From what we have seen so far, is EJ Manuel the future for the Buffalo Bills quarterback position?
When the words came out of Roger Goodell’s mouth that the Buffalo Bills selected EJ Manuel with their first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, I think it’s safe to say that I was not the only one in shock. When paying attention to the mock drafts and the projected picks, EJ Manuel did not appear on my radar as an option for the Bills and there were instant skeptics out there who questioned the decision by the Bills staff.
Let’s all remember that instant reaction five years down the road.
I don’t think all of this negativity bothers EJ much. In fact, I think this motivates him.
This 6’5’’, 240 lb. quarterback has the obvious size and strength to make it as an NFL quarterback. What he also brings to the table is a Cam Newton like agility allowing him to be elusive in the backfield. I would like to make my claim that EJ is the future, needing another season or two under his belt to fully mature into the player he will be. I will strengthen my point by using another young quarterback as an example.
After a mediocre rookie campaign for the Miami Dolphins, Ryan Tannehill made a bold claim at becoming the next Dolphins franchise QB. Doubling his touchdowns, increasing his completion percentage and throwing for 700 more passing yards, Tannehill proved that having just one NFL season under your belt can make a world of a difference.
EJ only played in ten games during his rookie season, but through those games he showed flashes of his potential. He only averaged eight yards per game less than Tannehill, and with six fewer games threw only one less touchdown. Being a 2013 season ticket holder I was able to see EJ even when the TV cameras were away from him. He leaves it ALL on the field. He plays until the final whistle and the one thing I think he does the best is adapt. He has composure under pressure and has the ability to throw on the run. His long ball accuracy will come with growth.
It will be interesting to see how his sophomore season pans out. I have high hopes for this young gun out of Florida State predicting that he will throw 25-30 touchdowns this year, while limiting his interceptions to 13-17. I think at the end of 2014, we will have a better idea about the future of the Buffalo Bills quarterback position.