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Bills take Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel


The Buffalo Bills selected Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel with their first pick tonight in the NFL Draft.

Here's Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan's story on the pick, Manuel and the Bills' first round move down.

And here's what The News' Jay Skurski wrote of the 6-foot-5 Manuel in sizing him up ahead of the draft:

Has the best combination of size and speed of any quarterback in the draft. Definitely passes the eye test. Manuel has the mobility to make plays outside the pocket, and can run the read option as well as any quarterback in the class. Can make all the throws required at the NFL level, with good touch. Manuel’s also an intelligent player and excellent leader. Coming out of high school, Manuel was one of the nation’s top recruits. He spent his first two seasons with the Seminoles backing up Christian Ponder.

Has a tendency to force throws into coverage trying to make a play. Pocket awareness needs improvement. Doesn’t always step into his throws, leading to inaccuracy.

A high character player, Manuel played this season with a lot on his mind. His mother, Jackie, was diagnosed with breast cancer in August. Manuel hadn’t seen his mother in about eight weeks when she came onto the field before the annual rivalry game against Florida. It was more than he could handle. Manuel turned the ball over four times in a loss. Manuel had both a private workout and pre-draft visit with the Buffalo Bills.

Earlier in the night, the team traded down, dealing pick #8 overall to St. Louis and taking the Rams' #16 overall pick. The Bills also send pick #71 to St. Louis and get picks #46, #78 and #222 from the Rams.

The Rams took West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin with the #8 overall pick.

The Bills' roster of picks now looks like this:

Round 1, #16 overall (received in trade from St. Louis): EJ Manuel

Round 2, #41 overall

Round 3, #46 overall (received in trade from St. Louis)

Round 3, #78 overall (received in trade from St. Louis)

Round 4, #105 overall

Round 5, #143 overall

Round 6, #177 overall

Round 7, #222 overall


2013 draft | EJ Manuel
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |