Draft Scout Snapshot: A closer look at the Bills' picks: Round 1/16 -- EJ Manuel, QB, 6-4, 237, Florida State...No team studied quarterback prospects as hard or thoroughly as Buffalo in what was considered a weak class. But in making Manuel their starter of the future, perhaps this season if he can beat out veterans Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson, the Bills get the biggest, fastest (4.55) and one of the smartest quarterbacks available. Manuel will need work, like developing the ability to read the entire field and make his progressions. But his size and versatility as a runner and passer gives new coach Doug Marrone a major building block. - The Sports Xchange
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04/28/13 - A closer look at the Bills' picks: Round 1/16 -- EJ Manuel, QB, 6-4, 237, Florida State...No team studied quarterback prospects as hard or thoroughly as Buffalo in what was considered a weak class. But in making Manuel their starter of the future, perhaps this season if he can beat out veterans Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson, the Bills get the biggest, fastest (4.55) and one of the smartest quarterbacks available. Manuel will need work, like developing the ability to read the entire field and make his progressions. But his size and versatility as a runner and passer gives new coach Doug Marrone a major building block. - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - QUOTE TO NOTE: "Yes, it is significant when you take a quarterback. Kevin Kolb and Tarvaris Jackson have done a very good job while we have been here and EJ is going to have to come in (and earn a job) and he knows that. You have to learn the scheme and earn the trust of your players. I know I am being very repetitive, but it is the truth and that is how you have to do it. You put a quarterback out there on the field and my philosophy has always been that everyone has to believe, when I talk about the team, that that player can win games for you." - Coach Doug Marrone on starting first-round pick EJ Manuel at quarterback only if he proves he gives the team the best chance to win. - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Quarterback EJ Manuel has connections to two Buffalo Bills Pro Football Hall of Famers, Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith. Manuel met Kelly when Florida State was recruiting Kelly's nephew, Chad, and Kelly slipped him his cell-phone number. Manuel met Smith when he was a young boy growing up in Virginia Beach, Va., and called him like a "godfather to me." "Bruce has been very pivotal in my process going from high school to college and now from college to the pros," Manuel said.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix likes that Manuel can run the read option made hip last season by players like Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. But that's not why Manuel was drafted with the No. 16 pick, he said. "I do not think that the NFL is going to get to be an option league," Nix said. "I think this thing is going to be something you use some, but I do like the idea that he could do it if you wanted to. If you can get a guy that can take you either way it is a good thing." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - Kelly, Losman ... where will EJ Manuel fit for Bills? ... In the end, general manager Buddy Nix and coach Doug Marrone made no hesitation in selecting Florida State's EJ Manuel with the No. 16 overall pick, just the third quarterback drafted in the first round in the franchise's 55 years. The others were Jim Kelly (1983) and J.P. Losman (2004). The quarterback-starved Bills could've selected West Virginia's Geno Smith, the highest rated passer on most everyone's scouting report. They could've drafted Ryan Nassib, the fast-rising Syracuse quarterback who just happened to play four seasons for Marrone with the Orange. USC's Matt Barkley, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson ... the list went on and on.
The Bills, who haven't made the playoffs in 13 seasons, released three-year starter Ryan Fitzpatrick during the off-season and made no secret they were targeting a quarterback of the future, perhaps immediately if Manuel can beat out veterans Kevin Kolb and Tavaris Jackson in training camp. No team spent more time researching the quarterbacks available in this draft. "As you know, we did a lot of work on these guys and we felt we knew him as well as you could from a distance," Nix said. "This guy, to us, has the upside to be whatever you want him to be. They all had good qualities but this is a guy who can do both (run and pass). It's up to Coach Marrone and his staff how they use him, but this guy can do both ... and he's a winner." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - In Manuel, the Bills get the biggest (6-5, 237) and fastest (4.55 forty dash) quarterback in the draft. His arm is plenty strong for Buffalo's weather, team scouts said, but deep accuracy will need to be worked on. A two-year starter at Florida State where he posted a 25-6 record as a starter, Manuel completed 68 percent of his throws for 3,397 yards, 23 touchdowns, 10 interceptions and a 156.1 rating as a senior. For his career, he threw for 7,741 yards and 47 scores.
A Marrone-Nassib reunion in Buffalo, where Nassib's college offensive coordinator (Nate Hackett) is also now employed, was long talked about in the media but Marrone said he wasn't torn about the selection of Manuel. "I wouldn't use the word 'conflicted,' '' Marrone said. "At the end of the day, there were a lot of good quarterbacks in the draft and we took the one that we felt best fits us here in Buffalo." - The Sports Xchange
04/28/13 - The read option made popular in the NFL last season by newcomers Robert Griffin III with the Redskins, Russell Wilson with the Seahawks and Colin Kaepernick with the 49ers is something Manuel can operate, but that's not the reason he was drafted, Marrone said. "I don't know if it's specifically the read option, it's more the ability to make plays with his feet," he said. "That's what we looked at." In a conference call with reporters, Manuel said the Bills met with him extensively and he had a very good pre-draft meeting with Hackett in Buffalo. "The system coach Hackett was teaching me when we met intrigued me the most," he said. "I called my agent and said, 'I hope Buffalo takes me because I can fit into this system.' I know he's smart and innovative so I see a lot of good things coming."
The Bills, who started the night with the No. 8 overall pick, wound up selecting 16th after a major trade with the St. Louis Rams. The Rams, who coveted West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin, were concerned that the New York Jets were going to take the electrifying Mountaineer with the No. 9 pick and were eager to deal for Buffalo's eighth spot. With all the top quarterbacks still in play, Nix was more than happy to make a deal. The move was savvy on Nix's part as it brought in two extra picks (No. 46, second round and No. 222, seventh round) that he desperately needed to help with his rebuilding project, now in Year 4. The move also kept Austin out of the hands of a division rival. - The Sports Xchange
04/21/13 - 2013 NFL DRAFT: FIVE BOLD PREDICTIONS: 4. Florida State's EJ Manuel is the top QB drafted...He has all the tools -- mental and physical, leadership and competitiveness -- Chip Kelly wants and the first-year Eagles' coach is just one of the possible best-suited matches for Manuel. His release isn't pure; neither was Dan Marino's. He's a warm-weather product of a so-called college offense; so was Jim Kelly. Manuel can be the face of a franchise tomorrow, and in a draft class where every prospect brings a briefcase of drawbacks, this is a much of a "choose your flavor" scenario as there ever has been in a draft. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange
04/08/13 - 2013 Florida State Pro Day: There were 32 teams represented at Florida State Pro Day on March 19. They ran outdoors and the field was damp due to prior rain. It was about 70 degrees. EJ Manuel QB (6-4 ½ 238 pounds) - He was put through a scripted workout. It was designed to allow people to see what he can do on roll-outs and boot-leg passes. He performed very well. - Gil Brandt, NFL.com
04/08/13 - For much of the offseason, Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel has lurked as an intriguing sleeper in a pretty "meh" quarterback class. The recent uptick in the usage rates of athletic quarterbacks only makes him more interesting for NFL teams. But I don't believe many see Manuel as a Day 1 starter. That isn't stopping the quarterback from being confident about his chances for hearing his name called early during the 2013 NFL Draft.
“I have a good feeling that it'll be within the first two rounds," Manuel told 92.3 the Fan in Cleveland. "I think the biggest thing for me is just continue to get better. When I have these opportunities to work out for the teams and show them what I can do on and off the field -- whether it's on the board writing my plays or watching film and just talking football with them -- I think that's where I'm able to put my best foot forward. "So I'm pretty sure I've impressed a lot of decision-makers within these franchises, so draft day is gonna be great. Whether I go in the first or second round, I'll still be happy."
In other words, it's not a matter of if he'll go before the second round ends, but whether or not he'll be a first-round pick. That's not something taken out of context either; Manuel told Jim Corbett of USA Today that he thinks he has a "really good chance" of being picked on Thursday. "I think I have a really good chance to go in the first round of the draft," Manuel said. - Will Brinson, CBSSports.com
03/25/13 - The Eagles, who currently have five quarterbacks on their roster, probably will make it six next month. They've given every indication that they will select a quarterback in the first two or three rounds of the draft. Head coach Chip Kelly confirmed Wednesday that he and general manager Howie Roseman will travel to Tallahassee, Fla., in the coming days for a private workout with Florida State's EJ Manuel.
Kelly unsuccessfully tried to recruit Manuel to Oregon when he was in high school. "I like EJ," he said. "He's big, tall, physical. He's an athletic specimen. We're still in the process of evaluating everybody, but EJ's certainly somebody we're excited about." Nick Foles started six games as a rookie last year after Michael Vick suffered a concussion. He looked good at times, but he's a prototypical pocket passer, which doesn't seem to mesh with what Kelly wants to do. - The Sports Xchange