EJ Manuel   QB   Florida St

TALENT BOARD ROUND  2

 

STRENGTHS

EJ might be the most athletic quarterback in this draft.  He has excellent arm strength and, when given the time to throw the ball, he has good accuracy.  He does a nice job running the ball and, because of his long arms and long legs, he is very difficult to tackle in the open field.  EJ has a lot of confidence in his own athletic talents and his effort to play at a high level in all games is obvious.  There is too much talent to pass on EJ in this draft for too long and he very well could be drafted in the first round by a playoff team or team with multiple picks in this draft that want to find, and groom, their potential starting quarterback.  This is what Rob and I call value.  The value of the position and overall talent of the player overrides the length to impact (LTI).  This is why we use the two-board system. 

 

CONCERNS

EJ is a bit of a project at this point of his career.  He struggles to go through his progressions before taking off to run from the pocket.  When he takes off and runs, he doesn't look to pass the ball very much and goes right to the sidelines without concern for needed yardage he might need to gain.  He struggles with accuracy the second he starts to move his feet and reset.  He doesn't trust his offensive line and hasn't made them better.  He must get mentally tougher in the pocket -- take some hits to complete a pass and impact in the passing game. Right now, he is an athlete playing the position of quarterback and has a lot to learn about the mental aspects of the position.  EJ does not have the mental intangibles right now to be an NFL quarterback, but I'm sure given the time, he can learn.    

 

BOTTOM LINE

As I said, I think EJ has excellent talent.  He reminds me a lot of Jason Campbell who was selected #25 in the first round by the Washington Redskins. EJ has so much confidence in his athletic talent that under duress (on the field) the only person he trusts is himself.  He needs to get a lot tougher in the pocket.  He needs to learn to throw better on the run and slide in the pocket before taking off.  He needs to stop aiming the ball when he is not sure his receiver is going to run the correct route.  There are just several issues that he has to develop and, if given the time, I think he can be a very good quarterback.  The question will be, will EJ ever make the players around him better or will the team make EJ better? If you are looking at a potential starting quarterback to develop, then EJ is your man.  But draft him, throw him on the field, hire and fire offensive coordinators and head coaches, change GM's, run three different style of offenses in 6 years with different languages and skills needed to play in those offenses and guess what will happen?  The same thing that happened to Jason Campbell after he was drafted.  That's right, EJ will never reach his potential.  So draft and handle with care...that's how I see it.

 

Drew "The B.S. Detector" Boylhart

Jan/2013