BIO: Three-year starter awarded numerous honors since his sophomore campaign. All American, all-conference and SEC Offensive Player of the Year as a senior when he also won the Maxwell Award as the nation's top collegiate player and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, handed to the top senior quarterback in the country. Finished 2003 with passing numbers of 62.4 percent/3,600/29/10. Second team All-SEC as a junior when he became the school's career leader in touchdown passes and finished the season throwing 58 percent/3,401/21/15. Earned honorable mention all-America honors from several media outlets as a sophomore in 2001 after numbers of 63.5 percent/2,948/31/9. All-academic selection in the past and carries a 3.44 GPA. Brother of Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts and son to former Saints passer Archie Manning.
POSITIVES: Smart, instinctive passer with a great feel for the game. Sets up with solid footwork, senses pressure then steps up to avoid the rush. Patient, buys as much time as possible and remains calm as the pocket collapses around him. Sells the ball fake, sees the field and finds the open wide out. Quick releasing the pass, puts zip on his throws over the middle and nicely times the outs. Goes through receiver progressions, knows where his pass-catchers are on the field and puts touch on throws when needed. Gets outside the pocket if pressured and accurate throwing on the move. Lets receivers run to the corner routes putting air under his throws. Always in total command of the offense.
NEGATIVES: Deep throws lack speed and must improve his accuracy down the field. Lacks the quick set up or ability to immediately get the ball off on a three-step drop. Does not display the same pinpoint pass placement his brother did coming out of college.
ANALYSIS: By himself, Eli is a top prospect worthy of the first pick in April's and a quarterback that can lead a team at the next level. Yet with that he'll constantly be compared to brother Peyton and does not possess the same detailed nature or overall quarterback intangibles. Should be graded on what he is; a terrific prospect that can quickly start at the next level and deliver early returns.