As further proof that this year's muddled crop of rookie quarterbacks is differentiated by individual taste, Mike Mayock rates Florida State's E.J. Manuel as the second-best prospect of the lot.
Most 2013 NFL Draft analysts agree that West Virginia's Geno Smith is the best quarterback available this year. After Smith, however, the group is a muddled mess separated largely by the personal tastes of those evaluators. Mike Mayock, for instance, has elevated E.J. Manuel of Florida State to the No. 2 spot in his latest positional rankings.
Back in late January, as Manuel was winning MVP of the Senior Bowl, Mayock was raving about Manuel's physical tools, but called him a fourth-round prospect based on his discussions with NFL teams and the alarming inconsistencies he saw on tape. Needless to say, his tune has changed lately.
"Coming out of the Combine," Mayock said (via PFT), "I felt like there was a quiet buzz among some of the teams. Not just his workout, more important to me, they like the kid, they think he’s smart, and in the meeting rooms at night he passed that test."
Manuel is a name to keep an eye on for the Buffalo Bills. A two-year starter, he was a productive player in a power conference, and is a really excellent athlete (6'5", 237 pounds with 4.65 speed). Though undoubtedly a project, it can be argued that Manuel's physical tools are as good as anyone's this year, and many of his flaws are coachable. While fans mull the idea of the Bills using a second-round pick on a quarterback, Manuel - along with other popular names like Ryan Nassib and Mike Glennon - should be a part of that thought process.