In order to familiarize fans with some of the top names in the 2013 NFL Draft, Chargers.com will be highlighting a different prospect each weekday leading up to the first day of the draft on April 25th.
We continue the series with a scouting report of Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel.
Name: EJ Manuel
School: Florida State
Weight: 237 LBS
Prior to the 2012 season, most NFL pundits didn’t have Florida State’s EJ Manuel as one of the top quarterback prospects in the nation. Yes, some considered him a Heisman candidate and a very good collegiate player; they just didn’t know how his skill set would transfer to the NFL.
Now, Manuel is one of only two passers who will be in attendance at the NFL Draft.
As a senior, he completed 263 passes for 3,397 yards, 23 touchdowns and 10 picks. Manuel is also a good rusher and ran for 310 yards and four touchdowns. He put up those impressive stats despite his mother undergoing cancer treatment during the season, and the way he performed under such circumstances has impressed scouts.
Manuel backed up his strong season with a dominating performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. At his position, he finished second in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.65, first in the vertical jump with 34.0 inches, second in the broad jump with 118.0 inches, fourth in the 3-cone drill with a time of 7.08 and second in the 20 yard shuffle with a time of 4.21.
Physically, Manuel has a cannon for an arm and puts great velocity on all his throws. He’s an imposing presence at 6-foot-5, 237-pounds and is a tremendous athlete. Defenders always have to account for his ability to tuck the ball and run, which gives the offense an added dimension.
Critics are quick to point out Manuel’s accuracy issues. There are times where he will have receivers wide open, yet he’ll miss his target by a large amount. In order to be successful in the NFL he will need to improve in that area immediately.
While this year’s quarterback class has inspired much debate, Manuel has experienced a steady rise up draft boards. Based on the success of athletic quarterbacks in 2012, it appears he will get a chance to follow in similar footsteps.
40-yard Dash: 4.65
Vertical Jump: 34.0 inches
Broad Jump: 118.0 inches
3-Cone Drill: 7.08
20-yard shuffle: 4.21
The opinions, analysis and/or speculation expressed above do not represent the opinions or policies of the San Diego Chargers’ front office staff, coaches or executives.