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Road to the Draft: E.J. Manuel

By Jay Skurski

E.J. Manuel

Position: Quarterback
School: Florida State
Measureables: 6-foot-5, 237 pounds
40 time: 4.65 seconds. Vertical: 34 inches. 20-yard shuttle: 4.21 seconds. Broad jump: 9 feet, 8 inches.
2012 stats: 14 starts, 263 of 387, 3,397 yards, 23 TDs, 10 INTs, 310 rushing yards, 4 TDs
Draft projection: Second round

Lowdown: 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.

They said it: “I’ve seen him make NFL throws. He made them at Florida State. He’s maybe a little inconsistent with it, but he’s got plenty of arm and great athletic ability. It’s a matter of whether or not you can get him consistent in that part of it.” – Bills General Manager Buddy Nix.

The Buffalo News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to this month’s NFL Draft.


2013 draft | Road to the Draft
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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 |