Over the last two college football seasons two Southern State Football players have emerged out of obscurity to become top two picks-Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III. Both players are athletic, quarterbacks, who had exceptional years to go along with their tremendous skill set. Heading into the 2012 College Football season there are a few names that people think they know what they are getting–Matt Barkley, Landry Jones, and Tyler Wilson specifically. But who is going to be that quarterback that is going to explode in 2012 and get consideration as a top five pick–there area few candidates. Today we’ll take a look at Florida State Quarterback E.J. Manuel.
Manuel is listed at 6’5 and 238 pounds. Manuel is a gifted athlete that combined with his physical tools that is sure to make a big impression on scouts. Manuel also has significant experience as a starting quarterback for a major college program which is important. Manuel struggled at times last year, but still ended the season throwing 18 touchdowns to 8 Interceptions and completing 65 percent of his passes, but at times struggled with decision making and accuracy.
Here’s what we wrote about Manuel prior to the 2011 season:
Manuel enters his first season as the unquestioned number one quarterback on the Florida State roster, and he could be poised for a big season. Has been tweaking and perfecting his mechanics and footwork for the last couple of years, to the point where head coach Jimbo Fisher has indicated he should see significant improvements in accuracy and arm strength, and has decreased his chances of re-injuring his shoulder (which he has had problems with in the past). Perhaps not a candidate to leave early because he is so raw, but he should be the focal point of the FSU offense this year, and could be poised for a huge season. Fans will want to see him make great strides in his touchdown/interception ratio, which last year was 1:1, even though he only threw 93 passes overall. Big, rangy athlete with a strong arm and solid vision down the field. A threat to move the chains any time he touches the ball because of his ability to scramble. To this point, has been more of a thrower than a passer, which has resulted in some poor throws and interceptions. Still, his completion percentage has always been high. When he sets his feet correctly, his accuracy down the field is dead on, and he has a strong enough arm to complete any and every NFL throw. Look for this kid to really break out in 2011 and potentially vault himself into first round discussion with a solid year as a first time starter.
Prior to the 2012 season I would refine I would say that Manuel showcases first round ability at times, but needs to be more consistent. He still needs to work on his mechanics and could stand to quicken his release. Manuel needs to improve reading his progressions and making good decisions when he’s under pressure. Manuel also needs to stay healthy for the upcoming season. E.J. Manuel has a great chance this year to prove himself as a Seminole by getting the team and winning a BCS game with the loaded roster they have on both sides of the football as well as be the next quarterback to sky-rocket into the first round. Manuel is dripping with potential and has flashed it at times, but can he do it consistently for an entire year?
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