In last year’s draft, the Buffalo Bills made E.J. Manuel the first quarterback off of the board and he was the only signal-caller selected in the first-round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Because of that, it is only natural to wonder where he would stack up against this year’s crop of quarterbacks.
Unfortunately for Manuel, or fortunately since he didn’t have to compete with this class of quarterbacks, it doesn’t appear that he would have fared too well.
According to former NFL general manager Charley Casserly, who now has a role with the NFL Network, there are seven quarterbacks in the 2014 NFL Draft class that would rank above Manuel.
“I’ve got a lot of guys rated ahead of (Manuel) based on their college career and based on Manuel’s college career,” Casserly said on Thursday’s Path to the Draft. “[Teddy] Bridgewater, [Blake] Bortles, [Johnny] Manziel, [Derek] Carr, [Jimmy] Garoppolo and [AJ] McCarron — I’ve got them all rated ahead of EJ Manuel coming out a year ago. And you know what, LSU quarterback [Zach] Mettenberger, I’ve got him ahead of Manuel, too.”
Manuel didn’t have the most impressive of rookie seasons in recent memory, but it was his first year in the pros and he was slowed down by a knee injury. If he would have been able to stay healthy, there is no telling what he could have done for the team.
Buffalo is obviously hoping that they will get a number of quality years out of Manuel after making him a first-round pick a year ago, but if he struggles again and ends up being worse than seven quarterbacks in this year’s draft in the long run, the Bills will have wished they put their quarterback needs on hold.