EJ Manuel: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Florida State QB

Alessandro MiglioFeatured ColumnistApril 25, 2013

EJ Manuel: 5 Things You Need to Know About the Florida State QB

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    If ever there was a tease of a prospect, EJ Manuel is that man.

    Manuel has an excellent skill set. He is big, athletic, has a nice arm and a good release. But he has been erratic throughout his career with the Seminoles.

    It should be no surprise that his draft stock is erratic as well.

    Combine results courtesy of NFL.com. College stats courtesy of sports-reference.com.

Background

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    Full Name: Erik James "EJ" Manuel, Jr.

    Birthday: March 19, 1990

    Hometown: Virginia Beach, Virginia

    School: Florida State

    Year: Senior

    Twitter: @EJManuel3

Collegiate Stats

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    The Seminoles aren't known for their high-octane offense. E.J. Manuel put up decent numbers in his two years as starter, though.

    Manuel spent his first two years behind Christian Ponder, who would go on to start for the Minnesota Vikings—for better or for worse. 

    The former Seminole's senior season was actually rather good by Florida State standards—his 3,397 passing yards were second-most in school history, behind Chris Weinke.

     

    Passing

    Year Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A AY/A TD Int Rate
    2009 69 106 65.1 817 7.7 5.5 2 6 124.7
    2010 65 93 69.9 861 9.3 8.2 4 4 153.3
    2011 203 311 65.3 2666 8.6 8.6 18 8 151.2
    2012 263 387 68 3397 8.8 8.8 23 10 156.1
    Career 600 897 66.9 7741 8.6 8.3 47 28 150.4

     

    Rushing

    Year Att Yds Avg TD
    2009 44 196 4.5 2
    2010 41 170 4.1 1
    2011 110 151 1.4 4
    2012 103 310 3 4
    Career 298 827 2.8 11

Draft Process

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    Measurables

    Height: 6'5"

    Weight: 237 lbs.

    Arm Length: 33"

    Hand Size: 10 3/8"

     

    Combine Results

    40-yard dash: 4.65 seconds (top performer)

    Broad jump: 118.0 inches (top performer)

    Vertical jump: 34.0 inches (top performer)

    20-yard shuttle: 4.21 seconds (top performer)

    3-cone drill: 7.08 seconds (top performer)

     

    It should come as no surprise that E.J. Manuel was the best all-around performer in combine events. He is the most athletic quarterback in the draft, with Matt Scott a close second.

    Even better is the fact he is so athletic at 6'5" and 237 pounds. He also has huge hands and good arm size, all positives on teams' boards.

Overcoming Inconsistency

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    There is a lot to like about E.J. Manuel's game. There is also a lot not to like.

    As we have seen, Manuel possesses excellent measurables and athleticism. Those two facts are keeping him afloat as a top quarterback prospect more than anything else, however.

    His biggest knock is his inconsistency at the position. He has accuracy issues, and his pocket presence gets short-circuited when there is pressure. 

    Manuel has the tools to succeed at the next level, on par with Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson. But he will need to overcome the inconsistency to get to that level.

Observations

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    E.J. Manuel's draft stock is all over the map. Some see him as a first-round pick, others see him falling into the third round.

    What is Twitter saying about him?

    If you drafted QBs just on interpersonal skills, FSU's E.J. Manuel would be top overall pick, based on conversation on 850 WKNR.

    — Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) April 12, 2013

     

    Wouldn't be shocked to see E.J. Manuel drafted before Geno Smith.

    — Ryan Boser (@Ryan_Boser) April 9, 2013

     

    E.J. Manuel stock rising, regardless who's pushing it, is proof that "Combine doesn't matter!" trope is a total fallacy.

    — Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) March 8, 2013

     

    "Every team in the league wants E.J. Manuel pretty badly." -E.J. Manuel

    — Ryan(@RyanTalbotQCS) April 24, 2013

     

    I see Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, and E.J. Manuel as the first three QBs off the board (not necessarily in that order, however)

    — Ryan Lownes (@ryanlownes) April 21, 2013

     

    If you drafted QBs just on interpersonal skills, FSU's E.J. Manuel would be top overall pick, based on conversation on 850 WKNR.

    — Tony Grossi (@TonyGrossi) April 12, 2013

     

    During his career, E.J. Manuel has started 7 games against top 25 opponents. Stats: 6 TD's, 9 INT's (3-4 record)

    — Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 15, 2013