Some Scouts Hated on Peyton Manning Before the 1998 Draft

Ryan Glasspiegel


In the next few months, we’re gonna hear a lot of praise and criticism about NFL Draft prospects from unnamed scouts and it’s really best to take all of it with a grain of salt. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel scribe Bob McGinn dusted off his notebook and took a look back at what he was told about Peyton Manning before the 1998 Draft.

While some, including Jerry Angelo, went on record saying that Manning would be great, others weren’t so sure — had he already reached his ceiling at Tennessee?

"“Florida intimidated him,” an AFC personnel director said. “You really like him because of the personality and all the intangibles but, boy, you’ve got be a little mobile in this league. He has been so well-coached, too … He’s a self-made player, let’s put it that way. I don’t know how much better he’s going to get.”"

And then there were backhanded compliments. If Erik Kramer could start in the league, then surely Manning could as well:

"“He grew up in a football family,” an NFC scout said. “He’s got football genes. He studied the hell out of the tape … If we’re playing with Erik Kramer, you’d have to think that he could start in the league. This kid’s intelligence, work habits, leadership probably are going to take him a long, long way. But I don’t know how much more Manning will improve in pro ball.”"

There were also knocks on Peyton’s athleticism and velocity, neither of which ultimately inhibited from becoming one of the league’s all-time greats.

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