes the Gap Between #1 and #2 is Wider Than Anyone Would Ever Imagine

Hard to believe it’s been nearly 14 years. It was back in 1998 that there was actually some debate as to whether it was a smart move to select Peyton Manning in front of Ryan Leaf in the NFL draft that year. Both of the quarterbacks were nearly the same size, but outside of the family pedigree, Peyton actually fell short in some ways to Ryan Leaf. One of those fairly distinct factors was that Leaf was perceived to have a much stronger arm.

The San Diego Chargers were so convinced that either of them were sure things that they traded up to be the team with the #2 pick that year. The thought was they would simply select whoever the Colts didn’t, and either way they’d have their franchise quarterback. Almost everyone knows how the Colt’s pick has turned out, but many young and casual observers of the NFL probably don’t even know who Ryan Leaf is.

Quick trivia question. Who took home the Heisman Trophy that year and edged out both Manning and Leaf? (Answer at end of article).

The entire scenario should seem a little familiar. It wasn’t long ago that the Washington Redskins traded a good deal of treasure to move up to the #2 pick (behind the Colts) in this year’s NFL draft. Similarly to 1998 and to the Peyton Manning selection, the almost assured #1 pick this year in Andrew Luck is deemed to be a sure thing for the Indianapolis Colts…And just like 1998 there is a franchise waiting breathlessly to select the next best QB (respectively, that is the Redskins and Robert Griffin III).

To me (and not only because of the 1998 scenario), one of these teams in that of the Colts or Redskins will be scratching their heads in a few years, as to how their pick was such a bust.

Today, Peyton Manning looks forward to a new chapter in his book as an NFL Hall of Famer with the Denver Broncos. Here’s what Leaf is up to…

TMZ – NFL washout Ryan Leaf was arrested this morning in Montana … the 2nd time he’s been taken into custody in less than a week.

According to the Central Montana Drug Force … the former QB was busted for burglary, theft, two counts of criminal possession of a dangerous drug. He’s currently behind bars. Officials would not reveal what kind of items Leaf is accused of stealing.

Officials say … the alleged burglary went down on Sunday … just 2 days after the former #2 overall NFL draft pick was popped for stealing prescription drugs from an acquaintance’s home.

Leaf is due back in court later today.

* Your trivia answer with respect to the 1998 Heisman trophy winner: Michigan’s Charles Woodson *

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