Does FSU QB EJ Manuel Project at the Next Level?If you were able to catch some of the pre-season NFL Mock Drafts, you would find EJ Manuel’s name pretty high up on some very reputable mock draft lists. I’ve seen EJ Manuel projected as high as #2 and as low as the 5th or 6th round. But that was pre-season, and this is now. With the majority of the college football season complete, and the Seminoles record at 9-1, you have to wonder how much EJ Manuel has done to impress NFL scouts.
First thing is first. Manuel is the FSU all-time leader in completion percentage, at a completion rate of 70 percent. That’s right. 70 percent! As awesome as that stat is, there’s a slight need to qualify its awesomeness. FSU has great receivers and run a lot of 3 and 4 wide receiver sets. When FSU runs multiple receiver sets, it’s rare that Manuel won’t have an open man, even if it’s only his check down guy. A 70 % completion rate is still an impressive stat, but there’s a lot more to EJ Manuel as a quarterback.
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Size. Manuel has a ton of size. At 6’5, 240, the FSU QB has the size and athleticism to make it at the next level. While he hasn’t done a ton on the ground in his career at FSU (mainly due to preventing against injury), he has the necessary build and skill to make plays with his legs when the pocket breaks down. As scouts continue to evaluate EJ, they’re also seeing a quarterback with a huge arm. Manuel has no lack for arm strength and doesn’t have much of a problem slinging the long ball. He’s hit several deep passes in his career at Florida State, and that’s certainly an attribute that will translate well at the next level.
On the other side of the coin, Manuel has much progress to make if he wishes to ever sniff an NFL start. While he’s completed an exceptional percentage of passes, EJ Manual can be wildly inaccurate at times. During his FSU career, he’s been noted for missing several seemingly easy throws for touchdowns. He must limit inaccuracy. Also, his durability is a bit of a question mark as he heads into the pros. He’s had a fairly smooth senior year, but has had his share of injuries throughout his college career that have forced him to miss time.
Overall, EJ Manuel is a great leader and a good football player. If he can continue to improve upon his ability to go through his progressions in the pocket, he projects as a solid backup with a chance to win a starting job one day at the pro level.
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