The Story Of The 04 Draft: What Really Could Have Happened

Max RosenfeldCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2010

PITTSBURGH - DECEMBER 27:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers drops back to pass during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 27, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)
Karl Walter/Getty Images

The 2004 NFL Draft. The Steelers get Ben, Chargers get Rivers and the Giants get Manning.  But it all wasnt that simple at all.  Several steps and lucky scenarios occured for each team to get these players.  Lets start with the story.

Chargers with the number one pick overall.  Eli Manning has already stated that he would not like to be drafted by this team.  The night before the draft Chargers gm AJ Smith calls Giants gm Ernie Accorsi.  They go back and forth between proposals and cant agree on anything.

Giants have the 4th pick coming into draft day and are planning on trading down three spots to the 7th with Cleveland, in which they would take Miami of Ohio's cannon armed passer Ben Roethlisberger.  Ben's strong would be able to cut threw the high winds at the meadowlands.  The Chargers had already taken  a dissappointed Eli Manning from Ole Miss.  With the Giants on the clock they had the deal in place but were thinking it over.  It was the Chargers, and with time expiring on the clock they had the deal done that would give them Eli Manning. But the trade wasnt turned in to league offices.  The Chargers get the Giants pick and the Giants get Eli.  But without it being turned into league offices yet the G-Men had to make their pick.  They took Philip Rivers, who went to the Chargers in that deal.  And with the 11th pick Ben Roethlisberger fell right into the Steelers lap.

What could have happened:

Lets play make believe and look at the different scenarios that could have occured:

-Chargers and Giants dont make the deal and san diego gets manning, new york gets ben in deal with cleveland

-chargers dont pick manning and take robert gallery, the giants get manning rivers gets drafted by the steelers.

-chargers pick manning, giants pick rivers, steelers pick ben.  then chargers trade eli to steelers for ben.


Lets see how this all turned out for the teams.  The Steelers won two rings with Ben, Giants one with Manning, Chargers have had great production from Rivers.

Imagine Steelers fans, a world with Ben as the QB of the Giants and you have Philip Rivers.  Would you love him as much?  Probably.  Same with Manning.  Take a look at your Big Ben Jersey.  Now think of it with a 17 or 10.  Different.  Would the teams have fared the same with different QB's.  Thats up for you to decide.