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Where Are They Now: Peyton Manning's 1998 Draft Class

In the annals of draft history, the 1998 NFL Draft is one of the more famous ones. It's best remembered for the Peyton Manning-Ryan Leaf debate for the No. 1 pick, and for producing three all-time great players. But take a deeper look at the first round of the 1998 Draft, and you'll see many more interesting story lines. 

The 1998 Draft featured a slew of Pro Bowlers as well as several notable busts. Some first-rounders lasted in the league more than a decade; others, merely a few seasons. Two guys were still playing in the NFL this season. 

We're coming up on 18 years since the 1998 NFL Draft took place, and with the college football season winding down and the NFL playoffs about to get underway, what better time to take a stroll down memory lane? In this piece, we recap the careers of all 30 players selected in the first round, and bring you the latest on what they are up to nowadays.

So, without further ado, let's kick things off...

Get Started: Picks 1-10 >>>

1. Indianapolis Colts - QB Peyton Manning, Tennessee

NFL Career: Indianapolis 1998-2011, Denver Broncos 2012-present

Skinny: The absolute best-case scenario for a quarterback drafted first overall. Manning developed into a perennial All-Pro and a surefire first-ballot Hall of Famer. He's been to three Super Bowls (two with Indy, one with the Broncos), and won Super Bowl XLIII in 2007. Father Time began to catch up to Manning in 2015, and he spent a good chunk of the season on the sidelines due to injuries and ineffectiveness. Still, he came off the bench to help the Broncos to a comeback victory over the San Diego Chargers last Sunday, wrapping up the AFC's No. 1 playoff seed in the process. 

2. San Diego Chargers - QB Ryan Leaf, Washington State

NFL Career: San Diego Chargers 1990-2000, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2001, Dallas Cowboys 2001, Seattle Seahawks 2002

Skinny: The absolute worst-case scenario for a quarterback drafted second overall. If Manning helped re-define the quarterback position, Leaf helped re-define the term "draft bust." A million-dollar talent with a 10-cent makeup, Leaf finished his brief pro career with a 14-to-36 touchdown-to-interception ratio and a completion percentage under 50 percent. Since bombing out of the league, Leaf has worked as a volunteer QB coach at a Division II program, wrote a book, battled substance abuse issues and did time in jail for burglary, theft and drug possession. He was released from prison in December 2014. 

3. Arizona Cardinals - DE Andre Wadsworth, Florida State

NFL Career: Arizona Cardinals 1998-2000, New York Jets 2007

Skinny: Wadsworth held out for a contract until the night before the season opener, then went out and had a relatively solid rookie season. He played in all 16 games, recording 57 tackles, five sacks and recovering three fumbles. Knee injuries then derailed Wadsworth's career. He underwent three surgeries on his right knee and one on his left and played in just 20 games over the next two seasons before the Cardinals released him. A comeback attempt with the Jets in 2007 failed, but Wadsworth has made an impact off the field, literally. His ministry, Impact Church, founded in 2001, is still going strong today. Wadsworth serves as the executive pastor. 

4. Oakland Raiders - CB Charles Woodson, Michigan

NFL Career: Oakland Raiders 1998-2005, 2013-2015, Green Bay Packers 2006-2012

Skinny: The 1997 Heisman Winner, Woodson is one of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history. His list of accomplishments is lengthy: nine-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro, two-time interceptions leader, 2009 Defensive Player of the Year and a Super Bowl Champion in 2010. A success at cornerback and safety, Woodson is the only player in NFL history with at least 50 interceptions and at least 20 sacks. Woodson capped off his career in 2015 and was still impactful, picking off five passes and recovering three fumbles for the Raiders.

5. Chicago Bears - RB Curtis Enis, Penn State 

NFL Career: Chicago Bears 1998-2000, Cleveland Browns 2001

Skinny: Enis is the third bust in the top five picks. He rushed for only 1,497 yards and three touchdowns in three seasons with the Bears before a knee condition ended his career with the Browns in 2001. Enis served as the head football coach at Bradford High School in Ohio from 2010 to 2013 and he currently works as an operations supervisor for Anheuser-Busch. 

6. St. Louis Rams - DE Grant Wistrom, Nebraska

NFL Career: St. Louis Rams 1998-2003, Seattle Seahawks 2004-2006

Skinny: Wistrom enjoyed a productive pro career, registering 53 sacks over nine seasons and playing in three Super Bowls. He helped the Rams defeat the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV. These days, Wistrom and his wife are investors in a number of Crossfit gyms in Springfield, Mo., and are very active volunteering at their children's schools. 

7. New Orleans Saints - OL Kyle Turley, San Diego State

NFL Career: New Orleans Saints 1998-2002, St. Louis Rams 2003-2004, Kansas City Chiefs 2006-2007

Skinny: Turley made All-Pro twice in his NFL career, but was perhaps best known for tossing New York Jets safety Damien Robinson's helmet after a scuffle in a 2001 game. Since retirement, Turley became a country music artist and an outspoken advocate for player safety and for more awareness regarding football-related injuries and concussions. 

8. Dallas Cowboys - LB Greg Ellis, North Carolina

NFL Career: Dallas Cowboys 1998-2008, Oakland Raiders 2009

Skinny: Ellis was credited with 84 sacks over 12 seasons, and was one of the bright spots during some relatively lean years for the Cowboys. Recently, Ellis was the executive producer of the movie "Carter High" which was based off the 1988 Dallas Carter high school football team. 

9. Jacksonville Jaguars - RB Fred Taylor, Florida

NFL Career: Jacksonville Jaguars 1998-2008, New England Patriots 2009-2010

Skinny: The second running back off the board in 1998, Taylor had an outstanding career. He rushed for 1,000 yards or more seven times and currently sits 16th all-time with 11,695 yards. These days, Taylor remains a fixture at his alma mater, Florida. That's because his son Kelvin is following his footsteps as a running back for the Gators, even going as far as to wear his dad's No. 21 

10. Baltimore Ravens - CB Duane Starks, Miami (Fla.)

NFL Career: Baltimore Ravens 1998-2001, Arizona Cardinals 2002-2004, New England Patriots 2005, Oakland Raiders 2006-2007

Skinny: Starks intercepted 25 passes in 97 career games, and he also returned a pick for a touchdown in the Ravens' win over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Currently, Starks is active with his charity foundation and was hired as a scouting intern by the Ravens last summer. 

Next: Picks 11-20 >>>

11. Philadelphia Eagles - OL Tra Thomas, Florida State

NFL Career: Philadelphia Eagles 1998-2008, Jacksonville Jaguars 2009, San Diego Chargers 2010

Skinny: Thomas became a rock along the Eagles' offensive line, making 165 starts over 11 seasons in Philly.

Thomas worked as a coaching intern for the Eagles in 2013 and 2014. He also ran a gym in Medford, N.J. from 2011 to 2014. 

12. Atlanta Falcons - LB Keith Brooking, Georgia Tech

NFL Career: Atlanta Falcons 1998-2008, Dallas Cowboys 2009-2011, Denver Broncos 2012

Skinny: A tenacious tackler, Brooking made five Pro Bowls for the Falcons and had nine straight seasons of 100 or more tackles from 2001-09. He also did not miss a game from his fourth season on, playing in all 16 games for 12 consecutive campaigns. Brooking has kept a low profile since retiring. 

13. Cincinnati Bengals - LB Takeo Spikes, Auburn

NFL Career: Cincinnati Bengals 1998-2002, Buffalo Bills 2003-2006, Philadelphia Eagles 2007, San Francisco 49ers 2008-2010, San Diego Chargers 2011-12

Skinny: Drafted right behind Brooking, Spikes was himself a terrific linebacker. Known for his imposing build --and unusually thick neck-- Spikes made over 1,400 tackles in his career. Currently, Spikes serves as a football analyst on Sirius Satellite radio, and says he also is involved in photography. 

14. Carolina Panthers - DL Jason Peter, Nebraska

NFL Career: Caroliina Panthers 1998-2001

Skinny: A chronic neck stinger cut short Peter's career after only four seasons. After his playing days ended, he wrote a book detailing his battle with addiction and has also worked as a high school football assistant coach and radio host. 

15. Seattle Seahawks - LB Anthony Simmons, Clemson

NFL Career: Seattle Seahawks 1998-2005, New Orleans Saints 2006

Skinny: Simmons played seven seasons with the Seahawks, and made 268 tackles in 2000 and 2001.

As of 2014, Simmons was working with Sharkey's Cuts for Kids hair-cutting franchise, opening up salons. 

16. Tennessee Oilers - WR Kevin Dyson, Utah

NFL Career: Tennessee Oilers/Titans 1998-2002, Carolina Panthers 2003, San Diego Chargers 2004, Washington Redskins 2005 

Skinny: The man who scored the touchdown on the famed "Music City Miracle" play, Dyson's best NFL season was 2001, when he caught 54 passes for 825 yards and seven touchdowns. Since 2008, he has been a board member of the organization Students Taking A Right Stand (STARS) and is also currently an assistant principal at a high school in Tennessee. 

17. Cincinnati Bengals - LB Brian Simmons, North Carolina

NFL Career: Cincinnati Bengals 1998-2006, New Orleans Saints 2007

Skinny: Simmons made 748 tackles and posted 24 sacks as an NFL linebacker, and he's still working in the league. Since 2009, Simmons has been a scout for the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

18. New England Patriots - RB Robert Edwards, Georgia

NFL Career: New England Patriots 1998, Miami Dolphins 2002 

Skinny: Edwards' tale is one of tragedy, redemption and triumph. After rushing for 1,115 yards as a rookie in 1998, Edwards suffered a devastating knee injury during the NFL rookie flag football game during Pro Bowl week in Hawaii. He nearly had to have his leg amputated, and it seemed like his career was definitely over. After a lengthy rehab, Edwards returned to the NFL with the Dolphins in 2002, rushing for 107 yards and one touchdown while adding 126 receiving yards and another score. Nowadays, Edwards is working with Football University on the camp circuit and is the head coach at Greene County High School in Georgia. 

19. Green Bay Packers - DT Vonnie Holliday, North Carolina

NFL Career: Green Bay Packers 1998-2002, Kansas City Chiefs 2003-2004, Miami Dolphins 2005-2008, Denver Broncos 2009, Washington Redskins 2010, Arizona Cardinals 2011-12

Skinny: Holliday sacked the quarterback eight times as a rookie and 62.5 times throughout a productive 15-year career. Since his retirement, Holliday is active in his charitable foundation. 

20. Detroit Lions - CB Terry Fair, Tennessee

NFL Career: Detroit Lions 1998-2001, Carolina Panthers 2002, St. Louis Rams 2005

Skinny: Fair played six seasons, finishing with 215 tackles and seven interceptions. After serving as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 2013 and 2014, Fair was hired as the cornerbacks coach at Colorado State in 2015. 

Next: Picks 21-30 >>>

21. Minnesota Vikings - WR Randy Moss, Marshall

NFL Career: Minnesota Vikings 1998-2004, 2010, Oakland Raiders 2005-2006, New England Patriots 2007-2010, Tennessee Titans 2010, San Francisco 49ers 2012

Skinny: Where to start with Moss. His 1998 seasons (69 receptions, 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns) was a revelation, and 2007 campaign (98 catches, 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns) was out of this world. Many regard him as the greatest wide receiver of this generation, and one of the best of all time. Since retiring, Moss, who played in two Super Bowls, has worked as a football analyst for Fox Sports 1. His son Thaddeus is a Division I tight end recruit in the class of 2016. 

22. New England Patriots - S Tebucky Jones, Syracuse

NFL Career: New England Patriots 1998-2002, New Orleans Saints 2003-2004, Miami Dolphins 2005

Skinny: Jones started for the Patriots' Super Bowl XXXVI championship team, making four tackles against the St. Louis Rams. He played in 109 career games (73 starts) and intercepted six passes for his career. Currently, Jones is the head football coach at New Britain High School in Connecticut, his alma mater. 

23. Oakland Raiders - OL Mo Collins, Florida

NFL Career: Oakland Raiders 1998-2003 

Skinny: Collins started 64 games in his career, helping the Raiders reach Super Bowl XXXVII. Following retirement, he served as the head coach of West Charlotte High School in North Carolina.

Tragically, Collins passed away in 2014 at the age of 38. He had been undergoing dialysis after suffering kidney failure.

24. New York Giants - S Shaun Williams, UCLA

NFL Career: New York Giants 1998-2005, Carolina Panthers 2006

Skinny: Injuries prevented Williams from reaching his potential with the Giants. He played a full 16-game season only three times in eight years with Big Blue. If you need to find Williams these days, he's still in New Jersey, working as the defensive coordinator at William Paterson University in Wayne. 

25. Jacksonville Jaguars - S Donovin Darius, Syracuse

NFL Career: Jacksonville Jaguars 1998-2006, Oakland Raiders 2007, Miami Dolphins 2007

Skinny: Darius, the second Syracuse safety taken in the first round, intercepted 14 passes over his 10 seasons in the league. Darius is still active with his old team, serving as an NFL ambassador for the Jaguars. His duties include "contributing to player engagement and league-wide initiatives, speaking to incoming and current players about academic excellence, leadership development, social responsibility, health, and safety."

26. Pittsburgh Steelers - OL Alan Faneca, LSU

NFL Career: Pittsburgh Steelers 1998-2007, New York Jets 2008-2009, Arizona Cardinals 2010

Skinny: A nine-time Pro Bowler and six-time first-team All-Pro selection, Faneca is one of the best to ever suit up at the offensive guard position.

Faneca looks a little different these days, however. Since his retirement, Faneca has lost over 100 pounds and completed a marathon in 2014. 

27. Kansas City Chiefs - OL Victor Riley, Auburn

NFL Career: Kansas City Chiefs 1998-2001, New Orleans Saints 2002-2004, Houston Texans 2005

Skinny: Riley is perhaps best known for the 2001 incident during which he rammed his SUV into a vehicle containing his wife and infant daughter. He was charged with aggravated assault and criminal damage to property. Riley, who played three years with the Saints, still lives in Louisiana. 

28. San Francisco 49ers - CB R.W. McQuarters, Oklahoma State

NFL Career: San Francisco 49ers 1998-1999, Chicago Bears 2000-2004, Detroit Lions 2005, New York Giants 2006-2008

Skinny: McQuarters had a long career as a cornerback and return man, winning Super Bowl XLII with the Giants. His son currently plays football for McQuarters' alma mater, Booker T. Washington High School in Tulsa, and McQuarters is also active in his own foundation. In 2014, the R.W. McQuarters Foundation began building homes for veterans.

29. Miami Dolphins - RB John Avery, Ole Miss

NFL Career: Miami Dolphins 1998-1999, Denver Broncos 1999, Minnesota Vikings 2003

Skinny: Of Avery's 524 career rushing yards, 503 came in his rookie season. He also led the XFL in rushing in 2001, the league's lone year of existence. Avery is currently pursuing a career in comedy. 

30. Denver Broncos - WR Marcus Nash, Tennessee

NFL Career: Denver Broncos 1998-1999, Miami Dolphins 1999, Baltimore Ravens 1999-2000

Skinny: Nash's NFL career consisted of only four receptions and 76 yards, although he did have a highly productive six-year stint in the Arena Football League. He has been a strength and conditioning trainer in Las Vegas since 2006. 

Go To: The 13 Teams That Can Win The 2016 College Football Playoff >>>