Peyton Manning: Why You'll Regret Passing on Broncos QB in Draft

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistAugust 18, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 09:  Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos leaves the field against the Chicago Bears during a preseason game at Soldier Field on August 9, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Broncos defeated the Bears 31-3.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

I can understand why you would pass on Peyton Manning in your fantasy draft.

He's 36 years old. He's undergone four neck surgeries in the past two years. He didn't play a single down of football in 2011.

But you'll be sorry you passed on him when you had the chance to snag him.

As Broncos' coach John Fox told Gary Myers of the New York Daily News, those doubting Manning should think twice: “He looks good to me. Compared to the times I’ve played him, me personally, I don’t see a difference."

Jacob Tamme, who played with Manning in Indianapolis, told Myers that he concurs with his head coach:

He’s leading in the same way, playing the same. He’s throwing the ball great. Everybody wants me to make comparisons, which I am not going to do, and is hard for me to do, but he is throwing the ball great. It’s really nit-picking to get into that. He’s the same. Everything is the same.

Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker are two quality, up-and-coming receivers, and while they aren't the second coming of Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne, the duo is capable of putting up big numbers with a legitimate quarterback—much less one of the best to ever take the field—feeding them the ball.

Manning will continue to work off the rust in preseason and be ready to go full steam when the season opens. The scary thing is for as good as Manning looks now, he's likely to improve as his neck continues to heal.

While the days of Manning approaching 5,000 yards passing and 50 touchdowns in a season are behind him, there's no reason why Manning couldn't surpass 4,000 yards passing and finish the season in the 35-to-40 touchdown range.

By the end of the year, Manning will have re-established himself as a Top 5 fantasy quarterback.

And you'll be kicking yourself for passing on him so you could take a second wide receiver or a third running back.