Brad Simmons

Class of '04 NFL QBs might be best ever

Posted May 27, 2009
Updated May 28, 2009

The 2004 NFL draft may surpass the 1983 NFL draft as the best quarterback class in history.

The ‘83 draft has been widely regarded as the best collection of signal-callers to enter the NFL, sporting three Hall of Famers.

John Elway was the #1 overall pick and won two Super Bowl titles in five trips to the big game with the Denver Broncos.

Though he never held the Lombardi Trophy, Jim Kelly led the Buffalo Bills to an unprecedented four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early '90s

Dan Marino took the Dolphins to a Super Bowl and held the league record for career passing yards and touchdowns when he retired.

All three have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In the last few years, however, the heralded trio from the ’04 draft has staked its claim to greatness.

Eli Manning was the #1 overall pick and has a Super Bowl title with the N.Y. Giants.

Ben Roethlisberger has a pair of rings in just five seasons in the league.

Philip Rivers, though he doesn't own a title, continues to rack up tons of yards. The former Pack QB also tied for the league lead in touchdown passes this past year. Rivers has also led the San Diego Chargers deep into the playoffs each year he has started, including a trip the AFC championship game in 2008. Partly because of the N.C. State alum's accomplishments, the expectations for this upcoming season have the Chargers as one of the front runners for this year’s Super Bowl.

The ’04 quarterback club already has more Super Bowl victories than the ’83 trio, and with this much success in their first five seasons, it seems they have only scratched the surface of their greatness.

Quite simply, you should enjoy what you're seeing from these three players - they might be the best quarterback class of all-time.

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  • brewmonkey Aug 23, 6:39 p.m.

    Rivers doesn't deserve to be mentioned with the other two. Not that Eli's any great shakes (except at being a petulant brat on draft day), but if you're gonna list qb's from that draft, why put Rivers' name on there? Why not JP Losman, Matt Schaub, Luke McCown, Craig Krenzel, Andy Hall, Jim Sorgi, Jeff Smoker, John Navarre, Cody Pickett, Casey Bramlett, and/ or Matt Mauck? They're all 2004 qb draftees, and all have the same number of Super Bowl wins as Rivers. Rivers got drafted to a team with the pieces all in place, but hasn't done much with them.

  • NCSU May 29, 5:39 p.m.

    Agreed. Ben has to be the best of the bunch, with Philip coming in second. Eli has the ring, but Philip continually ranks near the top of the league in touchdowns and yards

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