Jan.1, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel (3) reacts after teammate fullback Lonnie Pryor (24) runs in a touchdown in the first quarter against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the 2013 Orange Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Draft: A Long Wait Ahead for a Top Prospect

Jan.1, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback EJ Manuel (3) throws a pass in the first quarter against the Northern Illinois Huskies during the 2013 Orange Bowl game at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

 

Whether a prospect is a  surefire first-rounder or an undrafted free-agent, dreams will come true for every player that hears his name called at the podium. Everyone knows the NFL draft is filled with smoke screens, possible trades, sliding prospects or over-drafted prospects. There are no indications out there that proves the 2013 NFL will be any different.

Among the 23 invited prospects that will huddle around neighboring tables with their families at the Radio City Music Hall,  I see one promising prospect who might not hear his name called until round two.

E.J. Manuel.

Manuel will undoubtedly have the same size sweat pellets that rolled down the forehead of former Notre Dame quarterback  Brady Quinn. Prior to the 2007 draft, Quinn was considered to be one of the top players in the nation as he was fourth in the Heisman voting that year. Labeled a franchise quarterback who many projected to go in the top ten, but as we all know, the Cleveland Browns  passed on him at no. 3 overall and selected Quinn at no. 22 overall.

Manuel’s drop will easily surpass Quinn. According to a report by NBC Sports News, three teams in the top 10 have shown legitimate interest in the former Seminole. The Philadelphia Eagles who pick at no. 4 overall, the Bills at no. 8 and the hapless Jets at no. 9 overall. While these teams are quarterback needy teams, Manuel would definitely be the Tyson Alualu of the draft if he’s selected over Matt Barkley,  Ryan Nassib or even Tyler Wilson. Manuel does posses an upside to succeed in the NFL as he fits the mold of a prototypical quarterback standing at a towering 6-feet-5 inches weighing 237 pounds. His strong arm and mobility may be enough to entice a team to select him in the round one, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

However, in a quarterback driven league, anything is possible. Use the 2011 NFL draft for example as another Florida State quarterback was taken early in the draft. Many analyst and experts had Christian Ponder going in the second round, even the third round perhaps, but the Minnesota Vikings jumped up and grabbed the flee-footed and quick releasing Ponder.

At this juncture, Manuel is rated a lot higher on draft boards than Ponder when we was coming out. While Manuel has what it takes to become a solid starter in the league, he will have to wait a while before he hears his name called by commissioner Roger Goodell. He might as well get use to waiting, especially if he is selected by the Eagles in round two who already have Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon on the roster.

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Tags: Brady Quinn Christian Ponder E.J. Manuel St. Louis Rams

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