Peyton Manning, the No. 1 overall pick by Indianapolis in the 1998 NFL Draft, said Sunday that he gave some advice to quarterback Joe Burrow, the presumptive top selection in Thursday’s draft.
The Cincinnati Bengals will choose first and are expected to nab Burrow, who led LSU to a national championship and won the Heisman Trophy in 2019.
“What I told him, ‘Look Joe, if you’re the first pick in the NFL draft you are going to a team that has earned the first pick in the NFL draft. There are going to be some holes there,” Manning said on ESPN. “There’s a reason the Colts were picking No. 1 (in 1998). There’s a reason the Bengals are picking No. 1 this year.’”
Manning told Burrow that while the ride might be rough, the experience will be invaluable.
The Colts were 3-13 in Manning’s rookie season. The next season, they were 13-3 and made the first of 11 trips to the postseason with Manning at quarterback.
“[Then-Colts coach] Jim Mora never took me out. I learned some things in the fourth quarter of those blowouts about what it took to be an NFL quarterback,” Manning said. “That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t have hung in there and learned the ropes as a rookie, even though we took some bumps and bruises.
“So that’s what I tried to encourage Joe and all the other rookie quarterbacks, that your rookie year is not going to be the same as your senior year in college. But if you learn how fast the defensive backs are, how soon you have to get rid of the ball, understand defenses, you can become a better player and really get it going the year or two after that.”
—Field Level Media