New Cleveland Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski helped coach former top pick Cam Newton to a Pro Bowl season as a rookie, and former Florida State signal caller E.J. Manuel feels like he could have similar success in the NFL. Via the Cleveland Plain Dealer and reporter Mary Kay Cabot, coach Chudzinski compared Manuel to Newton, and Manuel feels like he is in play for the Browns in the first round.
“If I get drafted by Cleveland, I know coach Chudzinski and (offensive coordinator) Norv Turner would do a great job of getting me ready to play.”
“After the way some of these workouts have gone, I think I’ll go fairly high. I don’t know about the top 10, but I expect to go in the first round.
“Some of the teams might consider me (a top-five pick). We’ll have to see how it all plays out.”
Manuel was invited to the NFL Draft in New York City, and typically the players that attend the draft are considered first round picks. There are always occasions where those invited don’t get picked up by anyone in the first round, so they come back on day two and wait to hear their name called, but I think Manuel has a real shot to go in the first round with the way this class is shaping up.
If the Browns feel like Manuel is comparable to Cam Newton, I think they are going to be a little disappointed if they draft him and expect him to fill those shoes, but they could be getting a really solid player. There are a lot of rumors going around that the Browns are locked in on Dee Milliner with that number six overall pick, but they are also one of the teams trying to trade down in the first round. If they are able to move down into the teens or early 20s, I wouldn’t rule out E.J. Manuel being the pick.
The Browns have Brandon Weeden, a first round pick in 2012, but he’s not proven much and there is a new regime in charge in Cleveland. Typically when a new regime takes over, they plug in a new quarterback. Manuel could be the guy the Browns feel gives them the best chance to win in the future.
He certainly seems to believe they think he can be. Not only that, but Manuel has received significant interest from the Jets, Eagles, and Jaguars, and feels like he will go in the first round. The Jets have two first round picks, so he could be a strong option there as well.
We’ll have to wait to see how this all plays out, but Manuel’s comments about his draft status are pretty intriguing.