NFL’s Top Ten QBs and Their Draft Position

Peyton Manning QB Tennessee Volunteers
Peyton Manning as QB of the Tennessee Volunteers
(Image courtesy of

NFL’s Top Ten QBs and Their Draft Position
QBPassing YardsYears PlayedCollegeDraft PickDrafted By
Peyton Manning 71,9401998-2015Tennessee Volunteers1Colts
Brett Favre71,8381991-2010Southern Miss33Falcons
Drew Brees 66,1112001-activePurdue32Chargers
Tom Brady 61,5822001-activeMichigan199Patriots
Dan Marino 61,3611983-1999 Pitt27Dolphins
John Elway 51,4751983-1998Stanford1Broncos via Colts
Warren Moon 49,325 1984-2000Washington HuskiesNot DraftedEdmonton Huskies (CFL)
Eli Manning 48,218 2004-2016Ole Miss1Giants via Chargers
Fran Tarkenton 47,0031961-1978 Georgia29Vikings
Ben Roethlisberge46,8142004-active Miami (OH)11Steelers

Three of these quarterbacks were the first picks in their respective drafts and went on to have Hall of Fame careers. Four were middle of the first round. Brett Favre was a second round pick, Fran Tarkenton a third pick (the leagues had not merged yet and there were less teams period), Tom Brady was a sixth round pick, and Warren Moon was undrafted. In fact Warren Moon played in the CFL for five season before coming to the NFL.

What does all this mean? It means the experts get it wrong a lot, although anyone would have been hard pressed to justify picking Tom Brady high up. It also means hard work and persistence is more important in the NFL, then getting drafted early. Tom Brady being a great example of this.

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