The 2004 NFL Draft will forever be remembered for the trade between the San Diego Chargers and the New York Giants. With the top overall pick, the Chargers selected quarterback Eli Manning, who did not want to play in San Diego. After the Giants selected quarterback Philip Rivers fourth overall, the teams brokered a deal to swap signal-callers. The Chargers also received draft picks from the Giants, which they later used to select Shawne Merriman and kicker Nate Kaeding.
Manning and Rivers were two of a whopping 17 quarterbacks that were selected in the 2004 NFL Draft.
Top Ten Picks of the 2004 NFL Draft
Seven future Pro Bowlers were selected in the first eight picks of the 2004 NFL Draft. The only one that wasn’t was offensive lineman Robert Gallery, who was taken second overall by the Oakland Raiders. The Arizona Cardinals selected wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald at number three, while safety Sean Taylor went to Washington Redskins at number five.
The top 10 was rounded out by:
- Cleveland Browns – Kellen Winslow Jr. (TE, Miami)
- Detroit Lions – Roy Williams (WR, Texas)
- Atlanta Falcons – DeAngelo Hall (CB, Virginia Tech)
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Reggie Williams (WR, Washington)
- Houston Texans – Dunta Robinson (CB, South Carolina)
Just outside the top 10, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected future Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at number 11. Other future Pro Bowlers that went in the first round include Jonathan Vilma, Tommie Harris, Shawn Andrews, Will Smith, Vince Wilfork, Steven Jackson and Jason Babin.
Six players who went on to appear in the Pro Bowl were taken in the sixth round, including Darnell Dockett, Chris Cooley and Matt Schaub.
Notes from the 2004 NFL Draft
A total of 255 players were selected in the 2004 NFL Draft, including an astounding 48 defensive backs. Thirty-two wide receivers, 28 linebackers, 26 offensive tackles and 24 defensive ends also came off the board.
“Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2004 NFL Draft was linebacker Andre Sommersell, who was selected by the Raiders with the 255th overall pick.
Several notable players went undrafted in 2004, including wide receiver Wes Welker. Willie Parker, Tommy Kelly, Jason Peters, Cullen Jenkins and Vonta Leach also went undrafted.
Download: 2004 NFL Draft