In 1998, Peyton Manning was selected No. 1 overall in the NFL Draft. Another quarterback who wore No. 16 in college is expected to be the top pick 23 years later.

Gene Sapakoff of The Post and Courier recently spoke to Manning about the No. 16 expected to go No. 1 overall in the upcoming NFL Draft. Manning shared that he joked to Trevor Lawrence there was a better way for the Clemson QB to pay tribute to his childhood idol.

“I kind of heard that Trevor wore No. 16 at Clemson because he enjoyed watching me at Tennessee,” Manning told Sapakoff. “I said to Trevor, ‘I think it would have been a nicer tribute if you had gone to the same college that I went to.’”

Jokes aside, the Pro Football Hall of Famer is a fan of the Manning Passing Academy alum. Sapakoff noted that Manning did not want to make comparisons when talking about Lawrence.

“But,” Manning said, “Trevor looks to be very coachable, which is obviously a good quality. It looks like he’s improved every year, which is another good quality.

“He hasn’t plateaued at all from an incredibly successful freshman year. And it looks like he can play the quarterback position different ways: he can stay in the pocket but he’s athletic and can run and move. The more you can do, certainly the better.”

Lawrence was almost certainly a factor in Urban Meyer taking the Jacksonville Jaguars head coaching job. Manning noted that teams land the No. 1 pick for good reasons but it can be rewarding for a player to lead a franchise turnaround.

“Wherever you go — as Eli would tell you or my dad would tell you — you’re going to a team that has holes. That’s why they have the first pick,” Manning said. “As I used to say when I was the first pick of the Colts, ‘The Colts had really earned that No. 1 pick.’”

“Sometimes that can be challenging for sure, but very rewarding,” Manning added. “Trevor is a good guy to try and build around for a turnaround.”

Sapakoff’s full article on Manning’s connection to Lawrence can be read here.