Eli could follow in Peyton's steps

Pro Football Weekly's Nolan Nawrocki has an early forecast of the first round of April's NFL draft.

Updated: January 25, 2004, 12:19 AM ET
By Nolan Nawrocki | Pro Football Weekly
Eli Manning
Ole Miss' Eli Manning could become a No. 1 overall pick like his brother, Peyton.
After San Diego gave up a hefty sum in the form of future draft picks and an exorbitant contract on bust quarterback Ryan Leaf, the Spanos family is leery of getting burned again and is not expected to keep the top pick to draft a quarterback. The Chargers likely will entertain offers from a team that covets either Eli Manning or Ben Roethlisberger, while looking to move down.

With quarterback being a need of both Oakland and Arizona -- the two teams drafting after San Diego -- there could be some simple maneuvering at the top, swapping first-round picks with a mid-round pick included. Or another team looking to stabilize their future quarterback situation, such as the Packers and Bills, could move up the board and give Manning or Roethlisberger the opportunity to be mentored by Brett Favre or Drew Bledsoe. Other teams, like Miami and Pittsburgh, could use upgrades at the quarterback position but more likely will look to the free-agent market for a veteran.

If the Chargers cannot move the top pick, don't be surprised if an offensive lineman is taken first overall for the first time since the Rams selected Orlando Pace in 1997. Iowa offensive left tackle Robert Gallery has the rare size, foot quickness, toughness and durability to protect a quarterback's blind side at an All-Pro level for 10 years and ranks among the top players in the draft. Miami junior tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., whose Hall of Fame father starred for the Chargers in the 1980s, does not play a premium position but ranks among the highest-graded players in the draft and will be an early value pick, going to a team that may not need a tight end but knows he is too good to pass up. Some scouts say he is better than All-Pro Tony Gonzalez right now, and his grade warrants consideration at the top spot, although it's very unlikely he'd go that high.

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