As Roethlisberger Hangs it Up, We Look Back at the Memorable 2004 NFL Draft QB Class
Ben Roethlisberger has made it official, retiring today as one of the best quarterbacks in Steeler franchise history, with a resume that will likely land him in the Hall of Fame. The 2004 Draft class of Quarterbacks have officially collectively closed the books on their respective careers, and we look back on one of the most memorable recent draft classes of the game’s most important position.
Roethlisberger was one of four quarterbacks taken in the first round in 2004, and one of three in the top 11. J.P. Losman is the forgotten man in the first round class, going number 22 overall to Buffalo, and managing just 33 career starts over 7 seasons.
Ben Roethlisberger – 11th Overall – Miami (OH)
Big Ben will be remembered for his early success, posting a 13-0 record in his first season as a starter, and becoming the youngest signal-caller to win a Super Bowl in just his second season. All told, he won 22 of his first 25 starts in the league. From there, the stats would pile up, and Ben’s play would elevate to the tune of posting nearly a 2:1 touchdown to interception ratio over his career. Although there were many memorable throws and moments, the heave to Santonio Holmes to take down the Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII was the defining moment of a stellar career.
Philip Rivers – 4th Overall – NC State
Perhaps the most dramatic draft day of this century, the early moments of the 2004 draft were interesting, to say the least. After the Chargers took Eli Manning #1 overall, chaos ensued. Manning refused to play for the Chargers and was ultimately traded to the Giants in exchange for Philip Rivers (taken at #4). Manning later opened up about the draft day drama.
Now on to the career that Rivers was able to put together. Nearly a career Charger, Rivers played one final season as the starter for the Colts in 2020, and recently retired following that campaign. Rivers finished his career with 421 touchdown passes, the most of this 2004 trio, and sixth all-time. He’ll be remembered as one of the best to never hoist a Lombardi, having posted a career mark of 134-106, including a red hot 46-18 record over his first four years as a starter. Rivers will certainly be in the conversation for a Canton bid, even with a career absent a Super Bowl ring.
Eli Manning – 1st Overall – Ole Miss
We’ve chronicled the draft day drama, and safe to say, it looks like Eli made the right decision. A 2-time Super Bowl Champ, Manning made the most of his time as a Giant, earning four Pro Bowl bids and taking home two rings along the way. He’s endeared by Giant fans as well as Patriot haters alike, downing two strong New England teams in the Super Bowl, including the 16-0 2007 squad. Of the trio, Manning’s stats and record leave the most to be desired, but he has the rings and the moments to back it up when it comes time to decide if he’s Hall of Fame worthy. The big moments on the biggest stage give Manning the title of one of the most clutch players to ever lace them up.
This memorable class has officially called it a career. The 2004 QB Crop will go down as one of the best to ever do it, and all that’s left is to see who gets a gold jacket and when, and what class could potentially surpass them down the road.
Tour of the 2022 Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle
- Review the participating restaurants and their burgers
- Make sure you check their schedule and hours before you go
- Go to one of the restaurants
- Eat the burger
- Use the DTSF Digital Passport to vote and rate the burger
- Repeat 26 more times
- And you could win prizes
- And you help one downtown restaurant win the Burger Battle and reign supreme for one whole year!