EJ Manuel: Video Highlights from Former Florida State QB
Former Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel is a very intriguing prospect in this year's draft. He brings a strong arm and versatility as a rusher with him to the NFL level. However, Manuel does struggle with consistency and anticipation at times. This makes him very difficult for scouts and draft pundits to agree on a particular draft grade.
Manuel stands at 6'5" and weighs 237 pounds, which is elite size for an NFL quarterback. Most likely, a team will probably like what he has to offer enough to make him a second-round selection.
Here are some highlights from his collegiate years that can attest for the possibility of Manuel being a second-day candidate.
9-Yard Pass vs. Savannah State, 2012
This video encompasses Manuel's accuracy, which is one of his finer points as a passer. He shows great technique in this throw from start to finish.
It is a simple two-step drop for Manuel, who immediately plants his back foot while pointing his front foot and rotating his body toward his target.
He stands tall and uses a high release to get this ball up in the air with enough hang time to allow his receiver to get under it. This ball was perfectly placed, and Manuel threw it to a location in which his intended receiver could be the only player to get a hand on the football.
72-Yard Pass vs. Duke, 2012
In this highlight, Manuel recognizes the defense before the ball is snapped. The safeties are shallow and he has man coverage on the outside. Upon taking the snap, he realizes that the safeties are not dropping deeper into coverage, which will leave his man in single coverage deep in midfield.
Manuel looks off his receiver and turns back to instantly fire in his direction. He gets his weight shifted to his front foot and throws effortlessly down the field. He is able to hit his receiver in stride for the easy touchdown strike.
29-Yard Pass vs. Clemson, 2012
Manuel does a great job looking off the coverage on this play. He looks to his right before the snap and notices the man coverage without a safety over the top.
Upon taking the snap, he looks down the middle of the field, which freezes the lone deep safety for just enough time for Manuel to quick-slide back to his right and unleash a deep pass down the right sideline.
His accuracy is spot on as he hits his receiver in stride. This is a big-time throw that will translate very well to the NFL level.
33-Yard Run vs. Clemson, 2012
This is the other aspect of Manuel's game that can instantly hurt a defense. This is a designed run to the strong side of the field.
The offensive line does a great job sealing off the right side of the line. Manuel shows patience by running directly behind his blockers and does not make any unnecessary lateral moves.
He gets up the field quickly and allows his big frame and forward momentum to keep carrying him forward. His large stature makes him a difficult ball-carrier to bring down by smaller defenders.
With the one-read option becoming very popular at the NFL level, teams could look to Manuel if they are looking to implement that type of offense.
10-Yard Run vs. Clemson, 2010
Here is a perfect example of what Manuel could possibly bring to the NFL with a one-read option offense.
In the red-zone, it is very difficult to produce efficient scoring plays due to the lack of available space. The one-read option is a great tool in these instances.
Manuel does a very nice job keeping his eyes on the free defenders in front of him while rolling to his right. He notices that they are biting toward the running back and instantly cuts inside and plunges ahead for the score. Even though he is contacted, it is too late for the would-be tackler, as Manuel's large frame and momentum propel him into the end zone.
39-Yard Pass vs. Virginia Tech, 2012
This video highlights two of Manuel's strengths. It shows his ability to maintain his composure under pressure and his ability to look off defenders and find an open receiver.
This was a game-winning touchdown pass with less than one minute left in regulation against a very difficult opponent. Manuel knows that the game will rely on his arm at this point and is willing to take on a leadership role. Even though this is not a long pass, he executed it with absolute precision under intense circumstances.
Notice as Manuel drops back, his eyes stay focused down the middle of the field on his deep receiver. This draws the deep coverage away from the short-to-intermediate crossing routes. At the last moment, he looks back to his crossing receiver and throws a strike in stride, which leads him into the gap in the field created by Manuel's eyes.
Highlights vs. Boston College, 2011
There are three things to take away from this highlight video.
First, on the very first play, watch Manuel's deadly accuracy as he connects with a receiver in stride while being tightly covered in the end zone. This pass is timed perfectly, anticipated very well and is extremely accurate.
Later, Manuel is able to hit his wide-open tight end down the field right in the numbers. This does not sound that impressive, but some quarterbacks have a tendency to lose accuracy when looking at such an easy downfield target.
Finally, Manuel runs a quarterback sneak at the goal line during this video. Take notice of exactly how far in the end zone he actually reaches. This is not an easy quarterback to bring down.
Sport Science, 2013
This is an episode of Sport Science featuring Manuel. During this episode, three different aspects of his game are measured. They test his release time, accuracy and reaction to an open target.
After all of the tests are finalized, Manuel comes away with some shockingly impressive numbers. He ranks among quarterbacks that he would not normally be compared against. This video is immensely intriguing and is a must-watch.