When the New York Giants benched longtime quarterback Eli Manning, it looked like the end of a legendary era for the First Family of the NFL. However, that might not actually be the case. Eli continues to support his successor, Daniel Jones, ensuring a smooth transition. He won’t be returning to a starting job anytime soon, although he’ll see some time at the end of this season as Jones recovers from injury.
It’s the next generation of the family that produced Peyton and Eli that looks poised to put the Manning name back in the spotlight. Enter: Arch Manning.
Who is Arch Manning?
Arch Manning is Peyton and Eli’s nephew. He’s the son of the third, lesser-known Manning brother, Cooper Manning. While Arch’s father wasn’t an NFL star like his more famous uncles, make no mistake: his football bona fides are nonetheless strong.
Cooper was a breakout high school wide receiver who became a favorite among NFL scouts catching his brother Peyton’s passes. He accepted a scholarship to attend the University of Mississippi, and was considered a top prospect. A spinal stenosis diagnosis ended his career.
Cooper enrolled his son at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, the same place where he and his Super Bowl-winning brothers played through high school. Here, Arch is in the process of discovering what kind of player he wants to become. And so far, what he has to offer is astounding.
A unique style of play
As a high school freshman, Arch Manning has a long way to go before he truly proves what he could be capable of as a professional football player. For now, all signs point towards something special.
His father helps him enter the mind of a receiver, but it’s his quarterback uncles that he decided to emulate directly. Except he’s ahead of the curve from where both Peyton and Eli were in their freshman year at the same school. Those two became NFL greats after making the Isidore varsity squad in their sophomore years. Arch made it a full year earlier.
He has the accurate arm and power combination that defined the two NFL Mannings. But his grandfather Archie — and scouts — notice his strong Cooper Manning-esque agility. It’s the one tool Peyton and Eli lacked. And that could be the key ingredient that helps Arch succeed on his path towards playing professional ball.
Starting quarterbacks often look more like the Patrick Mahomes model than what Peyton and Eli did. Arch has the potential to match up even better with the future of the NFL.
Will Arch Manning Play in the NFL?
Let’s address the elephant in the room: Arch Manning’s name obviously gives him a leg up in the discussion of whether he has a future in the NFL. His uncles proved to be big moneymakers in their storied careers.
It’s not just about performance on the field, either. All three Manning brothers — Cooper included — have a particular brand of charisma that’s perfect for broadcasting. Family patriarch Archie Manning even serves as an unofficial consultant for the Giants, pointing them towards coaches and players that other teams ignore.
Outside of some kind of uncontrollable occurrence, like an injury or personal issue, Arch looks like a shoo-in for the NFL. At 14 years old, he’s a 6’1″ powerhouse already outperforming the previous generation of Mannings. The only thing we don’t know if he has the additional “it” factor of charisma, or overall football smarts.
If Arch stays healthy, continues to work hard, and his mental game develops on par with each new level of play he enters, he should see success in the NFL. And if he turns out to have the full Manning package, we’ll be seeing him in sports, perhaps even working in media, for decades to come.