18. Football Stories, Continued: The NFL Draft

In the 1998 NFL football draft, the focus was on the two top prospects, both star college quarterbacks—Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning. Leaf, who was going pro immediately after an impressive season as a college junior, was considered to have the stronger arm. Manning, son of illustrious quarterback Archie Manning, was seen as the overall better player. It wasn’t clear who was going to be the top draft choice. Instead, the differences between the two top players were seen as so small that the real battle would be who would be able to get them. Manning ended up as draft pick #1 and went to the Colts. Leaf was #1A and went to the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers went to considerable effort to draft him, ...

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