2013 NFL Draft Scouting Report: E.J. Manuel
Player Name: E.J. Manuel
40 Time: 4.65
Freshman Year: 65.1 completion percentage, 817 yards, 2 touchdowns, 6 interceptions.
Sophomore Year: 69.9 completion percentage, 861 yards, 4 touchdowns, 4 interceptions.
Junior Year: 65.3 completion percentage, 2,666 yards, 18 touchdowns, 8 interceptions.
Senior Year: 68.0 completion percentage, 3,392 yards, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions.
E.J. Manuel’s stock is surely on the rise, after a solid senior season followed by an MVP performance in the Senior Bowl, His 4.65 time in the 40 at the combine was the second-best time posted by any quarterback, and, with the way offenses in the NFL are evolving and moving towards the dual-threat QB more and more, he should have no problem finding a role at the next level.
Manuel’s dual-threat capabilities, as mentioned above, will likely help his draft position immensely. He also has a very strong throwing arm, and, having played in each of his four seasons at Florida State, he’s quite experienced, as well. He’s got excellent size, and he has a quick release on his throws, as well. Manuel is sure-handed when he’s carrying the ball, and he’s got a bit of Cam Newton in him when you combine his size and athleticism. He has all of the tools necessary to become a star.
Unfortunately, Manuel still hasn’t yet fully harnessed all of his physical abilities and figured everything out. He’ll need quite a bit of coaching at the NFL level to cash-in on his talents. He could use some work on his touch passes, as his accuracy is suspect on quick-hitters and throws from the pocket. He also showed a tendency to give up on plays a bit early, opting to tuck-and-run instead. He needs to gain confidence and stand in the pocket, and he needs to learn to properly go through all of his reads and see the field.
Manuel has the talent to do it all, and, if he can reign everything in, can be a special player. That potential alone may be enough to convince a team to “reach” on him a bit, and he could be taken anywhere from the end of the first round up until about the fourth round. He did show improvement during his time at Florida State, so he’s definitely coachable. Manuel did do a solid job of limiting his mistakes, and was able to keep the interceptions down pretty well. He doesn’t come with any character concerns, either, and has shown that he can be a good leader. If he can improve his decision-making and stand tall in the pocket, the sky is the limit.
NFL Player Comparison: Jason Campbell. He’s comparable in size to Campbell, although he’s surely more athletic and possesses better arm strength. Rich man’s Jason Campbell, we’ll say.
Draft Range: Late first-fourth.
Team Fits: New York Jets, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills
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