When looking at the numbers, the younger Manning isn't far off from his statements. He has led the New York Giants to the playoffs four out of his seven seasons as an NFL starter, and winning one Super Bowl. He threw for over 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns last season, making him an elite quarterback. Sure he threw 25 interceptions and that is probably why many shake their head when discussing Manning as a top NFL quarterback."I consider myself in that class," Manning said, in response to a question from Kay. "And Tom Brady is a great quarterback, he's a great player and what you've seen with him is he's gotten better every year. He started off winning championships and I think he's a better quarterback now than what he was, in all honesty, when he was winning those championships.
"I think now he's grown up and gotten better every year and that's what I'm trying to do. I kind of hope these next seven years of my quarterback days are my best."
A few things to think about is that Manning is the quarterback of a very high profile NFL team in the New York Giants. With a big market comes big expectations and little tolerance for mediocrity. Eli Manning has always lived in the shadow of his big brother Peyton Manning. The older Manning has made a name for himself in both college and the NFL and it is a very hefty comparison. They each have their own style and they each are very good in their own rights.
So the answer to the "Is Eli Manning a Top 5 NFL Quarterback" is quite simply, Yes. He has to put up with a knucklehead hard-assed coach in Tom Coughlin and he is consistently one of the best quarterbacks on the field. When Eli Manning won the Super Bowl in 2007, he proved that he was among the best quarterbacks in the league. While he may not be at quite the same level as a Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, he should definitely be considered one of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL.