The 2004 NFL Draft class was actually pretty good. It had the always great Larry Fitzgerald, feared running backs Michael Turner and Steven Jackson, and the solid Matt Schaub. It also included franchise quarterbacks Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, both of whom combined for four of the past seven Super Bowl victories. It's hard to imagine either team without Manning or Big Ben, but eight years ago the idea wasn't too far-fetched.
According to this article on ESPN.com, then-Director of Player Personnel Jerry Reese and former General Manager Ernie Accorsi were planning on drafting Big Ben for the fourth overall pick if the trade deal with San Diego didn't work. Reese thought very highly of the star QB from Miami (Ohio):
"Both of those guys had that and [Roethlisberger] was at a different level of competition we thought playing at [Miami of Ohio] than Eli. But we thought he would definitely fit in for us. We didn't have any issues with picking him if it came down to that."
Things obviously didn't come down to that, and eight years and two Super Bowl championships later, Giants fans are still satisfied as their team faces Pittsburgh and its would-be quarterback tomorrow.
[via ESPN New York]