Another day and another private workout is scheduled with a quarterback prospect with the Bills. Buffalo conducted a private workout with West Virginia QB Geno Smith. Now they have one scheduled with Florida State QB E.J. Manuel.
Manuel just had his pro day this past Tuesday in Tallahassee and by all accounts fared well.
“If you like E.J. Manuel you like what you saw,” said NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock. “He had 54 scripted throws and he highlighted not only his arm strength, but his movement skills. He’s got a big arm. The question is on tape in that Florida State offense most every throw is between zero and 10 yards and the ones that aren’t are under center off play action. I think he’s a better prospect than Christian Ponder was two years ago with more upside.”
Even though last year’s quarterback class had a pair of top flight athletic quarterbacks in Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson, who successfully ran the read option, Manuel comes from a pro-style system yet has the athleticism to run read option if necessary.
“I did a lot of drop back passing,” Manuel said. “It wasn’t like I was in the gun the whole time. I was able to take under-center snaps. I knew how to do a cadence and things like that. We did a silent count at Florida State. Things like that get overlooked.
“I could tell the difference when I got to the Senior Bowl. A lot of the stuff that (Detroit offensive coordinator) (Scott) Linehan had taught us, I already knew. My coaches at Florida State did a great job of preparing me for that situation.”
Manuel is a perpetually positive quarterback and has been described as charismatic by his teammates. When asked what he feels he brings to a football team, the Florida State signal caller had a list prepared.
“I would say leadership,” said Manuel. “Secondly I would say winning. Thirdly, making plays. I think I made great decisions in college. I had a great passer rating. I really wasn’t big on my statistics. I was more interested in winning the game.”
Private workouts cannot take place at NFL team facilities. They can only be done at the prospect’s college campus or in their hometown. Manuel is a Virginia Beach, Virginia native. The private workouts with prospects are not considered pre-draft visits. Pre-draft visits take place at an NFL team site only. NFL clubs are allowed to conduct 30 such pre-draft visits at their facility.