Photo of EJ Manuel
Grade
68.7 ?
  • 4.65 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 34.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 118.0 INCH
    Top Performer
  • 7.08 SEC
    Top Performer
  • 4.21 SEC
    Top Performer
Blue Star  =  Top Performer
  • 6'5" Height
  • 35" Arm Length
  • 237LBS. Weight
  • 10 3/8" Hands

Overview

Manuel was a Parade High School All-American, and got his chance to play early on for the Seminoles. The Seminoles’ 2008 scout team MVP (who missed 2009 spring practice with a broken index finger) won three of his four starts for injured starter Christian Ponder as a redshirt freshman, including a Gator Bowl MVP performance (17-24, 189 yards, 14 rushes for 70 yards and a TD) in the team’s comeback win over West Virginia.



When Ponder returned for 2010, Manuel again took a reserve role -– though injuries gave him two chances to start (one win over Clemson and a loss to Virginia Tech in the ACC Championship Game). He also led the Seminoles to a win in the Chick-fil-A Bowl against South Carolina after Ponder suffered a concussion. Manuel’s play was not necessarily consistent in his first year as the full-time starter in 2011 (2,666 passing yards, 18 TD, eight INT, 65.3 percent completion rate), and he missed the team’s loss to Clemson (and did not start the following week vs. Wake Forest) with his own shoulder injury. He still helped Florida State to a 9-4 record and a third straight postseason win -– showing supreme toughness by playing on a broken leg (fractured left fibula) during the team’s Champs Sports Bowl win over Notre Dame while going 20 for 31 for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Finally, as a senior, Manuel started all 14 games and even topped off the 12-2 with a decisive Orange Bowl victory. He completed 263-of-387 attempts for 3,397 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He added 310 rushing yards and four touchdowns while dealing with his mother's cancer treatment, something Manuel kept under wraps for a large portion of the season.

Analysis

Strengths

Physically imposing passer. Throws from the shotgun formation quite often, but is also effective on play action. Flashes the velocity to stretch the field and throw in tight spaces between defenders and on the sideline. Displays good touch on throws to each level of the field, finds receivers between defenders and drop passes over their head. Good athlete with the mobility to step up in the pocket to avoid pressure and take advantage of openings to pick up first downs with his feet. Quick release, though it often looks as though he’s throwing darts on shorter throws. Intelligent, high character team leader.

Weaknesses

Gives opponents too many chances for turnovers by forcing throws into coverage trying to make a play. Area code accuracy – short throws are often low or wide, preventing receivers from making a play after the catch. Deep ball accuracy is uneven, as well. Gets happy feet under pressure, spins to the outside to avoid the rush. Inconsistent recognizing blitz. Must step into his throws more consistently to fully utilize his arm strength.

NFL Comparison

Blaine Gabbert

Bottom Line

As gifted as any quarterback in the class, the physically imposing Manuel has a chance to shoot up this list using his strong arm and mobility in 2012. Scouts appreciate his leadership qualities and toughness (played through his mom's cancer treatments and a broken leg in 2011’s Champs Sports Bowl win over Notre Dame), and hope he can improve on his consistency. The Seminoles' decision-making and accuracy drop in the face of pressure, but Manuel has the velocity and mobility teams look for in a project quarterback.
C
Grade Title
9.00-10 Once-in-lifetime player
8.00-8.99 Perennial All-Pro
7.50-7.99 Future All-Pro
7.00-7.49 Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.50-6.99 Chance to become Pro Bowl-caliber player
6.00-6.49 Should become instant starter
5.50-5.99 Chance to become NFL starter
5.20-5.49 NFL backup or special teams potential
5.01-5.19 Better-than-average chance to make NFL roster
5.00 50-50 Chance to make NFL roster
4.75-4.99 Should be in an NFL training camp
4.50-4.74 Chance to be in an NFL training camp
No Grade Likely needs time in developmental league.
NFL News
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