I know what everyone is thinking. “Angrykitty your a EJ Manuel homer”. Maybe a little. I promise to give the “GOOD and BAD” on EJ Manuel. But I did watch every single one of his games every year. Been to most of his home games too. My brother went to FSU 90’s. My son next year is choosing between UNLV and FSU for golf. FSU PLEASE!!! So I’m a huge FSU fan. Also been sitting with friends and family saying “Why don’t they start EJ Manuel over Christian Ponder” back in the early years of 2009 and 2010. But who knows. Christian Ponder was a good QB, but EJ Manuel got the offense to ramp it up when he was in the huddle. Well lets take a look “outside the box” and maybe draft the player that fits the system. Not the “best overall QB available” said by experts. A player that fits the mold of KC Chief head coach Andy Reid is looking for.
Weight: 240 pounds
Manuel started against Wake Forest a away game. EJ Manuel completed 15 of 20 passes for 220 yards with one touchdown, beating Wake Forest, who at the time had won three games in a row against Florida State. Manuel struggled in his game against Maryland but still managed to pull out a much needed win making FSU bowl eligible. Florida State with a injured Christian Ponder entered the Gator Bowl 6-6 and in serious danger of letting legendary coach Bobby Bowden leave with a losing record. Manuel led Florida State to a 33-21 victory and won the Gator Bowl MVP honors.
Manuel started twice in the 2010 season for Christian Ponder. He also led the Seminoles to a victory in the 2010 Chick-fil-A Bowl against South Carolina.
EJ Manuel finished the season with 2,666 yards passing on a 65% completion rate. He also finished with 18 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns, and 8 interceptions. He helped lead the Seminoles to a comeback win against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the Champs Sports Bowl.
Manuel led the Seminoles to an ACC Championship and an Orange Bowl win against Northern Illinois for a 12-2 finish to his senior season.
2012 Stats: Passed for 3,392 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Rushed for 310 yards and four TDs.
Career Stats: Passed for 7,736 yards, 47 touchdowns and 28 interceptions. Rushed for 827 yards and 11 TDs.
Manuel finished his career with a record of 25-6 as a starter, shared time with Christian Ponder and was just the second player in NCAA history to take the majority of the snaps in four bowl wins. Manuel did show at times that he does have the ability to take over a game when he's in a rhythm. Manuel won five out of six games against intrastate rivals Miami and Florida in his career at FSU.
Manuel has been developed by one of the best quarterback coaches and offensive minds in college football in Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. Jimbo Fisher coached QB’s under head coaches of Nick Saban at LSU then Les Miles. Who helped turn former Seminole quarterback Christian Ponder and LSU JaMarcus Russell into a NFL first round picks. It’s not Jimbo fault what Russell did what he did in the NFL. All Russel’s fault. But made him into one of the best college QB’s.
EJ Manuel is a player that seems to have all of the talent in the world and has shown flashes of true brilliance. Manuel has had an up-and-down senior campaign. But after the Orange Bowl win. Also earned Senior Bowl MVP honors in Saturday's college all-star game, completing 7-of-10 passes for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns, one rushing another over the shoulder pass to the tight end. Manuel's South topped the North 21-16. Yes Manuel’s South only scored and moved the ball when he was in.
What do the experts think today?
E.J Manuel: "Although Manuel's effort earned some headlines, winning Senior Bowl MVP is not indicative of NFL success in the slightest. Recent MVPs include Charlie Frye (2005), Sinorice Moss (2006), Tony Hunt (2007), and Pat White (2009), all of whom are now out of the league."
True very True.
Also Philip Rivers (2004) Christian Ponder (2011) winning Senior Bowl MVP.
But EJ Manuel showed that he can improve and that his ceiling even got higher than before.
Manuel is an interesting case, a guy who has only 31 starts but still has plenty of question marks about his performance. What scouts know is that he's a big kid with a strong arm and an athletic body who can move in and out of the pocket and is comfortable on the go.
In addition to his athleticism, Manuel's intangibles are perhaps his biggest asset. Manuel was the consummate leader during his career and showed tremendous toughness as he played with an (injured shoulder) and even a (broken leg) in the Champs Sports Bowl. What a broken leg!!!
What you do not see often enough from EJ Manuel is the consistency that helps make a player a franchise-caliber quarterback. But in the senior bowl he has shown that he can learn to get better. Again he’s ceiling just keeps going up.
But large-scale inconsistencies such as completion percentages and overall game performances are merely amplifications of more nuanced inconsistent play. Changing release points and dedication to proper mechanics are the micro issues that scouts will be looking at when they watch his tape. Wow really he did play with an (injured shoulder) one year.
It might seem strange consider he completed 68 percent of his passes this season, but accuracy is likely what NFL scouts won't like about his game. Manuel was never erratic with his throws, but he did have a tendency to overthrow receivers more than a few times per game. It also wasn't uncommon for receivers to have to slow up to adjust to his throws.
EJ Manuel reminds me of a Donovan McNabb or a Daunte Culpepper both largely overshadowed by Tim Couch, Akili Smith, and Cade McNown in the 1999 draft. EJ Manuel, Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper all three with great arm strength, accuracy, mobility, play action, touch, pocket poise. But EJ Manuel has good footwork and steps into his throws really well and EJ Manuel can play under center that Donovan McNabb and Daunte Culpepper never really were known for in their 1999 draft reports (MCNabb draft report below).
With only 31 starts EJ Manuel is surely adapting to the mental part of football, and when he figures that out, he is going to be really hard to stop. As shown in the 2012 Orange Bowl and the Senior Bowl.
But all these deficiency that EJ Manuel has (very little) can be coached in the NFL. Andy Reid is great with quarterbacks. Also Offensive Coordinator Doug Pederson a QB himself also coach QB’s in 1999, helping rookie QB Donovan McNabb transition into the starting role. Just look at what Jim Schwartz of the Detroit Lions and his coaching staff got out of EJ Manuel with a short amount of time. The South offense didn’t do anything unless EJ Manuel was in running the show. That tell you something about EJ Manuel with the other players team he never played with.
I understand everyone wants Geno Smith! Or maybe still Tyler Wilson even after the Senior Bowl or whoever.
But all should remember 1999 draft.....
Tim Couch was 1st overall....
Donovan McNabb 2nd...
Akili Smith 3rd....
Donovan McNabb Scouting Report:
This is kinda interesting....
Weight: 245 pounds
Played in a freeze-option offense, which means he faced mostly man-on-man coverage and did not have to do that much reading of defenses. Generally, when he did have to read defenses, he just had to read half the field. Can still be a streaky and erratic passer. Needs work on his drop-back techniques. Still must improve timing, touch and anticipation of receiver. Tends to hold on to the ball too long and must learn when to unload. Gets sloppy with the ball at times and is very sloppy when he comes up under center to handle the exchange, leading to unnecessary fumbles. Played in a domed stadium in college and has not had to play in a lot of bad weather. Needs to work on his deep passing. May not be tough enough with his teammates and may be too nice of a guy.
And Look at what Andy Reid got out of Donovan McNabb at the #2 overall pick in 1999. To me this report above on Donovan McNabb doesn't sound like a #1 or even #2 overall pick at all. More like a 2nd or 3rd rounder. (like EJ Manuel). And with Daunte Culpepper going 11th overall. Just because stats and the experts say that (Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, or even Tyler Wilson) is the best choice at #1 overall. Might not be the best choice for KC Chief’s offense.
With todays NFL rookie salary cap. Taking the 3rd, 4th or even 5th best QB at #1 won't break the bank. Because who knew that Russell Wilson picked (75) in the 3rd round 2012. Colin Kaepernick (36) in the 2nd round in 2011 would play just as good as the top rated QB’s in their draft years. Looking at it now if Russell Wilson or Colin Kaepernick would of been picked earlier than the experts would of said those teams were reaching. I understand that when there are QB’s like Luck and RG3 you don’t pass them up. But this year there is not much difference between them all. So why not get the QB that would fit the system and mold that the KC Chief’s head coach Andy Reid uses (Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick or even Kevin Kolb).
Bet you didn’t know that Kold was known in reports like this “Kolb has great potential. He has good size (6-3, 220 pounds) and arm strength and is a surprisingly adept runner considering his size. Kolb is a real threat to beat defenses with both his arm and his legs.”
Sometimes you need to think outside the box. If taking a chance on any of the QB’s in this years draft. Why not take the best QB that fits the mold and system that head coach wants to run. With a big athletic body with a strong arm who can move in and out of the pocket.
Because Andy Reid is going to run the offense the same way he always has. Andy Reid is 130-93-1 W-L with his system. But now with the a more complete and balanced team in KC.