This picture is of Ryan Leaf, the most famous bust in NFL history. As every NFL fan knows, there is a huge risk factor with every NFL draft pick, and for the No. 1 overall this is only escalated.
This is the Power Rankings of the 2008-1998 No. 1 draft choices. It is difficult to make a final judgment about several players because they're still new to the league, but here are my rankings accordingly to how they have played thus far.
Alex Smith was selected in 2005 by the San Francisco 49ers. Starting seven games his first year, he recorded one touchdown and 11 interceptions in a pitiful 875-yard season.
His second year was slightly better, with him throwing for 2,890 yards, 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
But in his third year he went down with injury, and lost the starting job. He sat all of 2008, and there's controversy over whether he will ever start again.
Since Alex Smith has been drafted, the 49ers have never been better than 11th worst in the league.
David Carr was selected in 2002 by the Houston Texans. David Carr was forced to play in a situation that was a Quarterback's nightmare.
Selected by an expansion team, David Carr spent most of his career in situations like this. Behind a horrible Texan line, he suffered an NFL record 76 sacks in his first year.
He spent five years at Houston without having a winning season, and has spent the last couple years traveling to various teams, looking for a backup position.
Tim Couch was selected by the Cleveland Browns in 1999. He was supposed to be the leader of the team for the next decade, as it began its NFL journey once again, after having been out of the league since 1996.
He was the team's first selection, and ended up being their first mistake. He was a Heisman Trophy finalist from The University of Kentucky, but was never able to carry the success over into professional football.
His career was plagued with injuries, caused by an inexperienced line. In 2002, he led them to a surprising 9-7 record, and a playoff berth, but injured his leg in the wild card game, and has not been back in football since.
Courtney Brown was selected in 2002 by the Cleveland Browns. After the drafting of Tim Couch the earlier year, the Browns wanted to fortify their defensive line.
Unfortunately, this pick was about as successful as the Tim Couch selection. Courtney Brown got 19 sacks in his career. He had two 4.5-sack seasons and one 6-sack season, but these were hardly enough to justify the first overall pick.
He was picked up by the Broncos in 2005, and following that season is out of football.
JaMarcus Russell was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2007. This pick is much too early to make a final decision about, but after two seasons, JaMarcus has yet to play like the incredible talent he has.
His second year was a great improvement from his first one, and with the talent around him he has the potential to have a promising year this season.
But so far, he has yet to carry the team, as much as was expected of him.
Michael Vick was selected in 2001, by the Atlanta Falcons. As everybody knows, he is now out of football, but his career was a relatively successful one despite all the drama.
He was not your standard quarterback, often beating teams using his legs and not his arm. He became a dangerous double threat, and carried his weak Falcon team to victory against stronger opponents.
The team's most successful year was in 2004, when he led them to the NFC Conference Championship game, eventually falling to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Michael Vick may not have had gaudy stats, but he won games. The major knock against him, was that most said that the Falcons would never win a Super Bowl with him as quarterback, until he learned to use his arms better.
His legs would carry them to the playoffs, but not beyond.
Jake Long was selected by the Miami Dolphins in 2008. Selected to help the team rebuild, he instead helped lead them to a surprise playoff appearance.
In his first season, he also appeared in his first Pro Bowl, as a replacement for Jason Peters. He looks to anchor the team's offensive line for a long time.
Eli Manning was selected in 2004 by the San Diego Chargers, and was immediately traded to the New York Giants.
He led them to a Super Bowl victory in the 2007 season, over the heavily favored New England Patriots, winning the Super Bowl MVP.
Eli Manning was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2008. Eli Manning now engineers one of the most talented teams in the NFL, and arguably the top team in the NFC.
Why is he No. 4 then? Because he is on a stacked team, that featured six Pro Bowl players last year.
During their Super Bowl season, they had arguably the strongest defensive line in the league anchored by Hall of Fame DE Michael Strahan.
They have one of the most successful offensive lines in the league, and feature two, 1000-yard running backs.
If David Carr, Alex Smith, Tim Couch, JaMarcus Russell had had the support of Eli Manning, it's possible they might have succeeded as well.
I'm not an Eli Manning hater, although I realize this article will unleash the dogs on me, I just don't believe he's better than the three other players in this list.
Mario Williams was selected by the Houston Texans in 2006. He's already compiled 30.5 sacks in only three seasons. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2007, and Pro Bowl selection in 2008.
He's already one of the best defensive ends in football, and from all appearances will have a long successful career in the NFL.
He came with enormous expectations, because the Texans selected him over Reggie Bush. He had little help from the other side of the line, and thus had to create his own sack opportunities.
He is a complete player, and should be a continual Pro Bowl selection.
Carson Palmer was selected in 2003 by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was elected to the Pro Bowl in 2005 and 2006.
He showed that he was a leader, by guiding the Bengals to an 11-5 record in 2005 and into the playoffs, despite having a defense that ranked 28th in the league.
He was voted the Pro Bowl MVP in 2006 showing that he has the ability to compete against the top players in the league.
He had strong receivers to throw to, but the weak defense forced the team to rely upon his arm.
This is the mark of a great quarterback, one who can lead his team to victory, despite a weak supporting cast.
Peyton Manning was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. Peyton is the famous older brother of Eli Manning, the quarterback of the New York Giants. He led his team to a Super Bowl victory in 2006.
He's been elected to the Pro Bowl nine times, and was the NFL MVP three times. He is a top five player in the NFL every year, and as long as the Colts have him, their team will challenge for the Super Bowl.