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EJ Manuel Analysis

EJ Manuel FSU QB

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#1 Ramius

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:19 PM

I saw some chatter about EJ Manuel in the Senior bowl thread, so i figured i'd give my best, non-homer analysis on him and his play, given that i've seen every collegiate game he's played. If you have any questions, i'll do my best to answer them as well. I'll let you guys look up any individual stats that you want.

The Vitals: 6'4" 237 lbs. Career Starts: Career Record: 26-7
Record breakdown by year: 3-1, 2-1, 9-3, 12-2 (his 1st 2 seasons he was in relief of an injured Ponder)
Record Breakdown by "tough" opponents: 1-2 vs UF, 2-1 vs Clem, 1-1 vs VT, 0-1 vs OU, 1-1 ACC Championships
Bowl Record: 4-0 (wins over WVU, So. Carolina, N.D., and NIU)

The Good: EJ’s got all the physical measurables you could want in a QB. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s got a strong arm. He can make all of the throws required of an NFL QB. He can get the ball downfield without a problem. His short pass accuracy in phenomenal. Here at FSU he was able to distribute the ball around to numerous receivers, so he doesn’t simply lock onto one guy. When he’s at the top of his game, he’s nearly unbeatable. Look at the Clemson game from this past season. When it comes to running, EJ’s very good. He’s got the wheels to make plays with his feet and is a threat in the open field. He runs the option as good as anyone I’ve seen. Quite a few times it appears that he’s going to get tackled for no gain, and yet gets the pitch out at the perfect second, right after the D has committed to him. EJ’s an intelligent kid and by all accounts, a hard worker.

The Bad: EJ tends to be maddeningly inconsistent. Rarely did he toss up a complete stinker, but he’ll play excellent one week and then make you scratch your head with his play the next week. On intermediate to deeper patterns, EJ has a tendency to float the ball to open WRs, almost as if he’s trying to put too much touch on the pass. I believe this stems from him not always properly setting his feet and stepping into his passes. This leads to a propensity to throw high passes to WRs in the intermediate range as well. He can drill a 15 yard pass to a covered WR, but then will make an open WR leap to make a catch on what should have been an easy completion. EJ also struggles with indentifying blitzers, specifically from his blindside. He needs to improve on both seeing where the blitz is coming from, and getting rid of the ball faster when it is coming. EJ does need to learn to throw the ball away sometimes, instead of trying to make too much happen with his feet, like all young running QBs tend to do.

Other Info: This season, it seems that Jimbo Fisher and EJ were not always on the same page. They had their share of “disagreements” on the sidelines. Jimbo also didn’t always do EJ any favors with the play calling. There were 3-4 games where it was questionable at best. EJ also stopped running after the Clemson game. The reason was unknown, but rumors swirled that it was either Jimbo’s playcalling, or that EJ wanted to show the NFL he could throw and be a passer and not just a runner. EJ came into FSU as a biomedical engineering major. That’s how I ended up meeting him, when he visited my lab.

Ultimately: EJ’s got all the physical tools needed to succeed, but really needs to improve his consistency if he’s going to be successful. At this juncture, I don’t see him as a “franchise” QB. However, he does have a lot of the dreaded p-word, potential. So with some seasoning and some good coaching, there’s a realistic chance he could develop into a good QB.

Would I Draft EJ: I really want the Bills to take 2 QBs this draft, and I’d be thrilled is EJ was QB #2 drafted. I’d peg him as a solid middle round (3rd-5th) pick for someone that doesn’t need immediate QB help from him.

#2 BRAWNDO

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:32 PM

View PostRamius, on 22 January 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

I saw some chatter about EJ Manuel in the Senior bowl thread, so i figured i'd give my best, non-homer analysis on him and his play, given that i've seen every collegiate game he's played. If you have any questions, i'll do my best to answer them as well. I'll let you guys look up any individual stats that you want.

The Vitals: 6'4" 237 lbs. Career Starts: Career Record: 26-7
Record breakdown by year: 3-1, 2-1, 9-3, 12-2 (his 1st 2 seasons he was in relief of an injured Ponder)
Record Breakdown by "tough" opponents: 1-2 vs UF, 2-1 vs Clem, 1-1 vs VT, 0-1 vs OU, 1-1 ACC Championships
Bowl Record: 4-0 (wins over WVU, So. Carolina, N.D., and NIU)

The Good: EJ’s got all the physical measurables you could want in a QB. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s got a strong arm. He can make all of the throws required of an NFL QB. He can get the ball downfield without a problem. His short pass accuracy in phenomenal. Here at FSU he was able to distribute the ball around to numerous receivers, so he doesn’t simply lock onto one guy. When he’s at the top of his game, he’s nearly unbeatable. Look at the Clemson game from this past season. When it comes to running, EJ’s very good. He’s got the wheels to make plays with his feet and is a threat in the open field. He runs the option as good as anyone I’ve seen. Quite a few times it appears that he’s going to get tackled for no gain, and yet gets the pitch out at the perfect second, right after the D has committed to him. EJ’s an intelligent kid and by all accounts, a hard worker.

The Bad: EJ tends to be maddeningly inconsistent. Rarely did he toss up a complete stinker, but he’ll play excellent one week and then make you scratch your head with his play the next week. On intermediate to deeper patterns, EJ has a tendency to float the ball to open WRs, almost as if he’s trying to put too much touch on the pass. I believe this stems from him not always properly setting his feet and stepping into his passes. This leads to a propensity to throw high passes to WRs in the intermediate range as well. He can drill a 15 yard pass to a covered WR, but then will make an open WR leap to make a catch on what should have been an easy completion. EJ also struggles with indentifying blitzers, specifically from his blindside. He needs to improve on both seeing where the blitz is coming from, and getting rid of the ball faster when it is coming. EJ does need to learn to throw the ball away sometimes, instead of trying to make too much happen with his feet, like all young running QBs tend to do.

Other Info: This season, it seems that Jimbo Fisher and EJ were not always on the same page. They had their share of “disagreements” on the sidelines. Jimbo also didn’t always do EJ any favors with the play calling. There were 3-4 games where it was questionable at best. EJ also stopped running after the Clemson game. The reason was unknown, but rumors swirled that it was either Jimbo’s playcalling, or that EJ wanted to show the NFL he could throw and be a passer and not just a runner. EJ came into FSU as a biomedical engineering major. That’s how I ended up meeting him, when he visited my lab.

Ultimately: EJ’s got all the physical tools needed to succeed, but really needs to improve his consistency if he’s going to be successful. At this juncture, I don’t see him as a “franchise” QB. However, he does have a lot of the dreaded p-word, potential. So with some seasoning and some good coaching, there’s a realistic chance he could develop into a good QB.

Would I Draft EJ: I really want the Bills to take 2 QBs this draft, and I’d be thrilled is EJ was QB #2 drafted. I’d peg him as a solid middle round (3rd-5th) pick for someone that doesn’t need immediate QB help from him.

This would scare me off a little.

#3 Hater

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

If he was a rookie free agent, maybe I take a look

#4 KeisterHollow

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:44 PM

I ask this: why have a QB on the roster who you know is so limited he cannot be counted on to pull games out?  That is what the Bills had on their dressing day roster last year.

I say, if you're going to have backup QB's - you've got to have QB's with POTENTIAL.  They've got to have that question mark about them - that possibility - that if they can reign in certain things they could be really good QB's.  That's what I want Buffalo to have - and that is why I, too, want the Bills to draft 2 QB's this year.

In this league, at this world-class level, any guy dressed and able to play on that roster should be able to do amazing things when called on.  Those are the kinds of players I'd like the Bills to get more of - the "upside" guys, because it just seems like - albeit less now than 2 years ago - we have a part of our roster that we know needs upgraded, and that is the starters of the group.

#5 4BillsintheBurgh

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

Thanks for taking the time to put this together.  I haven't looked at his gamelights, but it seems to me everything under the bad section could be attributed to doing the "above and beyond" work that's needed in the nfl, practicing the little things until you don't have to think about it for example.  If he has the physical tools, it sounds like he would be an extraordinary 3rd qb so that if he gets it he could be a valuable member of the team.

#6 DrDareustein

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

Thanks for the breakdown, Ramius! Lots of good info.

I obviously havent seen him play as much as you, but from the games I have seen, can't find anything to disagree with in your analysis.

Love the idea of getting 2 QBs in this draft, and I wouldnt mind at all if EJ was that second guy in the mid-rounds.

Good luck to the 'Noles next season!

#7 NewEra

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:03 PM

View PostHater, on 22 January 2013 - 05:44 PM, said:

If he was a rookie free agent, maybe I take a look

Yep.  You're a hater alright.

View PostRamius, on 22 January 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

I saw some chatter about EJ Manuel in the Senior bowl thread, so i figured i'd give my best, non-homer analysis on him and his play, given that i've seen every collegiate game he's played. If you have any questions, i'll do my best to answer them as well. I'll let you guys look up any individual stats that you want.

The Vitals: 6'4" 237 lbs. Career Starts: Career Record: 26-7
Record breakdown by year: 3-1, 2-1, 9-3, 12-2 (his 1st 2 seasons he was in relief of an injured Ponder)
Record Breakdown by "tough" opponents: 1-2 vs UF, 2-1 vs Clem, 1-1 vs VT, 0-1 vs OU, 1-1 ACC Championships
Bowl Record: 4-0 (wins over WVU, So. Carolina, N.D., and NIU)

The Good: EJís got all the physical measurables you could want in a QB. Heís big, heís strong, heís fast, heís smart, and heís got a strong arm. He can make all of the throws required of an NFL QB. He can get the ball downfield without a problem. His short pass accuracy in phenomenal. Here at FSU he was able to distribute the ball around to numerous receivers, so he doesnít simply lock onto one guy. When heís at the top of his game, heís nearly unbeatable. Look at the Clemson game from this past season. When it comes to running, EJís very good. Heís got the wheels to make plays with his feet and is a threat in the open field. He runs the option as good as anyone Iíve seen. Quite a few times it appears that heís going to get tackled for no gain, and yet gets the pitch out at the perfect second, right after the D has committed to him. EJís an intelligent kid and by all accounts, a hard worker.

The Bad: EJ tends to be maddeningly inconsistent. Rarely did he toss up a complete stinker, but heíll play excellent one week and then make you scratch your head with his play the next week. On intermediate to deeper patterns, EJ has a tendency to float the ball to open WRs, almost as if heís trying to put too much touch on the pass. I believe this stems from him not always properly setting his feet and stepping into his passes. This leads to a propensity to throw high passes to WRs in the intermediate range as well. He can drill a 15 yard pass to a covered WR, but then will make an open WR leap to make a catch on what should have been an easy completion. EJ also struggles with indentifying blitzers, specifically from his blindside. He needs to improve on both seeing where the blitz is coming from, and getting rid of the ball faster when it is coming. EJ does need to learn to throw the ball away sometimes, instead of trying to make too much happen with his feet, like all young running QBs tend to do.

Other Info: This season, it seems that Jimbo Fisher and EJ were not always on the same page. They had their share of ďdisagreementsĒ on the sidelines. Jimbo also didnít always do EJ any favors with the play calling. There were 3-4 games where it was questionable at best. EJ also stopped running after the Clemson game. The reason was unknown, but rumors swirled that it was either Jimboís playcalling, or that EJ wanted to show the NFL he could throw and be a passer and not just a runner. EJ came into FSU as a biomedical engineering major. Thatís how I ended up meeting him, when he visited my lab.

Ultimately: EJís got all the physical tools needed to succeed, but really needs to improve his consistency if heís going to be successful. At this juncture, I donít see him as a ďfranchiseĒ QB. However, he does have a lot of the dreaded p-word, potential. So with some seasoning and some good coaching, thereís a realistic chance he could develop into a good QB.

Would I Draft EJ: I really want the Bills to take 2 QBs this draft, and Iíd be thrilled is EJ was QB #2 drafted. Iíd peg him as a solid middle round (3rd-5th) pick for someone that doesnít need immediate QB help from him.

Thanks for the breakdown Ramius.  I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts on him.  The talent is through the roof IMO.  The inconstancy scares me a bit.  I think he has the best upside of any qb in the draft.  I think he's a solid 2nd rd pick and a steal in the 3rd.  In the right system, with the right coaches and proper dedication on his part he could be special.  Considering the draft class is bleh at QB, I'd be happy with him.  Throw him in there this season.  If he sucks, we might be able to draft top 3 next year and grab one of the many better prospects.  If he progresses, we found a gem.

Edited by NewEra, 22 January 2013 - 06:07 PM.


#8 KOKBILLS

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:40 PM

I think EJ will be over-drafted a bit due to his overall athletic ability as a QB...I doubt very much that he'll get out of the 2nd Round...We'll see...Like I wrote in another thread, the kid could be the ultimate tease...But there is no denying his raw ability...And it's almost amazing that you see so many reports talk about the inconsistency of a QB who completed 67% of his passes over a two year span...But inconsistency is definitely the word I see used most to describe Manuel's negatives...We'll see if an NFL team can coach that out of him... B-)

#9 playman

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:48 PM

i want to see his wonderlic. not hating, but the tv thing when he was asked for a complex play call and he repeated the formation makes me wonder......

#10 Kelly the Dog

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 06:54 PM

Thanks a lot, Ramius. I haven't seen him play a lot so I have no opinion on him whatsoever. I like your breakdown though, because it seems like most if not all of his negatives are quite correctable, and good coaching can really take a player with all that talent, who does the things you say he does, and make him substantially better.

No one knows, but while i don't have an enormous amount of confidence in the Hackett hire as an OC, I think he's probably a pretty good QB coach already, and between him and Marrone could help a young QB like that.

Most fans here seem to think (Foolishly I think) that Marrone/Nix/Whaley are going to key on one guy, probably Nassib, and go after him. I think there is zero chance of that happening. They're going to study all of them equally (with Nassib having the clear advantage), and have a list of 10+ QBs they would like, 1-2 in each round. I could easily see them liking Manuel as a #2 round guy and be thrilled with him as a #3 round guy.

#11 Fixxxer

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:34 PM

View Postplayman, on 22 January 2013 - 06:48 PM, said:

i want to see his wonderlic. not hating, but the tv thing when he was asked for a complex play call and he repeated the formation makes me wonder......

He's a biomecanical engineer but you want to see the wonderlic score, does that make sense? I don't think so. I'm not saying he's football smart but he's plenty smart, no doubt.

Thanks and great work Ramius, I like this kid a lot, he has tremendous tools to work with and I like his 4-0 record in bowl games.

#12 OldTimer1960

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 07:37 PM

Manuel is not a good prospect to be a good starting NFL QB (and neither are any of the other QBs in this draft).  No matter how much the Bills need a QB, taking one of these weak prospects  is not an answer.

If they choose to take GOOD prospects at other positions in rounds 1 & 2 then draft 2 or 3 QBs in the hopws of finding someone who can play, then fine, but this draft is not like the most recent 2 where there were good QB prospects.  Not one of these frauds would have been in the top 5 qb prospects in the last 2 drafts

#13 Buffaloed in Pa

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:50 PM

No ..He looks like a robot. Really stiff.

#14 Ryan L Billz

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 09:00 PM

He can do what others cannot and run.Nassibs out there with cement shoes on......as bad as it sounds was just listening to pats fans complain about how Brady can't run on 3rd and short ever...... while others pick up the first down with their feet with their eyes closed like (Wilson,rg3,kaep,etc etc) and all of the other duel threat qb's.  

EJ has some raw talent, I wouldn't be surprised either way he turns out.

Edited by Ryan L Billz, 22 January 2013 - 09:02 PM.


#15 Ramius

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 07:32 PM

View PostNewEra, on 22 January 2013 - 06:03 PM, said:

Thanks for the breakdown Ramius.  I was looking forward to hearing your thoughts on him.  The talent is through the roof IMO.  The inconstancy scares me a bit.  I think he has the best upside of any qb in the draft.  I think he's a solid 2nd rd pick and a steal in the 3rd.  In the right system, with the right coaches and proper dedication on his part he could be special.  Considering the draft class is bleh at QB, I'd be happy with him.  Throw him in there this season.  If he sucks, we might be able to draft top 3 next year and grab one of the many better prospects.  If he progresses, we found a gem.

View PostKOKBILLS, on 22 January 2013 - 06:40 PM, said:

I think EJ will be over-drafted a bit due to his overall athletic ability as a QB...I doubt very much that he'll get out of the 2nd Round...We'll see...Like I wrote in another thread, the kid could be the ultimate tease...But there is no denying his raw ability...And it's almost amazing that you see so many reports talk about the inconsistency of a QB who completed 67% of his passes over a two year span...But inconsistency is definitely the word I see used most to describe Manuel's negatives...We'll see if an NFL team can coach that out of him... B-)

The inconsistency is tough to put a finger on. Many of us were hoping he'd turn the corner this season and play at an elite level. And he did, during some games. But he just couldn't carry it through.

I know this may be a goofy way to explain it, but the inconsistency was really visible in a non-quantitative sense. There were some games where he simply needed to make a few plays at some key junctures in the game and simply didn't. Even in some games we won he didn't play as good as he should have and is capable of.

As for the disagreements with Jimbo, they weren't anger fueled arguments. They were simply animated discussions. Jimbo tends to be a Saban-esque control freak, and can jump on players when they don't execute exactly the way he wants them to.

#16 dbflaBill

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:46 PM

Ive heard nothing but good things about EJ Mauel at the Senior Bowl. I really like the potenial this kid has. Id be estactic if the Bills took him in the 2nd round. Maybe a little early but i wouldnt risk waiting till the third.

#17 Why So Serious?

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:59 PM

View PostKelly the Dog, on 22 January 2013 - 06:54 PM, said:

Thanks a lot, Ramius. I haven't seen him play a lot so I have no opinion on him whatsoever. I like your breakdown though, because it seems like most if not all of his negatives are quite correctable, and good coaching can really take a player with all that talent, who does the things you say he does, and make him substantially better.

No one knows, but while i don't have an enormous amount of confidence in the Hackett hire as an OC, I think he's probably a pretty good QB coach already, and between him and Marrone could help a young QB like that.

Most fans here seem to think (Foolishly I think) that Marrone/Nix/Whaley are going to key on one guy, probably Nassib, and go after him. I think there is zero chance of that happening. They're going to study all of them equally (with Nassib having the clear advantage), and have a list of 10+ QBs they would like, 1-2 in each round. I could easily see them liking Manuel as a #2 round guy and be thrilled with him as a #3 round guy.
Yeah thanks Ramius.

I must have watched those stinkers because everytime I watched EJ play it looked bad. I wanted really wanted him to be the man. On paper he is the perfect modern QB. In practice or more importantly in games he looks inconsistant. I was particularly bothered by floating the balls to wide open receivers. It was frustrating. I don't believe that is easy correctable. A QB has to have it his nature to get the ball to a receiver in order to let the receiver make a play. Not float it out there for anyone to grab. I'm probably stretching but I just don't see the killer instinct to win, you need that in the NFL. Fitz has it but he just physically incapable of performing. EJ doesn't appear to have it imo. You put Fitz' "it-ness" in EJ's body and you have a championship. I worry that coaching can't fix that.

His personal interviews and the interviews of his High School and college coaches are going to be what really determines his draft stock. If a majority of his coaches say  he has "it" he will go in the second. If a majority say he doesn't he could drop like a rock to the 6th. I don't think anyone, or any "expert" will know unless they have personal relationships with those people. (Which part of a scouts job.)

I agree Kelly. It makes zero sense for them to zero in on Nassib. If they want to win championships, which I think Morrone wants to do, they will evaluate all prospects and stack rank them against a draft round. Its an immature line of thought to say that because Morrone coached Nassib they will drop everything else to draft him. Now Nassib may be a great prospect in his own right and the Bills may draft him but I don't think its because the organization failed to look elsewhere.

Buddy said he watched every snap of Nassib's senior year. That means the organization was looking at Nassib before Marrone was onboard.

I wish EJ Manuel was better. Its possible a GM and coach may be confident enough to think they can turn his physically into a franchise QB. I'd prefer the Bills draft as the second of their two QBs and see if really has a killer instinct in competition with a higher draft pick. (Jones/Wilson/Nassib/etc)

Basically my personal opinion is he the very top of the 3rd tier of QBs in the 2013 NFL draft and may have the highest ceiling out of any QB in the draft.

Edited by Why So Serious?, 24 January 2013 - 01:00 PM.


#18 reddogblitz

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:19 PM

View PostRamius, on 22 January 2013 - 05:19 PM, said:

The Bad: EJ tends to be maddeningly inconsistent.
I have ZERO interest in this guy because of this.  We've had an inconsistent QB under center for the last 3 1/2 years.  We don't need to substitute one inconsistent QB for another.

#19 RyanC883

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

I would like him.  We have not had an inconsistent QB in Fitz.  Fitz never put together a 'WOW' game that I can recall after signing his contract (about 1.5 years ago).  As one of 2 QB's drafted, I wouldn't mind having him.  Being 4-0 in Bowl games is pretty impressive also.

#20 BUFFALOTONE

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Ramius,

Good breakdown. I am a huge FSU fan as well and watched all of his games. Little known fact is the Ej would have been at the best a 2nd round prospect if he wanted to play baseball. Hes got a great arm and was told to dial it back a little bit by Fisher. That is where you saw the floaters come in during the first full year of starting. In the right offense with the right coach he can be dynamic. Rarely gets sacked and is as strong if not stornger than Newton. Fishers play calling was suspect at best and left me scratching my head a lot of the time as well. He can go as high as the late 2nd round just on size, and athletic ability alone or as low as the 5th depending on who is grading him out. Not as much as a project as everyone thinks but needs a veteran to sit behind before seeing any action.





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