The Buffalo Bills gambled big when they drafted Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. But while the gamble is one that has some fans in Buffalo excited about their team for once, there is significant work to be done before Manuel takes the field as the starter and leads the Bills. According to Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, the Bills rookie needs work on just about every aspect of his game and is still a raw prospect.
“Everything,” Hackett said when asked about what Manuel needs to work on. “He’s a young man that’s got to work on a lot of things from footwork to progressions to plays to formations, everything. Defenses in the NFL are obviously a little different. He’s got to work on that too. He’s got to work on everything.”
This really shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise, as in the days leading up to the NFL Draft, Manuel was still rising on boards and was a last minute case of a guy breaking into the first-round. Many teams didn’t project or mock Manuel as a first-round quarterback until hours before the draft and his enormous rise up draft boards was a shock to some.
But the Bills thought that of all the prospects in the draft, Manuel was the best available and took him as the first and only quarterback in the first round. There is work to be done, but that should be expected of a rookie and Bills fans have no reason to hang their heads while they twiddle their thumbs in anticipation of Manuel starting.