Manning still looks like No. 1

Despite all the talk, ESPN's Mel Kiper still projects Eli Manning as the No. 1 overall selection in the NFL draft, no matter which team is picking.

Originally Published: April 2, 2004
By Mel Kiper Jr. | Special to ESPN Insider
MOCK DRAFT: Kiper's Final First-Round Projection | April 23

Despite all the posturing by him and his family, I still project Ole Miss QB Eli Manning as the top overall pick in the 2004 NFL draft, no matter which team is making the selection.

Beyond that, though, there is still plenty up in the air. Teams trading up and down will likely have a significant impact on the draft order, while a good number of players have entered and fallen off my first-round projection. But here's how I see the first round unfolding as it stands now (underclassmen denoted with an asterisk):

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst
Mel Kiper has served as an NFL draft analyst for ESPN since 1984. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider.