By Jay Skurski
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.
tagged2013 draft | Road to the Draft