In one of the most stunning turn of events of the 2013 NFL draft, the Buffalo Bills selected quarterback EJ Manuel with the 16th overall draft choice.
As surprising as this selection may have been, it appears as if this is what the Bills had planned all along. Not only were they targeting Manuel, but they also viewed him as the best quarterback available entering the draft.
NFL.com's Albert Breer shared his thoughts on Buffalo's selection:
Incredible. Bills take EJ Manuel with the 16th overall pick. The plan went as they wanted to. Everyone just had the wrong quarterback.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 26, 2013
As shocked as some fans may be, the Bills saw it coming all along.
Buffalo made waves early in the draft, trading down from No. 8 to No. 16 in a deal with the St. Louis Rams. The Bills also received the Rams' second-, third- and seventh-round draft choices in exchange for Buffalo's No. 8 and third-rounder.
Grade the Bills' selection of Manuel:
To put it simply, it's been a busy day for Buffalo.
As for their selection of Manuel, the Bills made him the first quarterback taken off the board over the likes of West Virginia's Geno Smith and USC's Matt Barkley. Perhaps most notably, they choose Manuel over Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse.
Buffalo's recently hired head coach, Doug Marrone, was Nassib's coach at Syracuse University.
Manuel brings an interesting dynamic to Buffalo's offense, as he's explosive with his feet and reliable with his arm. While some have questioned Manuel's ability to make plays downfield, he threw 41 touchdowns to 18 interceptions over the past two seasons.
Most important of all, Manuel was 4-0 in bowl games as a Florida State Seminole.