New York Jets 2013 NFL Draft Spotlight: Florida State QB E.J. Manuel


Jan.1, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel (3) runs against the Northern Illinois Huskies in the third quarter during the 2013 Orange Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
All eyes will be on the New York Jets this upcoming 2013 NFL draft. Well, at least Jets fans eyes will be focused on them. Every football fan and non-football fan alike know the big circus-act that is the Jets. They all know their problems and how they imploded. And, of course, they all know about the Jets’ quarterback situation.

The team currently has five quarterbacks on their roster: Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, Matt Simms and David Garrard—none of whom seem to be the Jets’ quarterback of the future.

With that being said, it should be interesting to see if the Jets draft a quarterback this year, and if/when they do, who will it be and in what round? The quarterbacks in this year’s draft aren’t exactly game-changers—at least not according to draft “experts.”

It was reported by Michael Smith of that quarterback E.J. Manuel, who played for Florida State, said three teams with Top 10 picks are showing strong interest in him. One of them being the New York Jets.

If that is indeed the case then we should take a look at the former Seminoles quarterback.

In a draft class full of projects at the quarterback position, E.J. Manuel is an intriguing option—one that can bring a lot to the table. Manuel definitely has the size at 6’5″ and 237 pounds. He has all the physical tools the Jets would want in a NFL quarterback. He has a strong arm, and has the running ability to be effective in the read-option and pistol packages, which may come in handy with Mornhinweg’s offense.

As a senior, Manuel completed 68 percent of his passes; 263 completions for 3,397 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also ran the ball 103 times for 310 yards and four touchdowns. To add to his college resume, Manuel also impressed at Senior Bowl. He was the best quarterback that week, making great throws in practice and in the game, being named Most Outstanding player.

He’s a good play-action quarterback with a good touch on his ball on slants and rollouts. He’s an elusive runner when the pocket collapses but always keeps his eyes downfield when running. Don’t mistake the quarterback as a run-first guy, though. Manuel has good pocket presence and movement, and can make accurate downfield throws.

Manuel fits perfectly into an offense designed for quick and easy first reads (read: Jets). The knock on him, though, is that he needs a lot of work in the multi-read aspect of the game, which he will need to face eventually. His on-field decision-making ability has been questioned as well as his ability read advanced defenses, but all of that can be taught.

In the right system, and with the right teacher, E.J. Manuel can succeed. With new Jets offensive coordinator Mornhinweg, Manuel and the Jets may be a perfect fit—as long as the Jets don’t draft Manuel in the first round, adding the quarterback would be a good decision.