Draft buzz builds around E.J. Manuel

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The draft stock of former Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel appears to be rising after a strong Senior Bowl and Scouting Combine.

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock recently moved Manuel up to the No. 2 quarterback spot in his rankings, behind West Virginia’s Geno Smith and ahead of USC’s Matt Barkley. Mayock said Thursday on NFL Network that he moved Manuel up his board in part because of what he heard from NFL teams who met with Manuel at the Combine and found him to be an intelligent player who’s well prepared to take command of an NFL offense.

“Coming out of the Combine,” Mayock said, “I felt like there was a quiet buzz among some of the teams. Not just his workout, more important to me, they like the kid, they think he’s smart, and in the meeting rooms at night he passed that test.”

Manuel spent two years as Florida State’s No. 2 quarterback behind Christian Ponder and then spent two years as the Seminoles’ starter. In 2012 Manuel passed for 3,392 yards, had a 68.0 percent completion rate, and threw 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. With seven weeks to go before the draft, Manuel is looking more and more like a player whose name will be called in the first round.

55 responses to “Draft buzz builds around E.J. Manuel

  1. Holy crap Dan Patrick was right. About a month ago he said some of the scouts told him to watch out for EJM. DP said he would be the 2nd QB off the board and be taken in the first round.

    Crow is pretty good with sriracha

  2. Only know a little about the kid, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chip grabbed him in the 3rd or 4th with Vick being this year’s stop gap. Personally I would like a Qb from next years crop….

  3. So Mayock isn’t actually ranking the players, but prediction where they will be drafted based on “buzz”.

    In other words, he’s absolutely no expert when it comes to talent evaluation.

  4. Being a FSU alum and a huge Nole fan, I think Manuel could be one of the steals of this draft. Jimbo really held back his potential though and didn’t allow him to use his legs as much in the offense, but he can pick up yards with his feet too. He’s won big games for us and never lost a bowl game either (Whereas Ponder never played in one). He would have been a Heisman candidate had he run more.

    His intangibles are through the roof. My only concerns would be 1) His downfield accuracy as he is tall and his passes tend to sail (he would overthrow 6’4/6’5 WRs) and 2) His tendency to take sacks in crucial moments rather than throwing the ball away.

    But when we needed him to make a play, he did. I think he will be gone by the end of round 2, but I wouldn’t mind him backing up Cam Newton in Carolina if he slides to round 3.

  5. skiss68 says: Mar 7, 2013 6:52 PM

    Him playing behind Ponder tells me all i need to know!

    ————————————————–

    Which is nothing. Ponder was a stud at FSU.

  6. It’s amazing how every single year there is at least 1 QB that slides up into the first round based on the post-combine buzz. No one sees anything during the season but somehow they creep up based on work outs and interviews. They usually end up as busts too, with a few exceptions.

  7. Good for him. No fuss, no hype, he just went in and killed it. That’s rare these days.

  8. jfiling says: Mar 7, 2013 6:59 PM

    So Mayock isn’t actually ranking the players, but prediction where they will be drafted based on “buzz”.

    In other words, he’s absolutely no expert when it comes to talent evaluation.
    ———
    A draft board is different from player rankings. Learn the difference dude. You’re embarrassing yourself.

  9. I am a huge FSU fan, and if you want or are considering EJ Manuel before the third round it is a huge mistake. He is mentally weak, very inaccurate, sails balls way too high, he does not have good football IQ at all. EJ should have sleptwalk his way to being a top 5 pick with his measurables and he actually might sleepwalk his way into the first round that is how good and rare his measurables are, but whoever takes him will be fooled by this. If you want to get a sense of how EJ would fare against an NFL defense watch tape of him in the gator game this past year he was freakin abysmal he cannot handle pressure. Jimbo didn’t give him a ton of freedom with downfield looks because he had to retard-proof the offense for EJ. All EJ did was dink and dunk and all day and he couldn’t even run a zone read properly he handed off the ball 90% of the time when many times he should have kept it himself. Stay far away from this disaster waiting to happen.

  10. Mike Mayock knows college quarterback talent. After all, he made a bold prediction on draft day that Pat White would eventually become the starter of the Miami Dolphins.

  11. I’d rather put my money on a 3 legged racing horse than draft this guy to my team.

  12. The most amazing thing is that Matt Barkley is still hanging in there at #3 among the QBs. Sad commentary on this draft. Does anybody have confidence Barkley will ever be more than maybe a backup?

  13. I have to say that he really didn’t show up against top competition. At the same time, Florida State hasn’t had a decent offensive line in the past 2 years EJ Manuel was the starter.

    It’s easy to go this route and say this, but I think given the right system he could be a good starter. I think a team like Denver, New England, Green Bay, or New Orleans would be a good spot for him. Too bad none of those teams needs a QB in the near enough future to consider him. Have fun playing for the Cardinals, Jets, or Jaguars.

  14. @Blacknole08, you said exactly how I feel, I would LOVE to have him on the roster instead of Clausen. I’m a Florida State fan, so I would love that, I’ll be keeping an eye on where he goes.

  15. @alonestartexan
    Matt Flynn used to sit behind JaMarcus Russell in college. I think we can all agree that Flynn is a much better QB than Russell. Manuel sat on the bench because Ponder was a good college QB and an upperclassman. Manuel could also have been a late bloomer and wasn’t ready to start when he was a freshman. Don’t write him off because he was once a backup to Ponder.

  16. I would love to see Manuel’s stats with the first quarter of the season, where FSU typically plays cupcakes, removed.

    In fact, if you think about it, when you combine their cream puff early schedule with the extremely so-so ACC, I gotta say 23 and 10 is not very impressive. In fact, given the current state of college football, 23 and 10 is not that impressive no matter who you played.

    And the guy lost out to Christian Ponder. TWICE.

    But what the heck, he looked great at the Senior Bowl, let’s blow a first round pick on him.

  17. To everybody putting down Mayock’s ability to scout QBs:
    He told everybody that Russell Wilson would be great. The last time people said the QB class was weak, was when Mayock was talking up Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco. He also said that Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert, and Christian Ponder were project QBs. He also mentioned how underrated T.J. Yates was. Mayock knows what he is talking about and isn’t afraid to go against the grain. Unlike most talking heads on tv.

  18. Manuel finished with the same career accuracy % as Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford. Better than Cam Newton, Matt Stafford, Matt Ryan. Better than Ponder off the same team.

  19. I would take EJM in the first round. He has the size, arm strength, accuracy and drive to become an NFL starter. So what if he backed up Ponder, Ponder was great in college. So he floats the ball a bit, hasn’t ran a very complicated Offense and has some issues under pressure. With a good QB Coach all of that can be resolved. He has a bright future.

  20. Dan Patrick isn’t saying anything new. I’ve said it on boards for months. As an FSU, I, and the rest of Seminole Nation know his POTENTIAL, but he never realized it at FSU. Never came close. With the proper coaching (i.e. not a head-case with shaky play calling and actually trusts an offensive coordinator) EJ can be the best QB in this 2013 Draft.

  21. blacknole08 says: Mar 7, 2013 6:59 PM

    Being a FSU alum and a huge Nole fan, I think Manuel could be one of the steals of this draft. Jimbo really held back his potential though and didn’t allow him to use his legs as much in the offense, but he can pick up yards with his feet too. He’s won big games for us and never lost a bowl game either (Whereas Ponder never played in one). He would have been a Heisman candidate had he run more.

    His intangibles are through the roof. My only concerns would be 1) His downfield accuracy as he is tall and his passes tend to sail (he would overthrow 6’4/6’5 WRs) and 2) His tendency to take sacks in crucial moments rather than throwing the ball away.

    But when we needed him to make a play, he did. I think he will be gone by the end of round 2, but I wouldn’t mind him backing up Cam Newton in Carolina if he slides to round 3.
    ————-

    See, you know like I know. Jimbo wrecked our chances to even get to the national title with his foolish playcalling and clock management vs. State and UF, and he stunted EJ’s growth. The kid has all the potential in the world. I mean like end-of-career Randall precision, with the ability to still run when necessary, and Newton size.

  22. Manuel > Barkley, L. Jones, and Glennon!!!

    This is the 2nd or 3rd best QB in the draft!!!

    It never gets ugly with him!!!

    It can with the other three!!!

  23. Let’s not kid anybody. If he was white, he’d be taken first overall. NFL teams don’t want to turn their franchise over to African-American star players because they get too uppity.

  24. Al Davis is gonna come back from the dead for this guy. let everyone overrate em, enjoy watching Wilson and Kappernick (draft day nobodys) rule the league for the next 10 years

  25. How the QB rankings SHOULD BE!

    1. Geno Smith (pick 7-15)
    2a. Ryan Nassib (Late 1st Round)
    2b. EJ Manuel (Early to mid 2nd Round)
    3. Tyler Wilson (if he plays like the 2011 version) (3rd Round)
    4. Matt Barkley (if he plays like the 2011 version) (Late 3rd Round to Early 5th Round)

  26. crazyphatdude14,

    I never once mentioned him being a backup to anyone. I’m a native Floridian and have been an FSU fan since P.T. Willis was the QB and EJ Manuel did NOT impress me.

    Sure, he was athletic and put up decent stats but I’d like to know which big games exactly he played great in?

    He played decent vs. NC State and his 3 INT’s cost the Noles the game against Florida.

    He was too inconsistent to me.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wish him success in the NFL and hope the next QB in Tallahassee is better, but my opinion is what it is.

  27. With good coaching he will be good but I have a tough time picturing him as great. Right now he has a lot of mechanical flaws in his delivery and I don’t see the same quickness as RG3, Wilson, or Kaperlick. Big, strong guy though.

  28. EJ has been working with QB guru Ken Mastrole in South Florida. He has solidified much of his mechanics, footwork and release.
    Mastrole is a best kept secret on the east coast. My guess is that’s not for long

  29. This happens EVERY YEAR. Last year everyone was going all ga-ga over Weeden. How’d that work out?

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