Player: E.J. Manuel
School: Florida State
Queen City Sports Ranking: 9th
E.J. Manuel led Florida State to a 25-6 record as starting QB for the Seminoles. Manuel’s first year as Florida State’s full time starter came in 2011. In his first season as starter, Manuel completed 65.3% of his passes (203 completions/311 attempts) while throwing for 2,666 yards. Manuel passed for 18 touchdowns, ran for four touchdowns and threw eight interceptions. He finished his 2011 campaign with a 9-4 record and end of the season wins over Florida and then Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Riding the momentum of the two wins, Florida State had large expectations in 2012. Manuel led the Seminoles to a 12-2 record. On the season, Manuel completed 263 of 387 passes and raised his completion percentage to 68%. Manuel threw for 3,392 yards and had a 23-10 TD-INT ratio. Manuel also added four touchdowns on the ground. Manuel led Florida State to the BCS Discover Orange Bowl where the Seminoles defeated Northern Illinois 31-10.
Based upon film watched, Manuel’s best game came against Clemson in a 49-37 victory. Manuel completed 27 of 35 passes (77.1%) for 380 yards and two touchdowns. He also used his feet and rushed 11 times for 102 yards.
Per the Seminoles official athletic site, Manuel was All-ACC (Second Team), Coaches All-ACC (Second Team), Phil Steele Postseason All-ACC (Second Team), Unitas Golden Arm Award Finalist, Maxwell Award Semifinalist, Davey O’Brien Award Semifinalist and an Under Armour Senior Bowl Selection.
Built like a QB at 6’5″ and 240 lbs.
Strong play-action pass QB
Dual threat passer/runner
Strong velocity on throws
Good touch on short/intermediate throws
Throws too many easy passes low/into the ground.
Trusts his arm too much by throwing passes into tight spaces.
Struggled to read blitzes (Sacked 59 times in the last two seasons).
Manuel has seen his stock soar in the last few months. The quarterback rankings for quarterbacks here at QCS were done a few months ago, so his 9th QB ranking is a bit misleading. Currently, Manuel is my fourth quarterback behind Geno Smith, Ryan Nassib and Matt Barkley. There is plenty to love about Manuel when you watch him, but he also needs excellent QB coaching in the NFL to meet his potential/high ceiling. If anyone needs convincing on Manuel, watch his performance against Clemson. It’s only one game but you see flashes of a great QB.
If Buffalo is intent on taking the BPA on their board at eight, they’d be wise to move into the tail-end of round one to pick up Manuel. There’s a chance Manuel could fall to pick 41, but there are plenty of QB needy teams ahead of Buffalo in round two.
Where he goes: Late 1st-Early 2nd Round
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