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ESPN's Todd McShay rips Bills for making EJ Manuel first QB taken

By Tim Graham

The Buffalo Bills gave the football world a jolt when they made Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel the first quarterback off the draft board with the 16th overall pick tonight.

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay sounded stunned when delivering his reaction on the Bills taking Manuel instead of West Virginia's Geno Smith or Syracuse's Ryan Nassib.

"EJ Manuel has tremendous upside; don't get me wrong," McShay said. "He's big. He has a strong arm. He's got the mobility. But when you look at him and you study his tape, I think he has slow eyes. I think he's late with his throws. He does not anticipate the way you need to as an NFL quarterback, and I also think his accuracy is nowhere near where it needs to be.

"I had him as the sixth-best quarterback in this draft, and he winds up as the first quarterback taken."

McShay's ESPN colleague, Mel Kiper, also had Manuel ranked sixth among quarterbacks in this year's class because of his inability to read the whole field and make it through progressions.

"I think it's going to be a long time before he's ready," McShay said. "That doesn't mean he's not going to be on the field, but it's going to be a long time before he's NFL-ready as a quarterback. This is not a great pick for the Buffalo Bills."


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.

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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 |